Golden statue of a knight on the facade of the Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges, Belgium

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Golden statue of a knight on the facade of the Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges, Belgium
DE ROCKER / Alamy Stock Photo
The Basilica of the Holy Blood is a Roman Catholic minor basilica in Bruges, Belgium. Originally built in the 12th century as the chapel of the residence of the Count of Flanders, the church houses a venerated relic of the Holy Blood allegedly collected by Joseph of Arimathea and brought from the Holy Land by Thierry of Alsace, Count of Flanders. Built between 1134 and 1157, it was promoted to minor basilica in 1923. The 12th-century basilica is located in the Burg square and consists of a lower and upper chapel. The lower chapel dedicated to St. Basil the Great is a dark Romanesque structure that remains virtually unchanged. The venerated relic is in the upper chapel, which was rebuilt in the Gothic style during the 16th century and renovated multiple times during the 19th century in Gothic Revival style. The high altar used today for the Eucharist is decorated with a relief in alabaster from the beginning of the 17th century depicting the Last Supper. Typical attributes of a basilica, the tintinnabulum, the small processional bell, and the Umbraculum, the sunscreen in the form of a parasol in yellow and red silk, are displayed next to the high altar. Laurent Delvaux completed in 1751 the white marble altar in Baroque style for the relic side chapel. The two adoring angels were made by Peter Pepers. The relic is kept in a magnificent silver tabernacle made by local silversmith Francois Ryelandt (1709-1774), representing the "Lamb of Christ". To the right of the altar, the painting of Jacob van Oost depicts the descent from the Cross. The relic is shown to the public every Friday and every day two weeks before Ascension Day.
Location: Basilica of the Holy Blood, Burg 13, 8000 Bruges, West Flanders, Flanders, Belgium, Western Europe