- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- French Phrases
Heilig Bloed Basiliek
Heilig Bloed Basiliek Review
The Basilica of the Holy Blood manages to include both the austere and the ornate under one roof—not to mention one of Europe's most precious relics. The 12th-century Lower Chapel retains a stern, Romanesque character. Look for the poignant, 14th-century Pietà and the carved statue of Christ in the crypt. From this sober space, an elaborate, external Gothic stairway leads to the stunningly lavish Upper Chapel, which was twice destroyed—by Protestant iconoclasts in the 16th century and by French Republicans in the 18th—but both times rebuilt. (Note that the Upper Chapel is closed to visitors during Eucharistic Mass on Sunday 11 to noon.) The original stained-glass windows were replaced in 1845, and then again after an explosion in 1967, when they were restored by the Brugge painter De Loddere. The basilica's namesake treasure is a vial thought to contain a few drops of the blood of Christ, brought from Jerusalem to Brugge in 1149 by Derick of Alsace when he returned from the Second Crusade. It is exposed here every Friday in the Lower Chapel 8:30 to 10 and in the Upper Chapel 10 to 11 and 3 to 4, and on other apparently random occasions for veneration: queue up to place your right hand on the vial and take a moment for quiet reflection. On Ascension Day, it becomes the centerpiece of the magnificent De Heilig Bloedprocessie (Procession of the Holy Blood), a major medieval-style pageant in which it is carried through the streets of Brugge. The small museum next to the basilica is the usual home of the basilica's name-sake reliquary.
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Fodor's Go List 2014: Where we are going in 2014
- World Cup Fever: Start planning your trip to Brazil!
- Fodor's 100 Hotel Awards: Check out the winners of 2013
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
Though my entire stay in Belgium's pretty capital was 2.5 days in total, most of my time was spent cheering on our son's varsity basketball team in the tournament at ISB, but I was able to sneak some peeks Read more
We saw London, we saw France and lots more.
Day 1 (9/18) Amsterdam
Well I have put off this trip report long enough so here goes. I am writing this to pay forward the help and advice which I received from Read more
I'm considering a quick trip (5 full days) to Amsterdam and maybe Belgium in early May. Read more
· News & Features
For a lover of brews, there's no place quite like New Zealand. ... Read more
Phu Quoc, a fishing island in the Gulf of Thailand, is a quiet refuge of serene beaches, phenomenal seafood,... Read more
Travel is as much about the journey as the destination.... Read more