Brugge canals and more!!!

The small country of Belgium hit me since first visiting in 1991, and with family close to the border France-Belgium it was an easy trip to the country. It’s a lot more than fries ,mussels and beers althought I can go there just for that lol! Let me update this older post for you and me, and hope you enjoy it as I.

I like to tell you a bit more on the town of Brugge,  places to see etc. I love history so will like to remind you a bit more on the city this time.

Brugge is in the Flemish region of Belgium, principal city of the province of West Flandre. It has been call by many the Venice of the north, but you know how that goes…Brugge is mentioned from the 9C as a stronghold of the Count of Flandre and by 1134 a huge wave open up breach to the sea call the Zwin, giving access to the sea and the developement of several canals, now making the city famous. This quasi natural breach of sea eventually by the 20C allows for the huge port of Bruges-Zeebruges. Now link with Bruges since 1907 by the Canal Baudouin,of 12 km long.

I have come to Brugge only by car, and the roads are good , easy on the park and relays parkings or in the hotels. The main roads here at the French border; A17/E403, links Courtrai to Tournai;the national roads such as the N31/E403,links to the port of Zeebruges. We went from Versailles to my dear Martine to her brother’s house in Caudry (see post) and from there took the D630 to connect with the A2 then by Valenciennes got on the A23 and afterward you are on the D169A direction Saint Amand-les-Eaux , once crossing to Belgium; you will be on the Belgian N507 to continues on the N52 to exit 31 Antoing to connect with the A16   and get on exit 32 direction Brussels ,you will be then on the E403 A17 passing Dottignies direction Brugge where you will end up on the N31 still direction Brugge to the beltway Buten Begijnenvest ,follow this to exit 4 Katelijnepoort, and it goes right into city center/Downtown, we parked at our hotel Novotel for free! Other than that you can use the parking relays such as Centrum-Station (railway station) and Centrum-’t Zand. Both are situated within walking distance of the Markt square, but you can also use the bus transfer with ‘De Lijn’ between the parking Centrum-Station and the city centre (included in your parking fee for 4 passengers). One in hotel we just walked all over and came out the same way!

A bit of history I like on Brugge:

On May 18 1302, during the festival of the Bruggian mornings the population revolts against the king of France Philippe le Bel and killed the supporters of the king, then take side with the Count of Flandre Gui de Dampierre and oldest son Robert prisonner of the king of France since 1300. Two months later the town takes part in the Flemish victory in the battle of the golden spurs or bataille des éperons d’or, against the king of France.  In the 15C Brugge is under the control of the dukes of Burgundy, by 1436 the militia of locals and Gantons returning from the sieges of Picardie in France, demand the independance of Brugge in the maritime port of L’Écluse. By May 1437 the locals revolt again against Duke Philippe III of Burgundy in a bloody revolt. The town of Brugge passed under Spanish domination and by the succession of the lower countries in 1584 the town reach its lowest point ; by 1600, Brugge is only a small provincial town. By WWI , Brugge was occupied by the Germans,but the city suffered virtually no damage and was liberated on 19 October 1918 by the allies. From 1940 in WWII, the city was occupied by the Nazis and again spared destruction. On 12 September 1944 it was liberated by Canadian troops.

Some things to see I like are:

The Markt Place;(Grand Place)   with its palais provincial and Beffroi  the city hall (stadhuis) from 1376 on the place du Bourg wonderful architecture and history here!

brugge-main-plaza-aug09

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Monastery of the vineyard (béguinage de Bruges) founded by Marguerite of Constantinople, also countess of Flandre in 1245. The Benedictines were here since 1927. There is possible to visit a house of beguine, but we didn’t have time to do the house. Hospital of Saint-John of Bruges (Sint-Jans-Hospitaal) , an old hospital of the 12C located in the street Mariastraat, it is now of museums dedicated to the works of Hans Memling, including the famous shrine of Sainte Ursula, and the mythical marriage of Sainte Catherine. In the sick room there is showing the sick in a reconstitution and objects of arts and medicine showing the hospital life of the times.

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The palace of the dukes of Burgundy, and the Maison-Dieu from the 14C.  Cathedral of Saint Salvador (Sint-Salvatorskathedraal);  Notre-Dame de la Poterie Church (Onze-Lieve-Vrouw ter Potterie) it was a hospital since the 13C and now a museum on its history. And the Jerusalem Church built in early 15C by descendants of Opice Adornes, a genovese shopper and one of the rare Churches in Belgium still in private hands run by the ASBL Adornes. And not to missed the procession of the HOly Blood dating from the middle ages that is held every year on Ascension day. old abbey of Dunes , the monks of this abbey in the 17C came here and today there is a seminary on the quay de poteries with an undone façade. Basilica of the Holy Blood (Basiliek van het Heilig Bloed), (see post) a pilgrimage place from a long time, explain the procession of the Holy Blood. 

brugge-its-canals-and-the-loge-des-bourgeois-aug09

Brugge has numerous museums and have been to a few; some of the ones I like are the Belfort or bell tower at a height of 83 meters and a structure of 47 bells.  Also, the gate of Gentpoort one of the four gates of the medieval town; the windmill of Koelewei from 1765 now near the gate of Damme since 1996; museum of arts and popular traditions housed in 8 maison dieu of the 17C; Museum Groeninge; Flemish paintings from the 15C to our days; Palace of the franks de Bruges (Paleis van het Brugse Vrije) there were a council managing the region around the town and now houses the archives and in the renaissance room there is a monumental chimney of the 16C. And the Gruuthusemuseum is a museum of applied arts in Bruges, located in the medieval Gruuthuse, the house of Louis de Gruuthuse. The collection ranges from the 15-19C. Even the tourist office has a nice building here! Not the least the Civil Courthouse!

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The Brugge tourist office: https://www.visitbruges.be/discover

A good private webpage on tourist info of Brugge: https://www.brugestourisme.com/

There now you go folks, the city of Brugge (Bruges in Fr) is awesome, a must to visit me think. Enjoy the north, the Venice of the North. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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2 Comments to “Brugge canals and more!!!”

  1. Bruges has to be one of the prettiest cities I have ever seen. But boy oh boy those crowds. Definitely better to try and see the place in the off season. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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