Welcome to the museum’s jewel in the crown!
Louis de Gruuthuse has this oratory, or private chapel, built in the 1470s. From here he and his wife follow the services being conducted in the Church of Our Lady. From their chapel, Louis and Margaretha van Borssele look down on the church choir. As we still do today. In their day, the priest celebrates Mass in the church choir.
Louis receives permission to build the chapel from the church govenors. It’s not evident, because a church window must be removed and a staircase has to be constructed to connect the church with the chapel. And what about the key? They make arrangements about that as well. In exchange Louis makes a number of donations to the church, including a series of expensive tapestries.
Take a look around the chapel, luxuriously decorated by Louis and Margaretha. Traces of the decoration still give us an idea of what it looked like. The chapel is finished with panelling made from the very best oak from the Baltic region. The vaulted ceiling is richly decorated. You can still make out rather well what it looked like, just before the step that leads us to the prayer bench. The entire ceiling was covered like this once, with gilded motifs that were custom-made for this space! Don't forget to look for the little angels that support the vaulted ceiling: almost all of them are still original, and each one has a different face.
Of course, we also find Louis de Gruuthuse's famous motto here: ‘Plus est en vous’. And below the vaulted ceiling, between the angels you can make out the initials L and M, flowers and a bombard. They also appear on the church side of the chapel. The chapel was comprehensively restored in 2018. It has regained its former glory! Just like the renovated choir of the Church of Our Lady!