Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk or Church of Our Lady boasts the second tallest brick tower in the world (the tallest is in Germany). Climb to the top to enjoy sweeping views over Belgium, and even all the way to the Netherlands border on clear days. Whether you're visiting Bruges on a day trip or for a longer stay, a visit to see the church is on most tourist itineraries.
Inside, the colorful stained glass and wall paintings are typical of a gothic church of the 14th and 15th centuries. The main attraction is, of course, Michelangelo’s sculpture, which is believed to have been created for Siena Cathedral before being purchased by a wealthy local merchant family and shipped to Belgium. The altar triptych by Bernard van Orley is also worthy of note. The church is connected to the adjacent Gruuthusemuseum (the former palace of the lords of Gruuthuse) via an oratory in the chancel.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Entry to the church is via paid ticket.
- Consider purchasing a Bruges museum pass for combined entry into various attractions.
- The church is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The Church of Our Lady is located on Mariastraat in the city center and is easily accessible on foot. There’s a bus stop right outside the church. By bus, it’s 10 minutes to the central station with train connections to the airports in Brussels or Lille. Buses 1, 6, and 12 stop here.
When to Get There
The church is seven days a week all year round, except for public holidays. Last admission is 30 minutes before closing time. The church is busiest with visitors during the weekend so plan to visit during the week if you can for a quieter experience.
Learn About Belgian Chocolate Committed chocoholics must make time to visit Choco Story while in Bruges. From learning about 4,000 years of chocolate making history to what makes Belgian chocolate so special, and even tasting some delicious pralines for yourself, there’s nothing you won't know about chocolate by the end of your visit.
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- Site du vieux Saint-Jean (Site Oud Sint-Jan)
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