The Basilica of the Holy Blood is a Roman Catholic minor basilica in Bruges, Belgium. The term "Basilica" implies something grand, but this building is actually quite small - that's because it was originally built in the 12th century as the chapel of the residence of the Count of Flanders. It consists of the Chapel of Saint Basil below, in Romanesque style, and the Chapel of the Holy Blood upstairs. The latter, on the photo below, is home to the famous Relic of the Holy Blood, allegedly collected by Joseph of Arimathea and brought to Flanders from the Holy Land by Thierry of Alsace, Count of Flanders.
To the right, there's an elevated altar of some kind where the relic is displayed:
I stepped up the stairs and prayed for what I deemed necessary. Don't worry, it had nothing to do with me personally.
Then it was off to the Groeningemuseum. There's a plethora of Flemish/Belgian works spanning five centuries to be seen there, and I was unable to take a photo of possibly the most famous of them all, a work by Jan Van Eyck, foremost of the Flemish Primitives. I will thus have to resort to just post this internet pic:
Then a magnificent work by François-Joseph Navez (Charleroi 1787 – Brussels 1869), a very successful neoclassicist painter:
Emile Claus (Sint-Eloois-Vijve, 27 september 1849 - Astene, 14 juni 1924), is considered the most important representative of Belgian Impressionism:
And finally the foremost reason we came to Bruges on this sunny Spring afternoon:
A very fine example of Roman Catholic Marian art, the Madonna with Child by Michelangelo, on display in the Church of Our Holy Lady. One of the very few works by the famous Renaissance artist outside Italy. It wasn't until a regular reader, KR, corrected an error in an article by Giulio Meotti two weeks back that I learned of the existence of this breathtaking marble sculpture (shame on me). Unfortunatly, since there's no way of getting closer than 15 feet, and since there's bulletproof glass in front of it, the photo is of inferior quality. But far more decent ones can easily be found.