bruges

BRUGES

Hey! This time we will travel to Bruges, a very chic town in Belgium. Inside the old city walls, there are only 20,000 inhabitants, and another 100.000 outside. This means that in a crowded day

Hey! This time we will travel to Bruges, a very chic town in Belgium. Inside the old city walls, there are only 20,000 inhabitants, and another 100.000 outside. This means that in a crowded day there are more tourists than locals! Chocolate, waffles, beer and fries, you’ll find them all in Bruges, one of the most beautiful cities in Belgium!

 

5 minutes of history:

1277 – the first commercial fleet in Genova (Italy) arrives, making the port of Bruges the most important link with the Mediterranean Sea.

1292 – the first mention of the Bruges Stock Exchange, one of the most sophisticated early capitalist businesses in Western Europe.

1302 – Big fight with France. The population has joined forces with the Count of Flanders against the French, culminating in victory at the Battle of the Golden Spurs. There is the night carnage of the French garrisons in Bruges, where a whole French soldier regiment was killed in sleep.

+/- 1400 – Philip the Good, the Duke of Burgundy, set up the Bruges court as well as Brussels and Lille, attracting a number of artists, bankers and other prominent personalities from across Europe.

1489 – Hans Memling painted the altar of St. Ursula. So far, Flemish painters have set the standard for European painters with their impressive realism.

+/- 1500 – More political issues, as well as too much sand between the sea and the port, made Bruges a poor city, and its importance has fallen rapidly.

1600 – and 1700 and 1800: Bruges remains a sleepy city.

1892 – The book “Bruges to Morte” descrews the city as a bad, poor and dark place. Locals are not too happy about it, but tourists see a romantic side in the story and start to visit the city more and more.

2002 – Bruges is the cultural capital of Europe.

 

Although it is a small town, you will have many places to visit. Come and visit the city’s most important attractions, then stop at the most famous venues for tasting the best chocolate or eating the most appetizing french fries.

Priests school

Grootseminarie is a school for priests. 50 years ago there were more than 50 student priests registered per year, but in 2015 only three started, which is ironic given the size of the school. The monastery was built of stones taken from two other monasteries, and it is provided with a beautiful garden. However, the building is not officially open to the public.

The tourists’ trap of 1870

In 1870, the city council decided to follow the medieval renaissance, very popular in those times. Louis Delacenserie was hired as the new architect of the city. He renovated the original medieval buildings, and filled the city gaps with new neo-Gothic buildings. They look very old, but they are not! The School for Teachers (Rijksnormaalschool) is a combination of styles. Louis included the original medieval tower in the design of this building. Will you be fooled by this style?

The Secret Garden

On a beautiful street in Bruges, a house has been abandoned. The roof of it slowly rotted until it collapsed. Several neighbors decided to bring this place to life. So they created a beautiful garden, planted flowers and spices, bringing the beauty to a dead place. The building can be dropped anytime, so you’ll take the risk if you come in. See here!

Belfry

The belfry in Bruges, or Belfort, is one of the most prominent symbols of the city. In the Middle Ages, the bell was higher than now. At the top there was a wooden structure that was destroyed after a fire in 1280. Climb the tower! There are 366 steps to the top, but the view is absolutely impressive from the top! When you get down, look at the ceiling. You will find a poem about Buges written in 5 different languages. Many locals have not even figured out!

Timetable:

  • Monday-Sunday: 09: 30-18: 00

Special Program:

  • May 30: (09:30 – 13:00)
  • December 24: (09:30 – 16:00)
  • December 31st: (09:30 – 16:00)

Closed:

  • December 25th
  • 1st January

Tickets:

adults: 12 €

More info here!

 

Kiss the frog

I have to admit that this was my favorite part of Bruges. It’s a centuries-old tradition: every tourist must kiss the frog! Once the frog is kissed 100,000 times, it will be transformed into the most beautiful prince/princess in the world who will carry your baggage for the rest of your life. So start looking for the frog.

The traitor’s skull

Today, there is nothing left of the former medieval fortification, except for the four gates of the city. At Smedenpoort, you can see how the defense walls were made in the Middle Ages: two canals and two sand walls that effectively guarded the city from enemy attacks. You can see the fireplace, which heated the guards in the long and cold winters. The city was impossible to conquer from the outside, and yet someone inside opened the gate of the enemy. The plot was discovered, and the traitor beheaded. His skull was exposed on the gate as a warning to the people. It disappeared during the French Revolution and was rediscovered in 1876. The remains of the original skull are found in the Bruges Archaeological Museum(find out more about this museum here). A bronze replica now hangs on Smedenpoort, and keeps the memory of betrayal.

Do you love chocolate?

Visit the chocolate museum and create the sweetest stories! The youngsters will be delighted to embark on a fun chocolate search game!

Timetable:

  • Monday to Sunday: 10:00 to 17:00

Ticket:

  • adults: 9.50 €
  • children 5-11 years 5.50 €
  • children <5 years: free entrance
  • seniors 65+: € 7.50
  • students: 7,50 €

BEER tour

Visit the most important brewery in the city. Since 1856, De Halve Maan, offers the world quality beer after an authentic recipe. If you are interested in the brewing process and want to find out more, this tour is ideal for you. Find more information here.

Also do not miss the beer museum! Find here all the information you need!

 

Red light district

Stoofstraat, it was in 1453, the place where the rich gathered to bathe. You can say that the communal bathrooms were red light district, because here the rich had fun with the women. The church did not agree with the erotic activity here, so they closed the baths.

Church of Our Lady

The church’s brick tower reaches 122 meters and it took two centuries to finish the church. Here you will find the famous Michelangelo sculpture depicting the Virgin Mary with the baby. The statue was created in Italy and exported to Belgium in 1504.

Gruuthuse Museum

The Gruuthuse House and Museum is behind the Virgin Mary’s Church. This mansion belonged to one of the richest families of the medieval city. It has now been transformed into an impressive museum. July 1, 2014, the museum was closed to a thorough restoration. The reopening is scheduled for May 2019. Find out more here and discover the news!

The medieval gate

The Gate of Ghent is one of the four medieval gates of the remaining city. The gate was a defense of the city, and it was a passage for the movement of goods and merchandise. Above the gate you will find the statue of St. Adrian, which was believed to protect the city in times of plague.

Time schedule:

  • Tuesday-Sunday: 09:30 – 12:30 / 13:30 – 17:00

Closed:

  • December 25th
  • 1st January

Ticket:

  • Adults: 4 €

More information here.

 

Magdalena-Kerk

Although outside it looks like an ordinary church, you will find various activities inside. Theater plays, concerts, exhibitions make this interesting place to visit even if you are not a religious person.

False windows

On St Annarei Street you will find houses without windows or even painted windows. In the 19th century tax was paid on the number of windows that the house had. People found creative solutions to get rid of this tax, and just before the taxmen came by, they bricked the windows. Creative, is not it?

Folk Life Museum

Travel in time and find out what a typical inhabitant of Bruges looks like 100 years ago! A classroom, a dining room, a pharmacy, a confectioner’s shop, a grocery store and an authentic bedroom interior await you at the Volkskundemuseum to experience them! the last floor you will find the interactive exhibition “Children of the Past, Seniors of Today”. Nostalgia will embrace you and you will definitely remember your childhood! Now it is your children’s turn to see childhood through your eyes! Tell your little children your memories!

Timetable:
  • Tuesday-Sunday: 09:30 to 17:00
  • Monday: closedTickets:
  • Adults: 6,00
    More information here.

 

Saint John’s Hospital

It has a history of 800 years, in which nuns and monks helped pilgrims, travelers, poor and sick. Discover a series of medical instruments. the documents in the archive, a series of paintings by Hans Memling and the pharmacy.

Timetable:

Monday: closed

Tuesday-Sunday: 09:30 to 17:00

Tickets:

Adults: 12,00 €

Kantcentrum

In the old lace school of the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, you will find the lace museum. Discover the story of the lace, Demonstrations and various courses are organized in the museum in the lace workshop on the second floor.

Timetable:

  • Monday-Saturday: 09:30 – 17:00
  • Sunday: closed

Tickets:

  • Adult: 6,00 €

Combined Ticket: Lace Center / Museum of Folk Life: 10.00 €

More info here!

Diamantmuseum

Did you know that the diamond cutting technique was applied for the first time in Bruges almost 550 years ago? Discover other fascinating stories about diamonds and discover the technique of cutting diamonds in the representations that are held in the museum.

Timetable:

  • Monday to Sunday: 10:30 to 17:30

Tickets:

  • adults 9.50 €
  • seniors 65+: 8,50 €
  • children <5 years: free entrance
  • students: 8,50 €

More info you will find here!

 

French fries Museum

In order to finish our journey perfectly, we will stop at the Cracked Potato Museum! The museum is housed in Saaihalle, one of the most attractive buildings in Bruges, and tells the story of fries, the best sauces and dressings.

Timetable:

  • Monday to Sunday: 10:00 to 17:00

Tickets:

  • Adults: € 7.00 (show the entrance ticket and enjoy a € 0.40 discount on a serving of fries)

Combined Ticket: Choco-Story / Belgian Potato Museum:

  • adults: 14.50 €
  • 65+ students: 11,50 EUR;
  • children 6 to 11 years: EUR 8,50;
  • children <6 years: free entrance

Here‘s more information.

 

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