Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by mightywease on July 1, 2006

Along with the Belfort the 122m high spire of the Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk (The Church of Our Lady) is a recognizable profile on the Bruges skyline.

Beginning in 1220, the church took over 300 years to complete and thus is a mixture of various architectural styles including Gothic and Baroque. The interior is quite cavernous, the walls plain however statutes and decorated side chapels add touches of ornamentation. There is an extremely striking carved wooden pulpit and impressive choir screen. Beyond the screen are tombs—most prominent being those of Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold, however, this area was closed when we visited.

The space and the dim—though not gloomy—light of the interior create still, quiet, contemplative interior and are a wonderful setting for the most famous sculpture in the church—“Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child”.

The latter is a beautiful sculpture, striking in its simplicity. It was the only work by Michelangelo to leave Italy in his lifetime, purchased by a Bruges merchant. Carved in marble it is smaller than I imagined it was going to be but powerful in its artistry and sense of serenity, a truly stunning piece of art.

Open: Monday - Saturday: 9:30am - 12:15pm and 1:30 - 5:00pm Sunday: 1:30 - 5:00pm
Church of our Lady
Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerkhof Zuid
Bruges, Belgium


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