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Saint-John's hospital in BRUGES
(Mariastraat 38)

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Picture by Jan Boeykens (@Quernus)

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This hospital belonged to the monastry that was erected round 1150 . It was situated at the periphery of the town and was one of the first hospitals in Europe. There are only a few wallfragments left of the 12 th century dated buildings.

Now there are three halls. The middle hall is dated from the beginning of the 13 th century and it is the oldest of the preserved civil buildings of Bruges. In the north sidewall there are still romanesque windows. The porche was built around 1275 . The half-reliëf in the tympanum contains an image of the representation of the death, ascension and crowning of Mary. The geatest part is authentic. Above the porch there is a window with the form of a quatrefoil worked out in a bullion.

Two other halls were added around 1300 whereby the original fassades were interrupted with pier arches above pillars with crocked capitals. The pointed gables and the interior are of the scheldt gothic.

The Sint-Corneliuschapel was added in the north hall during the first half of the 15 th century.

A trilateral stair case tower connects the groundfloor with the first floor, which is covered with aspectacularaok wooden truss.

Near the passage under semi-circular arch (in the Marystreet) there is still a romanesque tower from the first half of the 13 th century that carries a saddledack roof. This is part of the abbey, which was erected north of the actual hospital during the 14 th century. The refectorium has a quite closed aspect on the streetside. The dormitorium thereabove,still with original truss, is lightened by nine little lancets. When the brothers left in 1643 , a chamistry was erected there. This pharmacy still exists.

During the 16 th century the nuns added a construction with praychapel in the backyard of the old abbeybuilding. Therefore the nuns could use only the low annexes at the Reie against the south sickhall. There used to be situated the old toilets of the hospital.