The historical and artistic heritage of Bruges in Belgium makes it a museum-like city, especially thanks to its Gothic-style buildings . And among all that set there are some buildings that stand out especially. One of them is the Church of Our Lady or Onze Lieve Wrouwekerk, in the local Flemish language.
Exterior Church of Our Lady of Bruges
This is a temple that began to be built at the beginning of the 13th century, from the year 1210. But from that date different construction moments took place, so you can see very well a large part of the evolution of Flemish Gothic art and even the passage and influence of Renaissance architecture.
For example, it is known that between the years 1270 and 1335 the delicate choir area was built, which has a polygonal shape and is surrounded by characteristic rampant arches. Coinciding with the end of these works, the left nave of the church was also built. However, for the one on the right side to be completed, it was necessary to wait until 1474. In this way, in total the church has a development of five naves. A nave that is separated by fasciculate pillars to receive the thrust of the numerous ribs that run through the different vaults.
And if the construction of the ships took so long, the same can be said of thetower, which is even later as it was not finished until 1549. By the way, this is an authentic tower more than a bell tower, since it is a true defensive and military bastion for the city, given its enormous height that reaches 122 meters and how thick and powerful its walls are.
Interior of the Church of Our Lady of Bruges
But to all that architectural repertoire we still had to add a huge number of elements that were added over time. From a pulpit in the central nave to a Madonna and Child carved by the great Italian Renaissance sculptor Michelangelo Buonarroti.
This sculpture is the great jewel of the entire Church of Our Lady of Bruges, but there are many others. And it seems that the entire temple was conceived as a gigantic chest to house numerous paintings and treasures distributed anywhere, especially in the apse and the choir of the temple. Without forgetting the different radial chapels that run through the ambulatory of the head.
Some chapels that practically became the property of the most prosperous people in the city, and who took the opportunity there to commission works from the most renowned artists of their time, some as prominent as the famous baroque portraitist Anton Van Dyck. In this way, the art of different periods and disciplines merges and ends up turning this church into a splendid ensemble.