The Begijnhof (Béguinage) Museum in Breda is a walled complex that consists of houses and a small church and can be found in the center of Breda. 29 houses spreading over two courtyards are grouped around an herb garden and referred to as the Begijnhof. The Breda’s Begijnhof Museum provides insight into the world of Breda’s beguines. It includes a permanent exhibition of relics from the collection of Hamers IJsebrand and Harrie Hammers.
The first beguines were founded by Mr Hendrick van Breda, lord of shots and Breda, in 1267. That castle was moved to its current location in Catherine’s street in 1535 due to its expansion. In the 19th century, the court was expanded with a second courtyard and the St Catherine church.The beguines were since the 12th century a movement of pious Catholic women who wanted to live a life of contemplation, and prayer in chastity. The Beguines were mostly of noble descent. The first Beguinage foundation was laid bare in the 90’s of the 20th century and studied. The majority of houses were replaced in the 17th century. Breda’s Begijnhof Museum is the oldest of the two beguine found in the Netherlands.References:
Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.
Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.
Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.
The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.
During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.
The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.
From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.
The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.
Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.