Did you know that Bruges has a replica of the Holy Sepulchre?


In the first half of the 15th century, the descendants of a Genoese merchant who had settled in Flanders two centuries earlier and made his fortune there, built a church in Bruges based on the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. For its construction, Pierre and Jacques Adornes travelled to the city to take notes in order to build a similar version of the original building.

In a Gothic style with strong Byzantine influences, this church is like no other and is well worth a visit. Modest in size, it distinguishes itself by its tower, including its floor reinforced by corner turrets, and a rectangular layout with cut corners, as well as the wooden steeple crowned by a copper dome and surmounted by a Maltese cross. At the centre of the single nave with a wooden ceiling, beneath the catafalque of the builder dressed in armour and his wife, lies the heart of Anselme Adornes, carried home from Scotland where he was murdered. The sandstone calvary symbolising the Golgotha with the sculpted instruments of the Passion serves as the sole altar. Of course, the sanctuary houses a relic of the cross of Christ. The stained glass windows of the church of Jerusalem are the oldest in Bruges and predate 1500. Another curiosity is the stone altar dating from 1435 with a superb hill of calvary, a 16th century tower-shaped tabernacle, and a Florentine terracotta Madonna produced by Luca della Robia in the second half of the 15th century. The crypt houses a reconstruction of the tomb of Christ.

It is here that Marguerite Yourcenar places the scene in which the young Zénon, with the arrogant pride of his age, took leave of a slightly simple young girl whom he had already forgotten in "L’Œuvre au Noir".

For practical information and some shots of the outside and inside of the building, go to: https://www.visitbruges.be/en/jeruzalemkapel-brugge-jerusalem-chapel