Bruges, Belgium

Bruges

Bruges, Belgium Bruges, Belgium

“Venice of the North” – this is the name Bruges in Belgium is known among few other canal-based Northern cities. Bruges is an outstanding example of a medieval historic settlement where original Gothic constructions form part of the town’s identity. Because of that Bruges is listed in UNESCO World Heritage site.
 
The Historic Town of Bruges is testimony of a considerable exchange of influences on the development of architecture, particularly in brick Gothic style, as well as favouring innovative artistic influences. It is an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble, illustrating significant stages in the commercial and cultural fields in medieval Europe, of which the public, social and religious institutions are a living evidence. In no other European city are the feel and the look of medieval times so well presented as in Bruges. The name Bruges(Brugge) comes from the old-Scandinavian word “Brygga”, which means “harbour or mooring place”.

Bruges, Belgium

The settlement was founded in 9th century by the Vikings who settled here at the end of the little river “de Reie”. Because of its closeness to the North Sea, the village became an important international harbour.

A sea-arm, called Zwin, connected Bruges with the North Sea. Later Zwin started to silt up. This would have caused major problems for the city, if Bruges had not adapted itself to this situation by setting up ports in Damme and in Sluis. In 13th century Bruges had become an important international trading centre. Traders from all over Europe visited the city to sell their products.

The decline of Bruges’ wealth started in 15th century with the unstoppable silting up of Zwin, the competition with the bigger harbour of Antwerp and the crisis in the cloth industry which lead to diminishing commercial activities.

20th century brought new life and the city was rediscovered for international tourism and the medieval heritage became new source of wealth.

The entrance to the beautiful city is Minnewater and its lovely park. The Minnewater is a canalized lake. From the bridge, built in 1740 one can already enjoy a nice panoramic view over the town. Because of the idyllic surroundings it is mostly referred to as “Lake of Love’” - the Dutch word “Minne” means “love”.
Bruges, Belgium
A Swan in Bruges, Belgium One of the symbols of Bruges is the swan. There are always plenty of swans on the “Minnewater”. There is an interesting legend about the swans of Bruges. In 1488 the people of Bruges had executed one of the town administrators belonging to the court of Maximilian of Austria, husband and successor of duchess Mary of Burgundy. The town administrator was called “Pieter Lanchals”, a name which means
“long neck”. The Lanchals family coat of arms featured a white swan.

The legend says that Maximilian punished Bruges by obliging the population to keep swans on their lakes and canals since then.

The Market square was the medieval heart of the city. The Provincial court is the best example of how Bruges was renovated in Neo-Gothic style during the second half of 19th century. The Market square is attractive with the Flemish facades, many restaurants and cafes. All the facades were completely refurbished and now the square is one of the most popular parts of the city. There are small inside courtyards with small hotels and restaurants.

Bruges Marketplace, Belgium Bruges Marketplace, Belgium
Famouse Belgium Chocolate in Bruges Belgium Lace in Bruges

Once you see Bruges, you will definitely fall in love with it. Don’t forget to taste the famous Belgium chocolate. ...and buy some nice handmade Belgium lace.
Enjoy!

Find the full article here

 

Official Website

 

Map of Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

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