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:
The city walls of Avila were built in the 11th century to protect the citizens from the Moors. They have been well maintained throughout the centuries and are now a major tourist attraction as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can walk around about half of the length of the walls.
The layout of the city is an even quadrilateral with a perimeter of 2,516 m. Its walls, which consist in part of stones already used in earlier constructions, have an average thickness of 3 m. Access to the city is afforded by nine gates of different periods; twin 20 m high towers, linked by a semi-circular arch, flank the oldest ones, Puerta de San Vicente and Puerta del Alcázar.