The Adornes family

The Adornes family originates from the Italian city of Genoa. When Opicius Adornes joined the retinue of the Count of Flanders in the thirteenth century, he moved to Flanders and started a new branch of the family tree. It soon became part of the Bruges aristocracy and played an important part in the administrative and economic life of the city. Its best-known descendant is Anselm Adornes, who in the fifteenth century became an influential businessman, diplomat and knight. In that same century, the family built up the Adornes estate, which consisted of a mansion, several almshouses and the Jerusalem Chapel.

The Adornes Domain

The estate is still owned by the family today, which makes it quite exceptional. The Count and Countess Maximilien de Limburg Stirum, now the seventeenth generation of the Adornes family, are consequently thoroughly dedicated to preserving this unique piece of Bruges' heritage. They have opened the estate to visitors, to whom they wish to offer a fine historical and cultural experience, with particular attention to the intimate family nature of the place.

The Jerusalem Chapel

The family chapel was consecrated in 1429 and was inspired by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Its architecture, interior and unique relics provide an exceptional illustration of the Adornes family’s great reverence for Jerusalem.

Even today, the family still celebrates religious events such as christenings in this consecrated Roman Catholic chapel. It is occasionally also the venue for classical concerts and talks on heritage and art.


The Museum is to be found in the quaint almshouses. Here you can learn about Anselm Adornes and his life as a businessman, diplomat and knight. There is a 12-minute long film and a comprehensive exhibition about the family and the estate.

Adornes and the people of Bruges

It’s hard to imagine Bruges without the Adornes Domain. For nearly 600 years it has been part of the lives of the city’s people. The estate is now also open for socio-cultural projects, exhibitions, entertaining and a particularly warm welcome awaits the inhabitants of Bruges.