Still in the second chapter of Bruges-la-Morte, Hugues Viane goes into the Church of Our Lady, (in Flemish Vrouwkerk, in French Notre-Dame), where he spends some time thinking about death (what else?) and gazing in quiet despair at the tombs of Charles le Téméraire (1433-1477) and his daughter Marie de Bourgogne (1457–1482).
He emerges from the church feeling more despondent than ever and is about to return home, as he usually does, but on this particular evening something extraordinary happens. He sees a young woman who looks exactly like his dead wife. He follows her at a distance through a maze of narrow, winding streets, astounded at the resemblance, until she finally disappears.
Location of the Church of Our Lady on OpenStreetMap
Everyone agrees that the steeple of the Church of Our Lady is the tallest structure in Brugge, but different websites give different numbers for the exact height. Emporis, which as far as I know is very reliable, lists it as 116 meters. The second highest is the Belfort van Brugge with 88 meters and the third is the Sint-Salvator Cathedral with 80 meters.
Chapter Three: La Grand’Place = Markt
By the time we reach the eleventh chapter of Bruges-la-Morte, Hugues Viane has become increasingly disillusioned about Jane. She doesn’t look so much like his dead wife, after all, and he suspects that she has been consorting with other men in the jolly little house that he is paying for.
He again spends his evenings and nights walking alone through the city, stopping to go into St. Salvator's Cathedral and walk among the tombstones and copper plates which are strewn throughout the basilica, so he feels he is walking in death.
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Location of St. Salvator’s Cathedral on Google Maps
Chapter Eleven: Oud Sint Jan
Favorite thing: Bruge was a centre of pilgrimage throught the Middle Ages as people used to see the `Holy Blood`. Unknown to many the church of the Holy Blood still allows pilgrims to pray in front of and even touch the Holy Blood. Just watch for the posters on the door. Even visitors coming in whilst we were touching it thought that it was an ordinary service, and not one of the most moving experiences of a lifetime. They do not know what an opportunity they missed to be part of living history.
This is the inside view of the Basilica. Admission fees must be paid to see the musium next to the upper chapel. However, I visited, the upper chapel which is free ofcourse?
This section was said to have received a Neo-Gothic facelift in the 19th century, and it accomodates the relics of the Holy Blood which are worshiped every Friday. Legends has it that Count Diederik of Alsace was given a few drops of Jesus Christs Holy Blood during the crusade in Jerusalem as he was returning to Flanders.
Every year, the Holy Blood Procession takes place in honour of the Holy Blood.
Favorite thing: The pics shows the entrance to the Basilica of the Holy Blood. The door to the left lead down to the 12th century Romanesques lower church whereas the right-hand door leads to the upper chapel dating back from the 15th century and restored in a Neo-Gothic style in the 19th century.
I'm not a believer so to me it was just another tourist attraction, for many people, however, it is a very important pace to visit.
The tiny perfum bottle which was made in Constantinople (nowadays Istanbul) contains the blood of Jesus, which arrived to Brugge in 13th century.
Besides the Holy Blood the chapel itself is very impressive and definitely worth a visit. The entrance is freem unless you want to get closer to the presious treasure.
One of the main squares in Brugge. In this square are the Provosts House, the Town Hall, the Basilica Of The Holy Blood and the Palace of Justice. All of these buildings are truly splendid and The Gothic Room within The Town Hall is one of the finest period rooms in Europe.
There is a street leading out of Burg called Blinde Ezelstraat, which means Blind Donkey Street, one of my favourite street names in the whole of europe!
This is in one corner of Burg and is a chapel containing (it is said) a relic of the blood of christ, brought back by a crusader.
Queues form to see the relic itself, and the Basilica closes for lunch, as it did when we visited, just as we got to the front of the queue :-(
Favorite thing: Walk around this beautifull town, and mayby take a ride in one of the canal boats. If you're interested in how the European Union works and you maybe want to be a bureaucrat you can apply for the College of Europe. You should also visit the big church in Brugge. I was told that is was the tallest brick church in the world. The town hall is also nice, but the restaurants around the central square has lousy service (this aplies to the whole of Belgium really). Nice icecream, though.
13e - 15e century
the tower is 122 meter high
The church has e very rich art collection : Madonna with child : one of the master pieces of Michelangelo.
Favorite thing: Take a walk through the streets. See my travelogue on the Streets of Brugge.
Take a ride on bike, you can hire them everywhere,it's the best way to see everything around this tiny, medieval and beautiful town!
Just hope it doesn't rain!
Wander aimlessly and enjoy the architecture and the peace in this city.
Fondest memory: Sitting around and not being deluged by mobs of tourists.