The gingerbread/candy-looking houses are unique in the world. The city is like from a fairy tale.
The canals - like a mini-Venice.
Very good athmosphere.
Fondest memory: The athmosphere, the nice people, the Belgian HUGE variety of different (good) beers, the town that is so beautiful that it made me feel like I was in the middle of a fairy tale. The colouring and shapes of the old houses. The size of the city (not too big).
Favorite thing: Can you imagine what it must have been like for the traders in earlier times to have built such a palace? You can stop for a snack or a beer in the building just opposite -- just steps from the Our Lady/Onze Leve Vrou church
Favorite thing: Wandering around the city I came across this old, abandoned house. From the outside it looked like it used to be a warehouse or factory. Curious me tried to look inside by opening one of the windows. What I saw inside looked like stables I could visualize horses inside the building, but what I could really see were lots of spider webs and dust. As I am always terrified of insects I rushed back to the street hoping that nothing is gonna jump on me out of this spooky house. I knew the Brugge authorities make all the efforts to keep the city’s old look, what I didn’t know that it can be THAT old ;-)
Only four out of nine fortified city gates have survived. This one has the funniest name Ezelpoort, which means Donkey Gate. Originally it was built at the 14th century, but it also had to be rebuilt several times.
It is located away from the city center, well it’s a city gate after all, so you’ll have to walk a bit. The area is very nice, right by the Donkey Gate there is a nice little park with enormous amounts of swans and ducks.
After having a cup of fries in the Market Square, quickly leave the square .. you will have time later to come back to the Belfry. Now, take you time and wonder as many streets as posible. If you can find one ugly street in this city I'll eat it :)
One after another, houses are just great to look at. This one I could not believe my eyes. How can someone live in such a beautiful house? :) Just brilliant imho..Happy family.
Favorite thing: If you love Brugge's architecture and medieval atmosphere, I suggest you also visit Ghent. Just as pretty, but hardly any tourists, and the locals are extemely friendly. The restaurants also have much better food. Check out my Ghent page for a hotel recommendation as well. I loved Ghent, and only marginally liked Brugge.
Bruges is old building after old building. So if you are not into that don't visit.
But if you like it, it is an absolut must to visit Bruges. Take your camera and enjoy. Don't always look through your lens though. Or you can bump your head as doorposts can be very low. (see Tom in the picture)
Brugge is loved by American people because it's such an old city. Lots of 14-15-16-17th century buildings. So just take a stroll through the city and feel past times catch up with you.
Fondest memory: Check out www.brugge.be for tourist information.
Okay so here's a little test. So you think you know alot about Brugge then?
Take a look at the picture and let me know where it is in Brugge................
I look forward to your emails and the first person with the correct answer gets a pat on the back...! (haha)
Het Prinsenhof is a building that has almost completely disappeared and got replaced by cloister buildings. At the city map of Marcus Gerards, dating 1562, you still can see how it looked like in that time.
Now a neogotic succeeder replaces the buildings.
Here, at this location, the Burgundian noblesse, leaded an outrageous life with huge banquets and parties, especially the wedding of Margareta of York.
Maria of Burgundy died here and famous humanists like Erasmus and Thomas Moore stayed here.
At this moment it is renovated again and if I am not mistaken it will be a quite expensive (that is it already) hotel.
During the Renaissance period, Bruges remained wealthy. This wealth and richdom manifested in the "new" front architecture. Geometric parts in brickstone causing a game of light and shadow are the elements of this Bruges' Renaissance architecture.
The houses on this picture are a nice example of it.
I took this picture at the Jan van Eyckplein.
Just at the other side of the Poortersloge you'll find the Grooten Tol.
During the Middle Ages, tax needed to be paid on all goods that were brought in from the ships in the harbour. In front of it was the public city Weight (stadswaag) and the crane with which the goods were unloaded before weighted and transported to the nearby market(s).
The gotic front dates from 1470.
The small part at the left that is sticking out is the guilt house of the people unloading the ships.
Above the entrance you will notice the wheapon shield of the Lords of Luxembourg, the Knights of the Gulden Vlies.
Nowadays the city library of Bruges is located in these buildings
The Poortersloge was a very important institution in Medieval Bruge and that's why it is a real pearl of Gothic architecture. It is so beautiful you could mistake it for a town hall. It is here that the poorters (the one who collected the taxes from the port that was here at that time of the history) and the commerciants met up with each other. It dates from the 14th century!
From 1716 til 1896 the Academy of fine art housed here.
Around 1900 it got restaurated by the architect De la Censerie. This is the same person who co-operated in building the Central Station in Antwerp and who restaurated the Brugse Vrije around the same period. That last one is again restaurated along the De la Censerie method in 2002 and won an award for it.
The Poortersloge is situated near the Van Eyck plein at the old harbour of Bruges
Favorite thing: It is located next to Town Hall Square and it provides best information about what is going on in the city. You can find out straight away where are the best prices to have a canal tour or about the museum tickets. Where are interesting events and where you can have loads of fun :)
Favorite thing: At day light the city rays romantism but when the sun has settled and most of the day tourist are seated in their bus and heading home... you still can enjoy the quietness and fairy atmosphere of the city by light.