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Basilica of the Holy Blood: Exterior, Gothic facade and entrance to the upper church
Architecture Library, Hesburgh Libraries
The earliest surviving church in Bruges is the two-storey basilica of the Heilig Bloed, built on the Burg in 1134-1149; the Romanesque lower church has massive columnar piers. Originally built in the 12th century as the chapel of the residence of the Count of Flanders, and dedicated to St. Basil, the church houses a venerated relic of the Holy Blood allegedly collected by Joseph of Arimathea and brought from the Holy Land by Thierry of Alsace, Count of Flanders. The upper church (Chapel of the Holy Blood) was rebuilt in the Gothic style during the 16th century and renovated multiple times during the 19th century in Gothic Revival style.