5 forgotten churches worth a visit in Bruges

1) Jeruzalemkerk

This mysterious private church was built by the Adornes family in 1429. It lies in a quiet neighbourhood, away from the crowds, so you might be the only visitor. Modelled on the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the interior is on two levels, with family relics, a strange Crucifixion and a replica of Christ’s tomb in a dark crypt you have to crawl inside.

interior Jeruzalemkerk

2) Sint-Basiliuskapel

A small door in the corner of Burg square leads into an ancient chapel dedicated to Saint Basil. Most tourists miss this chapel as they head to the gaudy upper chapel with the relic of the Holy Blood. Built of rough stone in romanesque style, the lower chapel is a dark, mysterious place with carved heads buried in the walls.

interior Sint-Basiliuskapel


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3) Sint-Walburgakerk

Begun in 1619, this huge baroque church is one of three in Flanders built by the Jesuit architect Peter Huyssens in the style of the Gesù church in Rome. The pulpit, designed by Artus Quellin of Antwerp in 1667, is particularly impressive.

interior Sint-Walburgakerk


4) Magdalenakerk

Thomas Harper King, a British architect who settled in Bruges, designed this church in 1853 following neo-Gothic principles laid down by the British architect A.W. Pugin. Now rather dilapidated, the church is sometimes used for art exhibitions.



5) Sint-Annakerk

Located on a quiet square, Sint-Annakerk is a simple church with a thin spire. The dark interior is furnished with baroque wood panelling and a handsome marble rood screen. Other churches in Bruges often have a neglected air, but someone here polishes the brass fittings with fanatical energy.

building Sint-Annakerk


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