Church of Our Lady

Bruges, Belgium

The Church of Our Lady in Bruges dates mainly from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. Its tower, at 122.3 metres in height, remains the tallest structure in the city and the second tallest brickwork tower in the world.

In the choir space behind the high altar are the tombs of Charles the Bold, last Valois Duke of Burgundy, and his daughter, the duchess Mary. The gilded bronze effigies of both father and daughter repose at full length on polished slabs of black stone. Both are crowned, and Charles is represented in full armor and wearing the decoration of the Order of the Golden Fleece.

The altarpiece of the large chapel in the southern aisle enshrines the most celebrated art treasure of the church—a white marble sculpture of the Madonna and Child created by Michelangelo around 1504. Probably meant originally for Siena Cathedral, it was purchased in Italy by two Brugean merchants, the brothers Jan and Alexander Mouscron, and in 1514 donated to its present home. The sculpture was twice recovered after being looted by foreign occupiers—French revolutionaries c. 1794 and Nazi Germans in 1944. Close to the Michelangelo statue important Brugeans are buried such as Françoise de Haveskercke, buried next to her husband in the black tomb of the Haveskercke family on the right side of the statue.

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Address

Mariastraat, Bruges, Belgium
See all sites in Bruges

Details

Founded: 1270
Category: Religious sites in Belgium

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Michael J (14 months ago)
This is a fantastic building. The grounds are little cramped because of all the tour groups moving through. In general I would recommend visiting during the week.
nicky wicks (15 months ago)
Wonderful place to visit. Such a beautiful church ❤️
Brent Van Scoik (15 months ago)
Historic place to visit. Take in the history and all the beauty of this church and grounds.
ade0410 (2 years ago)
A lovely serene church in the centre of Bruges. Beautiful and impressive architecture. There is a museum part which you need to pay to look at but we didn't have time. This is definitely worth a visit. Perhaps going at Christmas time made it even more special.
Mitr Friend (2 years ago)
The original structure of this church was built in 1225 CE. Bits and pieces of the original frescoes belonging to the original structure are in display within the chapels as well as below the nave (covered by glass). The best part - the ceiling detail of Madonna & Child of 1469 is still visible in one place, in an extremely deteriorated state.
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Kalozha Church

The Kalozha church of Saints Boris and Gleb is the oldest extant structure in Hrodna. It is the only surviving monument of ancient Black Ruthenian architecture, distinguished from other Orthodox churches by prolific use of polychrome faceted stones of blue, green or red tint which could be arranged to form crosses or other figures on the wall.

The church is a cross-domed building supported by six circular pillars. The outside is articulated with projecting pilasters, which have rounded corners, as does the building itself. The ante-nave contains the choir loft, accessed by a narrow gradatory in the western wall. Two other stairs were discovered in the walls of the side apses; their purpose is not clear. The floor is lined with ceramic tiles forming decorative patterns. The interior was lined with innumerable built-in pitchers, which usually serve in Eastern Orthodox churches as resonators but in this case were scored to produce decorative effects. For this reason, the central nave has never been painted.

The church was built before 1183 and survived intact, depicted in the 1840s by Michał Kulesza, until 1853, when the south wall collapsed, due to its perilous location on the high bank of the Neman. During restoration works, some fragments of 12th-century frescoes were discovered in the apses. Remains of four other churches in the same style, decorated with pitchers and coloured stones instead of frescoes, were discovered in Hrodna and Vaŭkavysk. They all date back to the turn of the 13th century, as do remains of the first stone palace in the Old Hrodna Castle.

In 2004, the church was included in the Tentative List of UNESCO"s World Heritage Sites.