The very beautiful chapel of Bruges

Last year while on business in Brussels on a weekend I visited the historical city of Bruges. Bruges is probably the biggest quite well preserved and carefully revived medieval city in Europe. The local authorities put much attention so that new constructions or upgrades fit well into the historical city style (compare photo gallery >>>). I went there without any plan just to take a walk, sightsee and make photos. (A train from Brussels reaches Bruges within one hour.)

To understand the city heritage I took a one hour guided tour on a small touristic bus that starts and ends its tour at the main square. I was not planning to see any interiors. But one place drew my attention as I was listening to the audio. It was described as the most beautiful church in the city with relics of value inside. As it is located five minutes of walk from the main square I came back there after descending the bus. The church turned to be rather a big chapel with a status of minor basilica.

Yes indeed, as I entered my only reaction was ‘Wow!’ Of beautiful interiors I saw last year (including the most opulent rooms in the royal palace of Madrid) this one turned to be on a definite must-see list.

The Neo-Gothic interior of the Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges

The Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges (Belgium) is famous for the venerated relic of the Holy Blood. But from the sightseeing point of view it is a place of true architectural and artistic value. It was originally built in XII century as the chapel of the residence of the Count of Flanders. The status of a minor basilica was awarded 1923. The Basilica consists in fact of two chapels (the lower and the upper one) built within the residence of the Count of Flanders.

It is easy indeed not to see it from outside as the entrance facade does not look like it leads to a church. In fact it is a small building in the top right corner of the Burg square. The building has a very decorative facade but … many buildings in Bruges look like that.

The both chapels were originally built in Romanesque style. The upper chapel was however transformed into the Gothic style at the end of the 15th century and once again on the Gothic revival architectural wave in XIX together with other major revival works in the whole historical city of Bruges.

A close up onto the main entrance facade and the front view of the interior

Index of posts on Brussels and Bruges >>>




After a couple of quite mild days in North Norway with only few Centigrades below zero, now it is the second day with temperatures below 15°C. So we decided to visit Tromso, the biggest city on the European continent beyond the Polar Circle. We already had been there for the New Year’s Eve. But that time we were more concentrated on Polar Lights. The city climate is a bit different than of other locations we visited in the past week as Tromso lies under the warming effect of the Gulf Stream. With only -5°C we had perfect conditions to make more photos.

It is not dark, but you cannot see the Sun. Still of Winter in North Norway


Seen in Koppangen (Norway)  at 69°40′45″N, a couple degrees over the Arctic Circle. The picture was made when looking to the North. Theoretically it is daylight. But there was no Sun on the opposite side of the horizon.

After three days we finally understand the specifics of the Polar Night in Norway. The Polar Night is when the sun is below the horizon all day. On the Northern hemisphere it happens over 66°33’39″N. But it is not dark all day. For a couple of hours some sunlight reaches the Earth there bringing it into constant twilight state. Currently it lasts for around five or six hours. The photo above was made at the brightest time of the day.

What is interesting, in the night the full Moon takes over the function of the Sun and does not disappear below the horizon for long. And, it stands very high at midnight. With no clouds in the sky, it is quite bright all around.  A true wolf’s night indeed. Below a photo I took last night around 11 pm. It was a long exposure that got quite bright. But I darkened it with a photo editor to reflect that what I truly saw.


Seen in the vicinity of Nordkjosbotn (Norway) at 69°12′54″ N. Technically it is night, but with the Moon very high and only few clouds in the sky, it is not dark at all.