Jerusalem Church, Bruges


  Bruges has much to offer the visitor, with wonderful churches, but the Jeruzalemkerk, or Jerusalem church,  is not in the centre of the town and does not receive large numbers of visitors, even though it is combined with a silk museum located in the old almshouses behind the church. This is a shame, as it is a fascinating place to visit. 

The church was built in the fifteenth century by the Adornes family, rich Italian wool merchants settled in Bruges. Members of the family went on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in1470, and, is it said, adapted the chapel that was already under construction to create a model of the Holy Sepulchre. How close the match was is difficult to ascertain as the church they saw in Jerusalem was severely damaged by fire in the following century. In the centre of the nave is the mausoleum of Anselm Adornes and his wife. This Adornes died fighting in Scotland in 1483, and so only his heart is buried here. The most extraordinary feature of the nave is the altarpiece, shown below, showing the instruments of the Passion: ladders, bones, whips, the crown of thorns, nails, hammers, dice, all jumbled together. 
  Two sets of stairs lead up to a choir or presbytery, which, with its three large crosses,  represents Gologotha.

To the right of the altar is the entrance to the crypt, the representation of the tomb of Christ, though in this case it is not shown as an empty tomb. 

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