It took 2 centuries (from the 13th to the 15th) to build this church, whose soaring 118m (387-ft.) spire can be seen from miles around Bruges. Among the many art treasures here is a beautiful Carrara marble sculpture of the Madonna and Child 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 holds a painting of the Crucifixion by Anthony Van Dyck, and the impressive 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.
- © Frommer's 2013
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Ask Bruges Locals about Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady)
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