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Onze Lieve Vrouwkerk - Church of Our Lady (Bruges)

Onze Lieve Vrouwkerk (Bruges)



Location: Bruges




Description of Onze Lieve Vrouwkerk

The Church of Our Lady (in Dutch, Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk), in Bruges, Belgium, is a large medieval church dating mainly from the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Its tower, 122.3 meters high, remains the tallest structure in the city and the second tallest brick tower in the world (the tallest is the St. Martin church in Landshut, Germany).

The Church of Our Lady of Bruges was built in the thirteenth century in the place it occupied in the historic center of Bruges a former Romanesque church. Its architecture is inspired by the not distant cathedral of Our Lady of Tournai. Between 1270 and 1340 the 122-meter high tower was built, located in the north collateral nave. Towards the middle of the 15th century, an arrow of 54 meters of brick height was added to the building.

In the space of the choir behind the main altar are the tombs of Charles the Bold, the last Duke of Burgundy of the Valois dynasty, and his daughter, the Duchess Maria of Burgundy. The golden bronze effigies of both father and daughter rest as long as they were on polished black stone slabs. Both are crowned, and Carlos is represented in full armor and wearing the Order of the Golden Fleece.

The altar piece of the long chapel in the south aisle houses the church's most famous artistic treasure, a white marble sculpture, known as the Madonna of Bruges, created by Michelangelo, circa 1504. It was probably originally conceived for the Cathedral of Siena, although it was bought in Italy by two merchants from Bruges, the brothers Jan and Alexander Mouscron, who, in 1514, donated it to their present house. The sculpture was recovered twice after being sacked by foreign occupiers: the French revolutionaries, around 1794, and the German Nazis in 1944.





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