|GHENT: Museum of Folklore - Alijns House|
The Mystic Lamb
The museum is housed in the 'Kinderen Alijns Godshuis' (the hospice of the Alijns children). A remarkable story is at the origin of this building. A never-ending (political ?) feud between the two rival families ALIJN en RIJM in the 14th century Ghent, resulted in the murder of two children of the Alijn family. The murderers, two members of the Rijm family, escaped but returned later to Ghent. In 1362 the murderers were granted mercy but had to pay for their evil deed by financing the construction of a 'God's house', a charity institution or hospice where old and needy women could spend the last years of their life.The God's house was called the 'Children Alijns God's house' in memory of the killed children. The God's house was renovated and enlarged in the 16th century. In 1883 it was degraded to a living area for textile laborers, which fastened the decay of the houses. The city of Ghent bought the God's house in 1941 and after a thorough renovation the Museum of Folklore was brought here in 1962.
In this house (the former Museum of Folklore)
we introduce you to the daily life in the city of Gent in the 19th and the
first half of the 20th century. The collection has been gathered with a
focus on four main themes: life cycle, folk religion, labour (crafts and
trade) and leisure. In order to show the collection to its full advantage
and to be a better host to you, we started in the beginning of 2000 with the
reorganisation of the collection and are still busy to refurbish the museum
building. This long-range-plan will be carried out within a four year term.
Until then one wing at the time will be closed for public. At the beginning
of the Gent Festivities the left
of the building reopens with the renewed placing of the theme “life cycle”.
The exhibition “Pillegift en Engelenbrood” highlights in a captivating and
an associative way how the crucial transitional phases in human life are
being lived. In the year 2003 the museum tavern and the puppet theatre
on the attic will be refurbished.
The entire collection can be visited in the separate houses that make up the Children Alijn's hospice. It gives an extensive overview of daily life from the late Middle-Ages till the present day.
Admission hours and entrance fees :