Atelier Billiet is located in the building of the medieval German Hanseatic League, called Oosterlingenhuis.

Literally translated as House of the Easterners, because Germany is located to the east of Bruges. The origins of the building date back to 1458 when the German Hanseatic League was located there.

An extensive renovation started in 1478 and was probably completed in 1481, the year in which the statue of Emperor Frederick III was placed on the spire.

This immense conversion was carried out under the direction of Jan van de Poele, one of the most prominent master masons in the city at that time.

He designed a monumental nation house that, due to its size and architectural innovation, would surpass the already existing nation houses of foreign merchants – such as those from Castile and Leon, Genoa and Florence.

Oldest drawing of the Oosterlingenhuis.

It was fitted with a beautifully decorated brick tower and was the tallest of all private buildings to be found in Bruges.

It is not without reason that this monument was considered one of the seven wonders of Bruges,
as can be seen in the 17th century painting:

SEjPTEM ADMIRATIONES CIVITATIS BRVGENSIS, Pieter Claeissens (ca. 1550 – 1576). A work that is now in the Bruges Monasterium De Wijngaard.
SEPTEM ADMIRATIONES CIVITATIS BRVGENSIS, Pieter Claeissens (ca. 1550 – 1576). A work that is now in the Bruges Monasterium De Wijngaard.

Earlier witness of its grandeur is on the 1562 map by Marcus Gerards. We see beautiful masonry, several turrets and a walled courtyard.

Map of Marcus Gerards, 1562

Unfortunately a 1582 fire destroyed the tower and it was demolished completely. And yes, Antonius Sanderus draws the Oosterlingenhuis in his 1641 Flandria Illustrata without a spire.

In the course of the 18th century the courtyard was overbuilt, were you nowadays find Hotel Bryghia. A renovation in the mid-1960’s revealed, among other things, a polychrome ceiling, as well as various style ornaments, which are now all part of the decoration of the interior.

These various renovations proof the vibrant character of this building and make it what it is today. Scattered around the house we find various styles that whisper forgotten stories and take us to a bygone era.

The many hidden nooks and crannies, the grandeur, the materials, they all radiate an atmosphere that one can only experience in such secular buildings.  

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Atelier Billiet BV
Margot Billiet
Oosterlingenplein 4A
8000 Brugge


+32 (0)473 851 627

BTW BE0768.654.130

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