Madonna of Bruges in Bruges – Belgium

Bruges is home to a number of historical churches that are considered as significantly important for the faithful of the Roman Catholics Church. These churches are often visited by pilgrims from all over the world.

Both the religious and curious tourists make it a point to check these out whenever they are in the city. One of these churches is home to the Madonna of Bruges in Bruges – Belgium.


The Madonna of Bruges in Bruges – Belgium can be found inside the Church of Our Lady which in turn is located along Rue Mariastraat.

Getting There

Walking around the city is the best way to discover all the sights and attractions. You will find that the city center is just ten to fifteen minutes off the central station.

The main tourist area where you can find the Church of Our Lady that houses the Madonna of Bruges in Bruges – Belgium is an easy walk from the station.

Bikes are also a good way to get to the church and view the famous sculpture. Otherwise, you can get a bus ride going to the church.

What to See and Do

The Madonna of Bruges in Bruges – Belgium is not only an important religious icon for the Roman Catholic Church but also an exquisite example of Michelangelo’s creative genius.

The sculpture sits behind a bulletproof glass on the southern aisle of the big chapel. Made from Carrara marble, the sculpture depicts the Mother Mary with the Child Jesus standing in the middle and leaning towards the Mother Mary’s left side.

Apart from this famed sculpture however, you can see various works of art inside the church as well, including the Crucifixion of Christ as interpreted by an artist named Anthony van Dyck.

Brief History

The sculpture of the Madonna of Bruges in Bruges – Belgium was made by Italian Renaissance artist, Michelangelo. It is the only work of art by the famed artist that ever left Italy.

The sculpture was bought by two local merchants, the brothers Giovanni and Alessandro Moscheroni who then donated it to the church in the year 1514.

The sculpture was said to have been made some time in the year 1504. It was taken from the church on two occasions.

One is when the French Revolutionary armies overpowered Austrian Netherlands. The sculpture was shipped to Paris by the locals on the orders of the French Revolutionaries, together with other valuable works of art.

When Napoleon was defeated, the sculpture was given back to the church.

The second time the sculpture was taken from the church was in the year 1944, when German soldiers retreated from the place. The sculpture was smuggled out of the city, hidden from sight by layers of thick mattresses.

The sculpture was discovered two years after it was stolen upon which, it was once again returned to the church.

The bulletproof glass that protects the sculpture was prompted by an attack of Michelangelo’s Pieta some time in the year 1972. Today, the sculpture can be only be viewed from a distance of at least fifteen away.


There is no cost to enter the Church of Our Lady and view the Madonna of Bruges in Bruges – Belgium. To view the Chapel of Charles and Mary as well as the museum, visitors are required to pay 2.50 Euros per adult and 1.50 Euros per child.

Other Information

To view the Madonna of Bruges in Bruges – Belgium, you can visit the church from Monday thru Friday, starting at 9:30 in the morning up to 12:30 in the afternoon; and again from 1:30 up to 5 in the afternoon.

Saturdays, the church closes at 4 in the afternoon and on Sundays, you can visit from 1:30 up to 4 in the afternoon only.