Gistelse Steenweg 167, 8200 Brugge, View on map

The name Chantecler

The name Chantecler

The name Villa Chantecler comes from the medieval story of the fox Reynard. Reynard the Fox is an epic animal tale that is considered a highlight in the Dutch medieval literature. The book would have been written in the 13th century by a certain “Willem die Madocke maecte”. The story exists in all languages ​​and was told by different writers.

The Gruuthuuse handwriting was presented in the Gruuthuuse museum in Bruges during the exhibition Devotion and Love. This Gruuthuse Handwriting refers to Louis of Gruuthuse (15th century), a nobleman who was counselor of the Dukes of Burgundy. For almost 500 years the manuscript was hidden in a private library. In the middle of the 19th century, it was edited for the first time by Charles-Louis Carton. In 2007 it was sold to the Royal Library of the Netherlands and was accessible to everyone.

Around 1400 Bruges is the New York of today: a large, vibrant city, one of the richest and most international cities, connected to the whole of Europe. This of course leaves its traces in the city: the city hall, the city gates and the belfry gives Bruges’ power a visible form. Rich merchants and craftsmen are a major economic power and put themselves on the political and cultural map. Religion and devotion are, as always, with all intertwined. Church towers, chapels and monasteries have their place in the streets.

7 prayers, 147 songs and 16 poems, all in the old Dutch: that is the content of the Gruuthuse handwriting. The texts were collected around 1400 in Bruges and penned down by five copyists. For most texts, the authors remain unknown. The manuscript contains the oldest collection of secular songs with musical notation in old Dutch. The most famous text is undoubtedly the lamentation for a deceased friend, “Egidius waer bestu bleben”, but it also has other medieval plays and stories handed down to us, such as “Reynard the Fox.”

The name Villa Chantecler comes from one of the characters of this medieval tale, the rooster. In addition to the name of the house, the facade also shows a tableau with a rooster and the rising sun.


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