It's funny the way history goes sometimes. And in the case of The Holy Savior Cathedral (Sint-Salvatorskathedraal), history played a trick on the cathedral. It was originally built to be just a common parish church in the 10th century. It only obtained cathedral status in the 19th century. Well, here's the scoop! At first the most important church was the Sint-Donatius, but at the end of the 18th century the people of Bruges kicked out the Bishop and destroyed the church. No one seems to be quite sure why they were so angry with him, but in 1834 a new Bishop arrived and Sint Salvator (the lowly parish church) was granted cathedral status. It definitely didn't look like a cathedral and the townspeople figured they ought to do something about that. A good place to begin was to give it a higher and more impressive tower.
In 1839 a fire ravaged the roof of Sint Salvator and William Chantrell, an architect famous for his neo-Gothic restorations restored it to its former glory and made a higher tower (even higher than the one for the other large cathedral in town, the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk). As politics would have it, Chantrell used a very personal Romanesque design that caused tongues to wag. And, without his authorization, the Royal Commission for Monuments added a small peak on top of the tower (because they thought it was too flat). Look for stunning works of art when you tour this cathedral from the earlier centuries, and with some luck you will be able to see the original 16th century podium.
Address: Sint-Salvatorskoorstraat 8, 8000 Brugge, Belgium
Phone: +32 50 33 68 41
Open hours: 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, 2:00 – 5:30 pm
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