The Gruuthuse Manuscript (see online version) is a unique codex that still carries many secrets. It consists of prayers, poems and a remarkable collection of nearly 150 songs. Many of the songs are profane songs, mostly about love, complete with musical notation. This songbook is the largest and oldest collection of this genre from the medieval Low Countries.
In some of the songs, the city of Bruges is mentioned, and several of the writers are also associated with Bruges. But even though some names can be found in acrostics in the songs (e.g. Jan van Hulst), many questions about the manuscript remain unanswered. It is still unknown who ordered to write the manuscript, and for what reasons he did so. Furthermore, it is unclear who compiled the manuscript or who wrote the texts.
Visiting Bruges this Spring? This manuscript is on display until 23 June 2013 in the Gruuthuse Museum!
Back to: Jan van Hulst