Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk

Church in South Bruges

Image by eFesenko Shutterstock

Dominating its surrounds, this 13th-century church was reopened in 2015 after extensive renovations. Its enormous 115m spire is unmissable throughout much of the city. Inside, it’s best known for Michelangelo’s serenely contemplative 1504 Madonna and Child statue, the only such work by Michelangelo to leave Italy during the artist’s lifetime. Look out also for the Adoration of the Shepherds by Pieter Pourbus.

In the church’s apse, the treasury section displays some splendid 15th- and 16th-century artworks plus the fine stone-and-bronze tombs of Charles the Bold (Karel de Stoute) and his daughter, Mary of Burgundy, whose pivotal marriage dragged the Low Countries into the Habsburg empire with far-reaching consequences.


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