Bruges, Belgium: Basilica of the Holy Blood and the Church of Our Lady
Located in Flanders, the town of Bruges is highly picturesque as you can tell by the photo above, so in addition to the two Catholic sites described here it is a great place to spend a few days. We highly recommend a visit here.
About the Basilica of the Holy Blood:
One of the holiest places in the city of Bruges is the Basilica of the Holy Blood. Built on two levels, the lower chapel has a plain simplicity to it while the upper chapel, built in the Gothic style, is lavishly decorated.
It is in this chapel that the treasure of the Basilica rests: a vial containing what is purported to be a drop of the blood of Christ. It was brought here after the second Crusade in 1150 and has remained here ever since. Naturally it is an object of great devotion.
The Church offers daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, and other devotions. The Procession of the Holy Blood is held on Ascension Thursday each year, when the Bishop of Bruges leads the procession with the relic of the Holy Blood, followed by residents of the city, many in period costumes of the Burgundian period, who act out Biblical scenes along the way.
Traveling to Bruges:
Bruges is about 60 miles west of Antwerp (or Brussels). There are frequent trains from Brussels and the trip takes about one hour. The Basilica is located on Burg square.
Address: Basilica of the Holy Blood Burg 13, 8000 Brugge
GPS coordinates: 51° 12′ 29.2824” N, 3° 13′ 35.5620” E
Tel: (+32) 0- 50 33 67 92
email: [email protected]
Click here for the official website of the Chapel of the Holy Blood in Bruges, Belgium.
About the Church of Our Lady in Bruges:
The Church of Our Lady contains one of the world’s most treasured art works: the statue of the Madonna and Child by Michelangelo, carved of white marble and dating from the early 1500’s.
It was brought here from Italy by two brothers and given to the church in 1514. Although it was twice looted from the church (once during the French revolution, and again by the Nazis in 1944), it has remained unharmed and was brought back to its home each time. It is a truly remarkable example of his work and people are often surprised to find it here.
Address: Mariastraat, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
GPS coordinates: 51° 12′ 15.4584” N, 3° 13′ 27.2640” E
Tel: (+32) 050 34 53 14
The website of the Church of Our Lady in Bruges does not appear to be working at this time.
Photos courtesy Tourist Office for Flanders, Belgium