The 115.5 meters high brick tower of the Church of Our Lady is a perfect illustration of the craftsmanship of Bruges’ artisans. The church displays a valuable art collection: Michelangelo’s world-famous Madonna and Child, countless paintings, 13th-century painted sepulchers and the tombs of Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold. Please note that restoration work in the church is currently in progress, so it is not possible to visit the ceremonial tombs.
The absolute highlight is Michelangelo’s marble Madonna and Child from 1505. The choir contains the tombs of Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold. Above the alter hangs a triptych showing the passion of Christ, by the official court painter of Margaret of Austria, Bernard van Orley.
It’s impossible to miss this church. Its brick tower is over 122 meters tall and therefore quite literally the high point of Brugean building craft. Inside, a world of art treasures awaits you, from paintings and wooden carvings to the magnificent 16th century tombs of Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold, and painted tombs from the 13th and 14th centuries. But the real highlight is of course Michelangelo’s world famous 'Madonna and Child'.
The Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk dominates the Brugian skyline with its 122.3 m high tower, which makes it the second highest brick building in the world. Building work on the current church began in 1225 with a main central nave using Tournai stone, in a typical Scheldt Gothic style. Elements of French (choir and apse) and Brabantine Gothic (the Paradijsportaal) however, bear witness to the church’s lengthy construction. It was the 15th century before a spire crowned the church tower, and even later when the choir and the central nave were finally roofed over.
Anyone who would like to pray in the church or pay a short visit may do so in a restricted area of the church. If you would also like to visit the museum, you can purchase a ticket at the South nave. In the year to come the church will be undergoing restoration works which will mean that some areas may not always be accessible. Michelangelo's Madonna and Child remain accessible until the end of 2015. We apologise for the inconvenience, but we hope to see you again in 2018 in a renovated church.