The Great Beguinage of Leuven was founded in the 13th century. It was a place where only unmarried women were allowed to live who dedicated their life to God. In 1962 when the its function had ended for a long time the beguinage was bought by the University of Leuven. After the 16th and 17th century houses were renovated, they were used as flats for students and academic staff. The beguinage is one of the largest still existing beguinages in the Low Countries and has been declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO.