A good walk further south of the Markt Square, off Mariastraat is located the Church of our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk), famous for the amazing Michelangelo Sculpture of Madonna and the Child. The church dates back to the 13th century and even today this remains the tallest structure in the city with its tower at over 400 ft. (122m). This church has the tombs of Charles the Bold and his daughter the duchess Mary. Inside the church it’s magnificent. The artwork, the imposing high ceiling, the sheer feel of the place are amazing. You can actually “feel” the antiquity of the place. And of course the famed statue – it’s remarkable.
The Bruges Madonna was one of
Michelangelo’s early works and the only one to leave Italy during his lifetime. It was sculpted around 1504 A.D. shortly after the Pieta. It was bought by two brothers who were cloth merchants in Bruges. This family, the Mouscrons, donated the statue to the Church. The sculpture has had its own share of adventure over the centuries – initially, in the late 16th century during the “Counter-Reformation” or “Catholic Reformation” this statue remained covered because it depicted nudity. Later, the French seized it after they took over Belgium in 1792. The statue was returned after Napoleon’s defeat. Then in 1944 (during Second World War), the Germans took it and was later retrieved by American troops after the end of war. CONTINUED IN PART 2
Bruges (Brugge), Belgium – An Introduction
How to get to Bruges (Brugge), Belgium – Transportation
Traveling within Bruges (Brugge), Belgium – Transport Information
The Markt (Market) Square-Bruges
Belfry (Belfort) of Bruges .
The Beguinage (Begijnhof) of Bruges
Basilica of the Holy Blood (Heilige Bloed Basiliek)- Part 1 ; Part 2