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29 June 2011 / leggypeggy

A new find in Bruges

I’ve been to Bruges three or four times, but never ventured into the Basilica of the Holy Blood, which is located on the village square. I’m glad I did this time—it’s intimate, colourful and very important within the Roman Catholic Church. That’s because it house a venerated relic of Holy Blood. The relic was supposedly collected by Joseph of Arimathea and brought from the Holy Land by Thierry of Alsace, Count of Flanders. Built between 1134 and 1157, the church was promoted to minor basilica in 1923.

It has two chapels. The lower one, dedicated to St. Basil the Great, is a dark Romanesque structure that remains virtually unchanged. The relic is in the upper chapel, which was rebuilt in the Gothic style during the 16th century and renovated many times during the 19th century in Gothic revival style.

The slideshow displays the exterior and interior of the upper chapel, including a pic of what I assumed was the bishop giving individual audiences to people—perhaps offering a blessing.

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