This 1596 polyptych by Lucas II Horenbout depicts Christ’s blood flowing out of His five wounds into a fountain. It flows into the ‘Fountain of Life’ to end up in the ‘Fountain of Mercy’ through the faces of the angels on the side. The martyrs either add their own blood to the Fountain or scoop from it. Down on Earth, the faithful led by the pope offer up their hearts for a few drops of the blood.
Founded by the Countess of Flanders in 1235 after the old beguinage of St Elisabeth, the small beguinage, called Our Lady Ter Hooyen, is one of the best preserved religious compounds of its kind that date from before the 1789 French Revolution. Unsuspecting, curious passers-by will be met by the sight of a baroque church, some 100 houses and a meadow (the former churchyard) when they venture behind the long street façade to take a breather from the urban hustle and bustle.