Bruges

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Center Market and Burg
Minnewater and South
East Bruges

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Home Page > Travelogues > Belgium > Bruges (a.k.a. Brugge)

Chapters in this travelogue:  Center Market and Burg ] Minnewater and South ] East Bruges ]

Bruges -- Who Says Red Brick is Ugly? 

Bruges is one of the most fantastic, picturesque, and engaging places I've ever seen.  ColoA Canal in Brugesrful, well-maintained, perfectly clean, and huge, Bruges is more than just a 'miniature Venice' as some refer to it, it's a true major destination for those headed to the coastal regions of Benelux!  'Miniature Venice' is often applied because Bruges has lots of canals, but that's where the similarities end.  Bruges' architecture is quintessentially Belgian, loaded with red brick buildings, lots of colorful flags, gabled facades, and lots of spires.  I would consider it more a 'Miniature Amsterdam', but without the (in)famous Red Light District, and with a hell of a lot more chocolate being sold.  Bruges is also very clean and beautiful, with its brick buildings far better preserved than in other similar cities in Belgium.

The city played an important role in medieval history as a major northern European port and member of the old Hanseatic League that included Tallinn, Hamburg, and Bremen.  The League was a conglomeration of trading guilds that controlled the flow of merchandise.  Several of the guildhouses and other monuments to Bruges' affluence still exist.  Other monuments to her history include a massive belfry (the Belfort), a gorgeous white palace and town hall, and theProvincial Palace lovely Minnewater, the 'Lake of Love', in the south.

The modern draws, however, are the canals and several prominent market squares.  The two photographs on this page show just a sampling of the color, activity, and architecture available all over the city.  This travelogue has three chapters, laid out in the map at right.  The Center Market and Burg chapter (in red) shows the primary tourist draws, including the palace, Belfort, Simon Stevin Square, and some of the canals.  This is the busy center of town.  The chapter on Minnewater and South Bruges covers the less-traveled but still very attractive southern end, including the Minnewater, the Walplein, the old convent grounds known as the Beguinage, and the old city wall extending from the southeast to the Smeedenpoort in the west.  The final chapter on East Bruges covers the far less-traveled eastern end of Bruges, including the Bonne Chiere, some of the guildhouses, the old windwills, and other monuments.  You will note that the northern part of Bruges is not covered.  This part includes Bruges' main harbor, a zone that I did not have time to visit in 2002.

Chapters in this travelogue:  Center Market and Burg ] Minnewater and South ] East Bruges ]

Trip Taken 16-17 March 2002 -- Last Updated 01 September 2006 -- (C) 2002 Tom Galvin  

   
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