The 13th-century Beguinage, another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Lier. It is an incredibly quaint place and one of the largest and most beautiful beguinages in Belgium.
Beguinages were founded in most of the larger towns in the Low Countries during the times of the crusades. Lots of women had lost their men and wanted to live in protected communities. Because the vast majority of those women did not want to join monasteries, where they would have to take vows, they invented a system of beguinages. Here the beguines lived like nuns or sisters, but without being tied down by vows for the rest of their lives. Normally a beguinage consists of small houses on cobble stone streets, which together formed a small, sometimes even self-sufficient, city within a city.
Beguinages are nice and quiet places, great for a relaxing walk. The beguinage of Lier has 162 houses, 11 streets and a beautiful church in the middle.