The Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady) is being restored in a number of major phases. The restoration project is a fine example of prudent conservation and repair. In 2011, the restoration of the exterior was completed after more than 10 years, when the scaffolding was finally removed from the base of the tower after cleaning and repair of the masonry. Since then, it has been possible to admire this masterpiece in brick in all its glory. The tower dates from the 13th and 14th centuries. Measuring 115 metres high, it is the tallest brick tower in the Low Countries. It once served as a beacon for ships. Today, together with the cathedral and the belfry, it dominates the skyline of Bruges.
The restoration of the interior was begun in 2012. In the phase that was completed at the end of December 2015, the chancel and the ambulatory were thoroughly cleaned and renovated. In the phase that starts in January 2016, the northern aisle and the nave will receive the same careful treatment. Finally, the southern aisle, with its magnificent statue of the Madonna and Child by Michelangelo di Buonarroti, will be restored.
During the restoration, all the plasterwork will be repaired. Where possible, mural paintings will be exposed and restored. All altars, funerary monuments and other works of art will likewise be carefully cleaned and restored. In each phase, the framed paintings will be moved or safely protected in situ. The statues of the apostles in the nave will also be covered for protection.
Pictures of the restoration can be viewed in this photo album.
More about the restoration activites (in Dutch) is available on the page of Patrimoniumbeheer
For more information about the religious function, see http://www.onthaalkerk-brugge.be/