It took two centuries (13th-15th) to build the Church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk) of Bruges, whose soaring 119m (396-ft.) spire can be seen from miles around the city.
Among the many art treasures of the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk is a beautiful Carrara marble Madonna and Child sculpture by Michelangelo. This statue, made in 1504, was the only one of Michelangelo's works to leave Italy in his lifetime and is today one of the few that can be seen outside Italy. It was bought by a Bruges merchant, Jan van Mouskroen, and donated to the church in 1506.
The church also contains a painting of the Crucifixion of Christ by Anthony van Dyck and a rococo extravaganza of a pulpit, designed by Bruges artist Jan Antoon Garemijn.
Also impressive are the side-by-side bronze tomb sculptures of the Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, who died in 1477, and his daughter, Mary of Burgundy, who died at age 25 after falling from her horse in 1482. A windowpane under the tombs allows you to view the 13th- and 14th-century graves of priests.
By kjfitz @ 2007-06-01 14:01:35