Lier is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp.
The beguinage in Lier was created in 1258.
Beguinages were closed courtyards where widows and unmarried women led a religiously inspired but independent life. Self-rule occurred under the leadership of a ‘grand dame’ (grootjuffrouw).

The beguinessupported themselves by weaving, making lace or embroidering. They took a vow of purity and obedience but not of poverty. There was great harmony between the spiritual and material life. They could leave the beguinage whenever they wished.
Agnes, the last beguine of Lier, died in 1994.In this street beguinage 162 houses are distributed over eleven narrow streets with St Margaret’s Church at its centre. A calvary and a small garden with a gate are found on the spot of the former orchard. There is also a convent and an infirmary, which later became an orphanage for girls. The entrance in Begijnhofstraat is accentuated by a monumental bluestone gateway (1690). Atop it is a terracotta statue of St Begga(1777), the patron saint of the beguines. To the left of the gate is a polychrome statute of Our Lady of Remedy (14th century).Various places in the beguinage remind us of author and painter Felix Timmermans, who found much of his inspiration here. He also gave it its nickname “The almond bean of Lier”. His short story “The wonderful hours of Miss Symforosa, the beguine” (De zeer schoone uren van Juffrouw Symforosa begijntjen) (1918) is, for the most part, set here.
In 1998 Lier’s beguinage, together with 12 other beguinages in Belgium, became aUNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Categories & Keywords
Category:Travel and Places
Subcategory:Europe
Subcategory Detail:Belgium
Keywords:Begijn, Begijnhof, Begijntje, Beguinages, Belgique, België, Flanders, Flandre, Heritage, Lier, Patrimonio de la Humanidad, The List, Unesco, Vlaanderen, Welterbe, Werelderfgoed, World Heritage