Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Basilica of the Holy Blood

We recently visited the Basilica which is situated in the corner of the Burg. It is named after the relic of Christ's blood which the Basilica was built to house. The Flemish knight Derrick of Alsace returned from the Second Crusade in the Holy Land in 1149 and is said to have brought with him a phial containing some drops of Jesus's blood. It is said that at various times the dried blood became liquid. This phial is carried through the streets of Bruges in the Ascension Day procession. People can go up and touch the relic, for a small voluntary contribution of course.

The Basilica is divided into two chapels. The more recent Gothic Upper Chapel has lots of mural decorations dating from the 19th Century.

The Romanesque lower chapel has preserved its original style.

The Basilica is definitely worth a quick visit and is free to enter.

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