Church and monastery of the Discalced Carmelites

Jacob de Coster

Main altar
Kerk en Klooster van de Ongeschoeide Karmelieten

The fascinating history of the church and monastery of the Discalced Carmelites starts at the “Hof van Uytkerke’ stepped-gable house. Today the monument is listed as protected architectural heritage. A historic gem inside and out!

Church and monastery of the Discalced Carmelites

The Church and Monastery of the Discalced Carmelites is a large complex with a walled garden. In the seventeenth century, the Carmelites transformed the sixteenth-century “Hof van Uytkerke’ stepped-gable house so that it could be used as a church, refectory and dormitory. From 1688 to 1691 they rebuilt the church to a design by the Antwerp friar Patricius of St. Hubertus. In 1974 it acquired partially protected status. Protection of the interior, vault and plague house followed in 1984.

Hoofdaltaar - Jacob de Coster

Main altar - Jacob de Coster

The sculptor Jacob de Coster, a lay brother of the Bruges Carmelites, created the marble high altar in 1691. In the centre above the painting by Herregodts the Elder, a sculpted Joseph sits with baby Jesus on his knee. Above them, the dove with a golden halo symbolizes the Holy Spirit. On the left an angel holds a medallion with the image of the prophet Elijah and on the right a medallion with St. John of the Cross. Beyond the main altar, De Coster created the pulpit, confessionals, communion bench, interior doors and wall panelling. The Bruges church provides an almost complete picture of his oeuvre. Using his refined sculpting techniques he brought detailed scenes to life. The artist also designed the main altar, the pulpit, elements of the confessionals and wall panelling in the Monastery of the Discalced Carmelites in Ghent. As a lay brother, De Coster left his mark on the iconography of this mendicant order.

Practical information


Ezelstraat 28
8000 Brugge
View directions

Opening hours

  • Open Monday to Saturday from 08.00 to 11.30 hrs and from 15.00 to 17.30 hrs.

  • The church is not accessible on Sunday mornings.


  • Easy access for people with disabilities.

Good to know

  • Admission: free

Other sites nearby

Medaillon Clarice Orsini
The magnificent Bladelin Court houses several works of art associated with the rich history of the City Palace.
Praalgraf Maria van Bourgondië en Karel de Stoute
Once visitors step inside the church, they can explore the rich art collection.
Hans Memling - Reliekschrijn van de Heilige Ursula
Bruges is always worth a visit, and that should definitely include a peek inside the Museum Saint John’s Hospital.