For most visitors the Minnewater and its lovely park are the entrance to the beautiful city of Bruges. The Minnewater is a canalized lake. From the bridge (1740) one can already enjoy a nice panoramic view over the town. Because of the idyllic surroundings it is mostly referred to as 'the lake of Love', the Dutch word 'Minne' meaning 'love'.
Actually, the origins of the lake are less romantic. It was here that the coastal river 'Reie' entered the city. The river was later canalized and made to continue until the center of town. It is not sure where the name 'Minnewater' comes from. An explanation could be 'water van het gemeen', which could be translated as the 'common water'. The lake was used as a water reservoir, to keep the water of the canals at a constant level. Next to the lake is the Minnewater park, where sometimes in the summertime (rock) concerts are organized.
One of the symbols of Bruges is the swan.
The Jerusalem church is privately owned, and is associated with the lace museum. Quite an unusual architecture, but the most interesting thing is that the bodies here, the original builders and the current owners, are all the Adornes family, those who operated the hotel we stayed at (and liked a lot).
This magnificent tree in Queen Astrid Park looks like it hasn't been planted in the park, but rather that the park has been planted around it. I'm not sure of course, it's just my thought.
You find this statue in the Koningin Astrid Park, when leaving the car in the underground parking Pandreitje.
We had a nice relaxing time in Brugge. We even found time to check out the Botanical Gardens & rest on the grass.