The Fine Arts Museum of Bruges or Groeningemuseum is internationally renowned for its significant collection of early Netherlandish painting, which has formed the core of the museum’s most successful exhibitions in recent decades. This part of the collection consists of a number of masterpieces by Hans Memling, Jan van Eyck, Hugo van der Goes and Gerard David, as well as works by masters active in Bruges in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, including the Masters of the Lucia- and Ursula Legend, Ambrosius Benson,Pieter Pourbus the Elder and Lancelot Blondeel.
The Groeninge Museum offers a varied overview of the Flemish Primitives, top 18th and 19th-century neoclassical pieces, and masterpieces from Flemish Expressionism.
Artists such as Suvée, Duvivier, Ducq, Odevaere, and Kinsoen are known for their historical pieces and portraits in a cool and sculptural style. The remarkable collection of paintings by Flemish expressionists also catches the eye, with work by Permeke, De Smet, Van den Berghe, Brusselmans and Tytgat. The Groeninge Museum owes its international appeal not only to its exceptional permanent collection but also to the prestigious exhibitions that take place regularly.
The Groeninge Museum is located in the district of the same name, where once stood the Eekhout Abbey. Designed by architect Joseph Viérin, since 1930 the central collection of paintings from Bruges has been centralizing. An adjacent neo-Gothic building by architect Jean-Baptiste Bethune provides extra space since 1995. Viérins building will undergo a thorough renovation in 2002 and recently also an adapter circuit for the permanent collection. From Flemish primitives to modern art The permanent collection shows a rich and fascinating overview of six centuries of visual art in the Southern Netherlands, which corresponds to current Belgium.
Highlights are the world-famous collection of Flemish primitives, gems of Renaissance and Baroque masters, a selection of 18th and 19th century neoclassical and realistic works, milestones of symbolism and modernism, top works of Flemish expressionism and a varied selection from the post-war collection. modern Art. The Groeninge Museum is part of the Flemish Art Collection, a joint venture between three art-historical museums in Flanders: the Groeninge Museum in Bruges, the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent and the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp.
Dijver 12, 8000 Bruges
+32 50 44 87 11
Rate: 8 €
Tuesday: from 9:30 to 17:00, Wednesday: from 9:30 to 17:00 , Thursday: from 9:30 to 17:00 , Friday: from 9:30 to 17:00 Saturday: from 9:30 to 17:00 Sunday: from 9:30 to 17:00
St Johns Hospital
In St. John’s Hospital, good for more than 8 centuries of history, sisters and brothers took care of pilgrims, travelers and the sick. The medieval wards and the associated church house an impressive collection of archival documents, works of art, medical instruments and six works by Hans Memling.
The medical knowledge of the nuns is, however, minimal and they devote themselves mainly to ‘soul care’. Medicine saints on paintings and sculptures, reliquaries and an atmospheric chapel point to lively devotion. In the 19th century, the hospital moved to a nearby neo-gothic building in bright red brick, where the ill can still go to 1978.
The fact that the art objects are interwoven with the location and its former inhabitants gives the museum an absolute added value. Many objects are also made to measure for the hospital community and depict the clients.
The Sint-Janshospitaal has six top works by the Flemish Primitive Hans Memling, but also many religiously inspired paintings and sculptures. Applied art such as furniture, silver, medical instruments, reliquaries, archival documents, and pharmacy jars bear witness to 800 years of care. St. John’s Hospital is one of the oldest preserved hospital buildings in Europe.
In the museum, you will learn more about the former hospital life and what the wards looked like then. Furniture, paintings, sculptures, silverware, and pewter objects are the silent witnesses of a centuries-long hospital and soul care in this hospital. Another unique feature is the roof truss of the building, which is one of the oldest and most monumental in Europe.
Do not forget to pay a visit to the old pharmacy and the herb gardens. In the hospital chapel, all attention goes to the works of the best-known Flemish Primitives: Hans Memling. This painter lived and worked in Bruges in the 15th century and created his most important masterpieces, such as the famous Ursula shrine, for the Sint-Jans hospital.
Where: Saint John’s Hospital Mariastraat 8000 Bruges
+32 50 44 87 11
Rate: € 8
Audience: Every type of audience
Tuesday: from 9:30 to 17:00 Wednesday: from 9:30 to 17:00 Thursday: from 9:30 to 17:00 Friday: from 9:30 to 17:00 Saturday: from 9:30 to 17:00 Sunday: from 9:30 to 17:00
State archivist Felix d’Hoop set up the Société Archéologique (Archaeological Society) in 1865. The society collected art and archaeological objects that illustrated the rich past of Flanders and Bruges.
The society collects Flemish (art) historical objects, building fragments and archeological elements. Barely a year later, the public can watch them in the Halls of the Belfry. The collection is growing enormously.
Looking for a new home, the society can convince the city council in 1873 to purchase the Gruuthuse Palace. In 1876 the City of Bruges acquired the Gruuthuse palace to store the society’s collection, following a thorough renovation by city architect Louis Delancanserie.
Lodewijk van Gruuthuse (1427-1492) was by far the most famous inhabitant of the Gruuthuse palace. He was a well-respected man, a member of the Order of the Golden Fleece and a confidant of the Dukes of Burgundy. At the start of the 15th century, the Gruuthuse family built their former storehouse into a luxurious mansion. Lodewijk later added a south wing with a chapel, through which a connection arose with the Church of Our Lady. The Spanish king Philip IV bought the building in 1596 and donated it to the Mount of Piety as a charitable pawnshop.
The idea of a historical museum has been around for a long time. Visitors and residents need a coherent story about the history of Bruges. After various scenarios are reviewed, the Bruggemuseum will be officially presented in November 2003.
Bruges does not opt for one new museum such as Antwerp or Ghent. For the bundling of eleven museum locations that together bring the story of the city. The concept of this "multi-location museum" gradually evolved, but is already yielding some beautiful realizations: Archeology and Family Museum, Gentpoort and City Hall.
Today the Bruggemuseum is facing its biggest challenge with the redesign of the Gruuthuse Museum. As a result, the museum group is working hard on its mission. They want to inspire residents and visitors for Bruges and its cultural heritage, to introduce them to the past and to reflect on Bruges today.
After all, not only the various museum sites, but also the monumental patrimony, the collections and the intangible heritage form the connection between city and people.
The concept of the Gruuthuse Museum as a city museum is being developed in collaboration with heritage partners from within and outside Bruges.
The Gruuthuse collection includes lace, goldware, furniture, ceramics, and objects for everyday use.
Currently, the Gruuthusemuseum is closed for major restoration work. The reopening is planned at the end of May 2019. (Adres: Dijver 17, 8000 Brugge)