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Church of Our Lady
church in Bruges
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Church of Our Lady
church in Bruges
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Mariastraat
Bruges
Belgium

jtucker's picture

Contributor

If you find yourself cruising through Bruges, Belgium and need a break from exploring or getting nautical on a canal boat tour, a visit to the Church of Our Lady is in order.

It’s pretty hard to miss, and totally sticks out like a sore thumb. This church took two centuries (13th to 15th) to build. It remains the tallest structure in the city (standing at 400 feet tall) and the second tallest brick building in the world. We can only hope that an earthquake won't hit Belgium anytime soon…

There is art sprinkled all over this church but the most famous and cherished piece that lies within these walls is the Madonna and Child sculpture by Michelangelo. There are also two bronze tomb sculptures that hold the decaying bodies of Mary of Burgundy (who died from falling off her horse) and her father Charles the Bold.

The church is also featured heavily in the dark comedy In Bruges, starring Colin Farrel. It's a must see for anyone who doesn't mind a little tragic violence in their architecture-studded feature film.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Church of Our Lady, Bruges

The Church of Our Lady (Dutch: Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk) in Bruges, Belgium, dates mainly from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. This church is essentially "...a monument to the wealth, sophistication, taste, and devotion of this most Catholic city, whose history and faith stand today celebrated in this wonderful building."

Its tower, at 115.6 metres (379 ft) in height, remains the tallest structure in the city and the second tallest brickwork tower in the world (after St. Martin's Church in Landshut, Germany).

The church demonstrates the Gothic style in the prominent Flying buttresses on the exterior which were constructed in the 1270s and 80s. The nave contains cross-vaults and black and white tiled flooring. The interior demonstrates the heavily ornamented Baroque style in the side aisles and chancel. One of the chapels in the church was created in 1482 for a wealthy man named Lodewijk van Gruuthuse, as his personal worship area.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Church of Our Lady, Bruges.