Church of the Holy Blood of Christ
The Church of the Holy Blood of Christ is located in Bruges; not only believing citizens come here, but also travelers from different countries, including pilgrims. In fact, the importance of this small temple is difficult to overestimate; it houses a shrine of the first order, namely a particle of the blood of Christ. Eyewitnesses say that the substance, which is hidden in rock crystal and a golden sarcophagus, produces indescribable sensations on everyone who sees it.
History of creation
The first mention of the Church of the Holy Blood of Christ in Bruges dates back to the 13th century, so it is believed that the sacred relic came here after the crusade, during which the treasuries of Constantinople were plundered. A basilica was erected to store the treasure. The Church of the Holy Blood of Christ consists of two parts that are different in style and design - the first lower limit is built in a strict and ascetic Romanesque style. Simple walls made of ancient brick, various decorations are almost completely absent. This is part of the enlightened sorrow for the crucified Christ.
Above is a chapel in ceremonial Gothic style. Its windows are decorated with multi-colored stained glass windows, there are paintings and paintings on the walls, the altar and iconostasis are real works of art. In this part, the ark with blood is kept. During a special ceremony, the particle is removed from the ark and shown to those present; photography and video recording of this process is strictly prohibited. Entrance to the Church of the Holy Blood of Christ is paid; those who want to look at the relic also make a donation, the amount of which is not fixed and is determined by everyone independently.
Procession of the Holy Blood
For those wishing to visit the Church of the Holy Blood of Christ, it is important to know that every year Bruges hosts a magnificent festival with elements of a theatrical performance. This happens in May on the day of the church holiday of the Ascension of Christ. The solemn procession passes through the streets of the old city. The priests carry a special stretcher with the ark on their shoulders. Solemn music is playing. The procession is quite large-scale; many residents of the city take part in it, among them children, and there are also animals - dogs, sheep, camels and donkeys.
The tradition of holding such magnificent Processions has been preserved in the city since ancient times, ever since the relic appeared in the city. All the action is precisely controlled, and the accuracy of the actors' movements is impressive. Huge crowds of people, both the local population and tourists who come especially for this holiday, gather to watch the Procession and the removal of the Blood. The Church of the Holy Blood of Christ and the city traditions associated with it make an equally strong impression on both believers and atheists.