BRUGES (Brugge)

  Picture: the remains of the Saint-Donatian cathedral in Bruges  

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The remains of Saint-Donatian's cathedral

General. Saint-Donatian's cathedral was the most important religious building in Bruges until its demolition at the turn of the 18th century.  It was also the place of one of Bruges' most notorious murders.  Now all that remains are parts of the foundations that lay under the Burg square for two centuries but that can be visited now.  To access them, you have to go to the cellar of the Crowne Plaza hotel (be sure to ask at the reception desk if you can visit because sometimes receptions are organized there).

Brief history The first church was already built in the 10th century.  At the end of the 12th century it was rebuilt in romanesque style after a big fire destroyed it almost completely.  In the course of time several alterations in gothic style were made and in 1559 the church was upgraded to the cathedral of the Bruges diocese.  At the end of the 18th century, under French occupation, the cathedral was confiscated, demolished and the materials sold publically.  Many interior parts found their way to other churches in the area.

The most notorious part of its history was the murder on Charles I (Charles the Good) in 1127.  At the time he was the count of Flanders and generally very beloved by the people.  However, during his reign he also made enemies.  A rich family, which the count wanted to strip of their influence, conspired to eliminate him.  Charles was assassinated while praying in the cathedral. His murder provoked outrage among the people.  The conspirators were caught and underwent an equally terminal faith. 

 Location: Burg (under the square)



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