In the third chapter of Bruges-la-Morte, Hugues Viane spends a week stalking the streets of Brugge, looking in vain for the young woman who resembles his dead wife.
After a week, he finally catches sight of her again and follows her through some parts of the city that he normally avoided on his solitary walks, starting with the Grand’Place, known in Dutch as Markt and in English as the Market Square.
In the nineteenth century this square presumably did not have the proper quality of deadness that Hugues Viane needed to sustain his mood of perpetual grief. A few decades later he might have had better luck, because the square was used in typical twentieth-century fashion as a parking lot for cars. It wasn’t until 1995-96 that cars were banned from the square, which was then re-designed and returned to the people.
Today the Market Square is a very lively place with lots of people strolling, chatting, taking photos or riding around on bicycles.
Location of Markt on OpenStreetMap
Chapter Three: Belfort Tower
Not just seeing a McDonalds in the Grote Markt of Brugge, but actually eating at a McDonalds!
Who wold have guessed?
This might sound like a weird fondest memory, but imagine being an American who avoids eating a McDonalds at home. Imagine this American going all the way to Belgium, being in one of the most beautiful European cities in the world. Think of all the charming 'old world' eateries, offering a real European meal, to choose from and by passing them to eat at McDonalds! (It wasn't by my choice. My Belgian friends wanted to eat there.)
Now, imagine how rude that American would seem if she said, "Oh no. Not McDonalds!"
So, I kept quiet and went 'along with the flow.' The food was much the same as at home, we had a lot of laughs, my friends enjoyed their meal and I was still amazed that there was a McDonalds in the beautiful old town square of Brugge.
This large square is teeming with many restaurants, pubs/bars, hotels and of course shops selling all sorts of goodies.
We decided to have a great meal here at one of the many restaurants. Its also a great place to meet up with friends.
The Castle Square is located close to the Old chambers on the left and the city chambers on the right. As you can see in the picture, I took the picture from the Old chambers.
The façade of the city hall is adorned with a galery of heroes, counts and Dukes etc. These are the people who featured in the history of Bruges and Flanders.
The Castle Square Burg is situated next to market square and is the birth place of Burges. This was the former lmocation of the first count's Castle built to defend the Flemish coast against the invassions of the Norsemen.
In the centuries that followed, a metropolis evolved around the military centre.
Favorite thing: Brugge's main post office is located next to the Provincial Court in MARKT square. Here you can find stamps, wrapping paper, packing tubes, postcards, and a variety of birthday cards in Flemish. Padded envelopes of all shapes and sizes are also available for shipping home boxes of chocolate or lace.
The central location of the Market square indicates that this was the medieval heart of the city. And thus the perfect place to start a visit to the city.
The main monument is of course the Belfry Tower. On the Northern side of the square is the Provincial Court. In the middle of the square is the statue of Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck. The other sides of the market are occupied by restaurants and shops.
From the square you enter this street and enter the next square where you can find the belfort tower.
At this square you find the city tour bus that take you to the most beautiful spots in Brugge.
Because there was a lot of rain we decide to take the city tour bus but be careful it cost you a lot of money 11,50. The tour takes about 45 minutes.
You can also take a tour in one of the coaches you also can find on the square, I believe this tour cost you 25,00 euro.
Sorry don't know how long this tour takes.
As in most cities, the market square is the heart of the city. And of course Brugge makes no exception. On the square you'll find several great buildings like the Belfry and the Provincial Court. And in the winter time you can even go ice skating here. Or have some fries from the chip shop.
Fondest memory: The great thing about this part is that it is free of traffic.
Bruges is a city with two town squares.
The largest one is the Market, the commercial heart of medieval Bruges.
The second square is called the 'Burg'.
Here was, and still is, the heart of the administrative Bruges
Explore it, wander the streets, follow the canals, seek out all the old city gates, sit outside cafes, sample Belgian beer - but don't rush the place.
Fondest memory: The complete and utter charm of the place, 'chocolate box' views around every corner (and chocolate shops on every corner).
Walk around on the Marketsquare and gaze at the old buildings. Take some time to look at the details in the magnificent 'Lakenhal', 'Belfort' and 'Cityhall'. The show so strongly the raising power of the people, while the power of church was slowly decreasing. What would happen only centuries later in the rest of Europe, started out here because of trade. In Italy science took that role. Both in their different ways let to the Renaissance.
Fondest memory: Laying in the grass in the colourful Astridpark, watching the clouds drift by.
Favorite thing: I only place pictures of Brugge so you have some idea of what you might see. This is also on the town square or market place
Favorite thing: Around Chrismas time the main square has an ice rink - a few laps may break up the sight seeing for the kids (and parents).
Market Day in Brugge. Wednesday 8am - 1pm in Market Square.
Fish Market: Tuesday - Saturday: 8am - 1pm.