Picture: Schellemill at the Damse Vaart in Damme.  

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Bruges Gate
Farm Saint Christopher
Farm the "Stamper"

House "de Grote Sterre"
House Saint John
Damme town hall
Saint-John's hospital
Medieval waterwell
Lock of the Lieve
Statue J.Van Maerlant
Damme town walls
Our Ladies Church
NR Damme town walls
Damse Vaart
Bat reserve
Damme book village
Museum St-John's hospital
Museum town hall
Museum Schellemill

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Saint-John's hospital

Location: Kerkstraat 33, 8340 Damme [gps]
Accessibility: museum [openingsuren]

One of the pearls of Damme and at the same time one of the oldest buildings is the Saint-John's hospital.  This hospital was founded before 1249 by the people of Damme, after they were granted permission to do this by Margareta of  Constantinopel.  Here the ill, poor and travellers were taken care of.  Revenues came from taxes that were imposed on the import of wine.  During the Spanish occupation, the chapel served as church for the soldiers that were stationed in the town.   Nowadays, there is a retreat for the elderly in a part of the complex. 

The central part still dates back to 1249 and shows lots of similarities with the St.-Janshospital of Bruges.  The centuries old chapel and infirmary are still in their original condition.  The clock in the little tower was moulded in the 18th century.  In the course of the centuries, the hospital has grown and has been enlarged.  These enlargements can be clearly seen, but the different architectural styles blend in harmoniously with the surrounding buildings.  In the 16th century, a new infirmary and a new kitchen were added; in the 19th century the right wing and in the first half of the 20th century the left wing were built.  A last large alteration was carried out in 1964.

Inside the complex, in 1901, an impressive museum with numerous rare and valuable pieces was set up.  Next to several pieces of furniture, paintings and religious artefacts, you can also see centuries-old house-hold effects, coins, seals, medieval tombstones, glazed windows, books, china, ...  Worth seeing!

The complex of the St.-Janshospital is a protected monument and is situated in the Kerkstraat 33, in the centre of Damme.

 Den Hoorn

site museum St.-Janshosp.







Hendrik De Leyn - www.damme-online.com

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