The Devil's Pants – Bruges, Belgium - Atlas Obscura

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The Devil's Pants

A piece of stonework relief commemorates the site where the Devil's rage, and odd apparel, destroyed a house. 

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A few minutes walk off the northeast corner of the Bruges Grote Markt is #13 Cordoeaniersstraat, a facade popular with walking tours that explore the darker side of the city. 

As the story goes, a well-to-do gentleman described as a Spanish trader was said to have asked to be boarded at a house located at Cordoeaniersstraat 13 in Bruges. Donning fine clothes and being of impressive stature, this was granted. The stranger made a habit of leaving the premises every night, which raised some questions as to the nature of his activities. Another oddity was that, though the stranger displayed fine changes of clothing from day to day, he never changed his pants. 

One evening after the stranger had left for the night the daughters of the household, Wanne and Siska, entered the man’s room and discovered his one pair of pants (that for some reason he departed without), which had no opening in the front and a hole in the back. Bringing this to the attention of their father it was determined the guest was Satanic, the hole being for his Devil’s tail. Having no interest in hosting the Devil, the father cast the pants into the fireplace. At that moment the stranger reappeared in his true form and, enraged by being discovered, set the house aflame. 

Though the original facade is long gone, a stonework relief of the two girls discovering the pants commemorating the event is set into the exterior of the house that now occupies the same spot.

Know Before You Go

The site and the stonework can be reached and seen from the street just a few minutes walk north of the Bruges Belfort at Cordoeaniersstraat 13. The site is also a stop on Bruges after dark walking tours. It is a private building, visitors should expect to only see it from the outside.

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April 26, 2023

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