Merchant’s Crescent, North Quay, is a run of houses that were used for trading. Dating to 1814, the basin gave barges access to the city centre for the first time and warehouses and trading offices were set up on the riverside. Built in the 1860’s, Merchant’s Crescent housed coal offices and accommodation for coal merchants as it faced the old coal yard supplied by a now defunct railway.
Near the border with Tajikistan, north of Afghanistan, is the amazing Blue Mosque. It is said that Ali, cousin of the Prophet Muhammad, was buried there in the 7th century. The current monument was built in 1480 and continued to be restored and embellished to date. It is covered by an infinity of polychrome tiles in various shades of blue, forming flowers. A place of peace.
These conferences on the Institutions of the European Union are always inspiring. Glad to see for the first time scholars from Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia and to meet again friends and colleagues from the United Kingdom, for a few more months ... .
This is the Leuven City Hall (Stadhuis) built in Brabantine Late Gothic style between 1448 and 1469. Famous for its lace-like details.
Fifty Shades of History has been delving deep into our records again for another great photo tagged to us at
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The Begijnhof is one of the oldest hofjes in Amsterdam, Netherlands. A group of historic buildings, mostly private dwellings, centre on it. As the name suggests, it was originally a Béguinage. Today it is also the site of two churches, the Catholic Houten Huys and the English Reformed Church.The Beguines were Christian lay religious orders that were active in Northern Europe, particularly in the Low Countries in the 13th–16th centuries. Their members lived in semi-monastic communities but did not take formal religious vows. That is, although they promised not to marry "as long as they lived as Beguines" to quote one of the early Rules, they were free to leave at any time. Beguines were part of a larger spiritual revival movement of the thirteenth century that stressed imitation of Christ's life through voluntary poverty, care of the poor and sick, and religious devotion.
The Begijnhof differs from the usual Amsterdam patricians' court in that this old people's home was not founded by private persons. It bore closer resemblance to a convent, although the beguines enjoyed greater freedom than nuns in a convent. While beguines took a vow of chastity, and while they considered themselves obliged to attend Holy Mass every day and pray various official prayers, they were free to leave the court at any time in order to get married.
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