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:
Craigmillar is one of Scotland’s most perfectly preserved castles. It began as a simple tower-house residence. Gradually, over time, it developed into a complex of structures and spaces, as subsequent owners attempted to improve its comfort and amenity. As a result, there are many nooks and crannies to explore.
The surrounding gardens and parkland were also important. The present-day Craigmillar Castle Park has fascinating reminders of the castle’s days as a rural retreat on the edge of Scotland’s capital city.
At the core lies the original, late-14th-century tower house, among the first of this form of castle built in Scotland. It stands 17m high to the battlements, has walls almost 3m thick, and holds a warren of rooms, including a fine great hall on the first floor.
‘Queen Mary’s Room’, also on the first floor, is where Mary is said to have slept when staying at Craigmillar. However, it is more likely she occupied a multi-roomed apartment elsewhere in the courtyard, probably in the east range.
Sir Simon Preston was a loyal supporter of Queen Mary, whom she appointed as Provost of Edinburgh. In this capacity, he was her host for her first night as a prisoner, at his townhouse in the High Street, on 15 June 1567. She was taken to Lochleven Castle the following day.
The west range was rebuilt after 1660 as a family residence for the Gilmour family.
The 15th-century courtyard wall is well preserved, complete with gunholes shaped like inverted keyholes. Ancillary buildings lie within it, including a private family chapel.