Holy Blood Basilica in the Burg.

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Basiliek van het Heilig Bloed


The western end of the stadhuis morphs into the Basiliek van het Heilig Bloed. The basilica takes its name from a phial supposedly containing a few drops of Christ’s blood that was brought here after the 12th-century Crusades. The right-hand door leads upstairs to a colourfully adorned chapel where the relic is hidden behind a flamboyant silver tabernacle and brought out for pious veneration at 2pm daily.

Also upstairs is the basilica’s one-room treasury, where you’ll see the jewel-studded reliquary in which the phial is mounted on Ascension Day for Bruges’ biggest annual parade, the Heilig-Bloedprocessie. Downstairs, entered via a different door, is the basilica’s contrasting bare-stone 12th-century Romanesque chapel, a meditative place that’s almost devoid of decoration.

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