The monumental refectory at Bijloke Abbey is part of its south wing, one of the central buildings of a former abbey that was inhabited by a community of cloistered nuns. Since the 19th century, both the east and south wings of the monastery have been touted as prime examples of Flemish brick architecture.
Marie Christine Laleman (°1952) studied art history and Classics at Ghent University, specialising in medieval archaeology. From July 1973 until June 2017, she worked for Ghent city council, taking up various positions, from researcher to director of De Zwarte Doos (which houses the city archaeology department and the city archives). She has been involved in setting up and developing the city archaeology department, takes care of publications, gives lectures, has taught as guest professor at various universities and has been collaborating on sociocultural applications to do with the history of Ghent, medieval, city and construction archaeology.