We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Missed opportunity and general lack of interest from staff”
Review of Sint-Janshospitaal

Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Ghent and Bruges Day Trip from Brussels
Ranked #28 of 154 things to do in Bruges
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Sint-Janshospitaal owns six masterpieces by the Flemish primitive artist Hans Memling, as well as many religious paintings and sculptures. Objects of applied art, such as furniture, silverwork, medical instruments, reliquaries, archive documents, and apothecary pots reflect 800 years of care. Sint-Janshospitaal is one of the oldest preserved hospital buildings in Europe. In the museum, you can learn more about hospital life in the past and how the wards would have looked then. Furniture, paintings, sculptures, silverware, and pewterware are the silent witnesses of the care for bodies and souls that took place in this hospital through the centuries. The building’s supporting framework is also unique and is one of the oldest and largest in Europe. The old apothecary’s and herb garden is also well worth a visit. In the hospital chapel, the focus is all on the work of the most famous of the Flemish Primitives: Hans Memling. This painter lived and worked in Bruges in the 15th century and created his most important masterpieces here, including the famous Shrine of St Ursula, which was painted specifically for Sint-Janshospitaal.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities, Wheelchair access, Activities for young children
Reviewed 9 December 2013

I visited very few attractions in Bruges as we were there for a short time and wanted to explore some of the less touristy spots, so we chose carefully, and the promise on the poster offered much more that was actually available once inside. The first experience was of two staff at the ticket desk, who were more interested in having a conversation with each other than attending to us - no information was offered and we wandered about a bit looking for information leaflets or a layout guide before returning to ask - we were dismissively told that information was in the next room, but if it was I didn't see it! The room is impressively proportioned and retains a fair proportion of original fabric, although the modern floor did little to enhance it. Relics and paintings are interesting to a point, but it's very much a glass case exhibition - which does not a medieval hospital exhibition make! As other reviewers have alluded, there may have been more to this, but in the absence of any orientation information, guide, map, or interested staff, no amount of searching led us to any of the tantalising experiences promised on the poster outside. If you are interested in the history of the hospital, of medical history, or historical context - prepare to be disappointed. I was - and especially at 8 euro.

Thank Minnowpea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review
Reviews (1,019)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year

404 - 408 of 1,019 reviews

Reviewed 28 November 2013

The hospital's ancient apothecary is closed between 11.45 and 2pm, so time you visit so that after you have seen the Memling works the apothecary will be open.

Thank Natasha J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2013

The quality and variation of flower arrangements, and the plentiful supply of Flower arranging related items at reasonable prices.

1  Thank Usefulpete
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 November 2013

This was a very interesting combination of a Memling museum with a nice collection of his art inside of a historical hospital with some very interesting artifacts. The hospital provided care for travelers and the poor. When the plague infected the people of Bruges, this hospital was the center of care.
The Memling pieces were at the end of the exhibit and were beautifully displayed. English descriptions were available for all of the Memling works and for many of the major medical artifacts and historical pieces.

Thank Hilary T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2013

This museum has a wonderful wooden roof and well displayed artifacts.The Hans Memling altarpiece is the highlight and it glows in a room of its own.No one else was there when we went in and this is such a contrast to the Van Eyck in Ghent where we had to view with a crowd.
The Groeninge Museum was still closed for renovation so we saw very little other Flemish painting but this helped to make up for it.

Thank rosecat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Travellers who viewed Sint-Janshospitaal also viewed

Bruges, West Flanders Province
Bruges, West Flanders Province

Been to Sint-Janshospitaal? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing