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The chapel and entrance gateway of the Maagdenhuis (Maidens' House), a foundling hospital for girls of the poor, was constructed from 1564 to 1568; the rest of the building dates from 1634 to 1636. The Maagdenhuis and the nearby Knechtjeshuis, a boy's oprhanage, closed in 1882, when more modern institutions became available. Surrounding a somewhat austere but tranquil court, with its Baroque columns and Virgin Mary statuary, a museum houses a collection of objects from the orphanages, including clothes, workbooks, and needlework. The museum also displays paintings and statuary, as well as a collection of rare 16th-century Antwerp pottery, but the most important paintings were lent to the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in 1890. In addition to the museum, the building now houses some offices of the Public Center for Social Welfare.
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