Bruges Belgium is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. UNESCO designated it as a World Heritage Site for the preservation of its historic center.
It is also called the Venice of the North for its many canals that run through the city and serve as ways of exploration of this interesting city.
As we all know, Belgium is a bilingual Kingdom and Bruges is located on the Flemish part of the country.
Bruges Town Hall is a Masterpiece
When visiting Europe it is much recommended to visit Bruges. It can be reached by train, ferry or bus.
The capital of Belgium, Brussels with its important International Airport is the perfect place for arrival into the country, and then a short bus or train ride will take you into Bruges and its magic.
Once we attended a conference in Brussels and went twice, not once, to Bruges attracted by its enchantment.
Bruges Many Attractions
Bruges Belgium Town Hall
The site was first the 9th Century Castle of Baldwin I, count of Flanders. In the same place between 1376 and 1420 this Gothic Building was erected. This is a place no one should miss when visiting Bruges. The building has been decorated with paintings and murals depicting the long history of the city. It was restored and many pictures were added during the 19th Century.
The exterior of the building was decorated with replicas of statues of Flanders’ rulers and Knights. They are replicas installed as close as 1989, because the originals were destroyed in many battles since the French Revolution.
Historic Centre of Bruges
This city is a vivid example of Gothic Architecture and today the buildings are part of its identity. The center was build with non-motorized vehicles in mind and remains like that. Visitors can walk or ride a boat in the canals and visit the many attractions it offers.
It is located near the market place and it is circled by majestic medieval buildings hosting offices like the Tourist Office of Bruges, the Old Town Hall, the Bishop’s Palace and the Holy Blood Basilica.
Burg Square is a cozy Square in front of the Town hall
Brouwerij De Halve Maan
“The Half Moon Brewery”
Bruges in French or Brugge in Flemish has been a leader in breweries since the 16th Century when records show it run about 30 of them.
This particular one located in the city’s tourist center, near the Cathedral, is there since 1856 and has been kept running by six generations.
Today it is a restaurant and pub visited because its years of uninterrupted tradition.
Today’s’ owner renovated it and modernized the brewery installations launching a beer called “Brugse Zot” and more recently another beer was developed by the family called ‘Straffe Hendrik” and also brewed in De Halve Maan.
The Church of Our Lady
This is the tallest structure in Bruges with more than 120 meters in height, second only to St Martin’s Church in Landhust, Germany.
There are many statues and art treasures around the altar and choir space.
The most important of them being the statue of the “Madonna and Child” created by Michelangelo around 1504.
It left Italy bought by some Brugean merchants and donated to the church which is its present home.
Twice in recent history it was looted by French revolutionaries and later by Nazi Germans, but was always recovered.
The claim to fame of this museum is the Art Collection of Flemish Primitive paintings. The whole collection of art pieces depict the history of art since the times the area was part of the Netherlands continuing with a selection of neoclassical and modern art Flemish masterpieces.
The Church of Our Lady hosts the "Madonna and the Child"
The Jerusalem Church
The Adorni Family original from Genoa, Italy settled in the area in the15th century and built this church as a replica of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, Israel.
It has remained intact in the hands of the family descendents until today. It features an imitation tomb of Christ as well as the tombs of the Adorni Family members, being the highlight the mausoleum of Anselmus Adornes and his wife Margaretha. The church has magnificent Stained Glass Windows that just to see them, I recommend a visit.
Jerusalem Church replica of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre
This is an oasis of quiet and peace not far from the bustling town center. In Flemish “De Wijngaard” or in English “The Vineyard” is a group of houses around a garden of poplar trees. This place where the Beguines of Bruges used to live, became a monastery in 1937 and the Benedictine Sisters still occupy it.
Founded in 1245 it has a bridge over the canal providing entrance to the area where you’ll see houses origination as early as the 15th Century and many more build in subsequent years.
One of the Houses of the Beguinage
over Bruges Belgium
I left this one for last. This is a real one in a lifetime experience that is recommended to those that are adventurous at heart. I like the idea but I haven’t tried it. You may like it and do it…
Instead of explaining the idea, for more information click on the following link:
Image credits for Bruges Belgium:
town hall by wolfgand stoudt
burg square by benjamin rosen
church of our lady by wolfgang stoudt
jerusalem church by marc ryckaert
beguinage by ravage