We started in Market Square (all roads here lead to Market Square) at the Bell Tower and then down a short street to Burg Square. We entered the city hall and looked at a few of the historical paintings on display and then walked over to the Basilica of the Holy Blood.
|post office in Market Square near road leading to Burg Square|
|city hall in Burg Square|
There are two chapels, a lower one which is stark and largely unadorned, and then an upper one that is ornate, larger, and the place where priests once a week display Christ's blood in a crystal cylinder. We saw it and it looked awfully fresh--hmm, some chicanery here?
|Basilica of the Holy Blood|
|guarding the holy blood, but for a price|
We then walked through an alley at the side of the city hall and came out over a small bridge and angled over to a small square (Huidevettersplein) of restaurants. Passing through this place, we came to the really picturesque view of canals and bridges.
|canal with bell tower in distance|
|canal with tree|
|canal and tower of Gruuthuse Museum|
We walked up to the Groeninge Museum, the main museum in town that features ancient Flemish works, but it was closed. On we went to the Church of Our Lady that features Michelangelo's Madonna and Child, the only work of his to leave Italy during his life. It's an early piece, but still beautiful. Mary found the church itself rather dark (yes) and dour (yes, yes).
|Michelangelo's Madonna and Child|
|altar of Church of Our Lady|
|iconography that warmed Mary's heart|
From there we walked a short distance to Minnewater (Water of Love), a beautiful little park and lake with swans.
|Minnewater banks and lake|
|Van Eyck Square|
|wild swan but not at Coole|