Let Us Help You Discover Bruges
There is enough history here to fascinate you for hours.
There are priceless works of art to wonder at and inspiring churches with stained glass the colour of jewels.
There is amazing architecture, doubly beautiful when reflected in the peaceful canals, draped with weeping willows and graced by snow white swans.
There are boat rides that glide along the canals, gently swishing the water against the banks.
There are views that are a photographer’s or artist’s delight.
There are pageants to see, medieval banquets to partake in and horses and carriages where you can ride like royalty.
There is sumptuous shopping in quaint streets –
There are cosy restaurants to indulge your taste buds, welcoming teashops with waffles and pancakes, friendly pubs with great atmosphere and great beers – lots of them!
There are cycle ways and traffic free walks, statues and fountains and pretty parks heavy with scent on a summer’s evening.
There is music to suit every ear –
This city manages to encompass so much within its ancient walls. It is known as the ‘Venice of the north’ because of the canals and bridges.
Bruges does not have ‘ancient walls’ that surround the city anymore. It now has a canal system that forms a ring around it. There are four remaining city gates (poorts) the Smedenpoort, Kruispoort, Gentpoort, Ezelpoort, which connect the inner city to the ‘outside world’.
These gates are quite amazing in terms of their architecture and one of them, the Gentpoort is now a museum as well.
The ring canals are ‘working’ canals where barges still carry cargo, to destinations across Europe A walk around the city ring is an absolute must. The windmills that line the Kruisvest are really quite impressive
The legend of the Bruges swans came about in the period after Mary of Burgundy’s death. Pieter Lanchals, a name which means ‘long neck’, who was one of the town administrators belonging to the court of Maximilian of Austria, was executed in the Bruges market square. Legend has it that Maximilian punished Bruges by obliging the population to keep ‘long necks’, or swans, on their lakes and canals till eternity. To this day, proud swans guard the Bruges canals.
The Procession of the Holy Blood is a large religious procession, dating back to the Middle Ages, which takes place each Ascension Day in Bruges, Belgium.
The centrepiece is the Blood of Christ, a coagulated relic said to become fluid again each year on this day. Sixty to one hundred thousand spectators watch the procession, a parade of historical scenes and biblical stories. Choirs, dance groups (e.g. dance theatre Aglaja), animals (ranging from geese to camels), horse-
drawn floats and small plays with many actors pass by within a couple of hours.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as of special cultural or physical significance. Bruges is an outstanding example of a medieval historic settlement, which has maintained its historic fabric as this has evolved over the centuries, and where original Gothic constructions form part of the town’s identity. As one of the commercial and cultural capitals of Europe, Bruges developed cultural links to different parts of the world. It is closely associated with the school of Flemish Primitive painting.
The Historic Centre of Bruges was declared a world Heritage site in the year 2000