Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Day Trip, Brugge

a view from the Belfort
I went to Brugge a few weekends ago. I arrived at 10am and headed for the Belfort and its 366 steps. It was a gorgeous day so the view was incredible. Then I wandered around Grote Markt and the Burg before taking a 30-minute boat ride along the canal. After this I went to the Groeninge Museum, the Cathedral of Our Lady, and St. John's Hospital (Memling Museum). On my way back to the train station I walked around the Beguinage. It was a busy day and a wonderful one. My only regret is that I did not get more time to wander aimlessly around the winding streets, one of my favorite things to do when I am exploring a new place. I was so tired by the 6pm, I could barely walk to the train.
Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold
My favorite, inspiring things from the trip were both unexpected. When I visited the Cathedral of Our Lady, I went to see the remarkable Michelangelo sculpture and discovered the tombs of Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold. I had read about them in my handy guidebook, but did not realize how incredible they were until I saw them. I did not want to leave and found myself returning two more times before I actually left the church.
While at the Groeninge Museum I was awestruck by the Flemish Primitives and the Bosch, but was stopped in my tracks from across the room when I saw Mater Dolorosa by Simon Marmion. This painting is so beautiful and rich with emotion. It made me cry. It is paired with one of a deceased Jesus and Mary is looking at him, weeping. Her eyes are red. I did not want to leave, again.

Here are a few more highlights from the trip...
 Portrait of a Young Woman by Hans Memling 
at St. John's Hospital
(Look at her hands, they are resting on the frame:
a lovely trompe l'oei effect.)
Portrait of Margareta Van Eyck by Jan Van Eyck
(the detail of the fabric around her face is incredible)

You can see all my pictures form my day trip to Brugge on Flickr.

Thanks for reading.

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