The Adornes domain

Adornes (c) Studio de Formanoir (4)
The 15th-century Jerusalem Chapel in Bruges is an ode to the holy city. The Adornes domain tells the story of an extraordinary family.

Jerusalem Chapel and the Adornes domain

Hidden away in the centre of Bruges, there is a little piece of the Middle East: the Jerusalem Chapel on the Adornes domain. This heritage gem was created in the 15th century by the eponymous, deeply religious family.

This chapel functioned as a private chapel and was inspired by the mythical Holy Sepulchre Church in Jerusalem. The architecture, furnishings and relics illustrate this family’s great reverence for the holy city of Jerusalem. There you can admire the beautiful stained-glass windows, the relic of the Holy Cross and an imposing mausoleum.

The chapel is part of the Adornes domain, located in the working-class Sint-Anna district of Bruges. The former houses of worship on this site now house a museum. This museum reveals the rich history of the Adornes family. Also here is the former private home of Anselm Adornes, the most notable member of this family. In these restored spaces, there is an impressive art collection.

Adornes (c) Studio de Formanoir (8)

The Adornes family

The Adornes family was a prominent and deeply religious family, originating from Genoa in Italy. They settled in Bruges at the end of the 13th century. Several family members played roles in international trade and politics, both in Bruges and at the Burgundian court. Anselm Adornes (1424-1483) was the best known member of the family.

Anselm was a successful trader in cloth and alum; a mineral used in cloth production, tanning and glassmaking. He could call upon an impressive international network. He had particularly good contacts in Scotland. It was there that the Scottish king knighted him in the Order of the Unicorn, after which he went to Palestine as a Jerusalem pilgrim. Eventually, he came to a bloody end in Scotland. After his death, his heart was brought to Bruges and interred in the mausoleum in the Jerusalem Chapel.

To this day, the site has continued to be administered by Anselm’s heirs. The 17th generation after the founders of the domain now look after this valuable heritage.

Practical info

Adornes Domain & Jerusalem Chapel: Peperstraat 3, 8000 Bruges
More about opening hours, accessibility and other practical information can be found at  Adornes Domein