Fondly referred to as ‘the Venice of the north’, Bruges certainly merits the comparison. Its canals weave serenely through the medieval city which has a myriad of picturesque churches, towers and squares. At the centre of the city is the famous Grote Markt, an old fashioned square flanked by feudal buildings and bustling with locals and tourists alike. Grote Markt is towered over by the Belfry, a 13th century 83 metre high clock tower which can be ascended to reveal a lovely view of the market and the city below. The Basilica of the Holy Blood is found on the Berg square, a beautiful gothic church which houses what is said to a vail of Jesus blood. The Groeninge Museum has a fantastic array of paintings by Bruges painters, while the Brewery De Halve Maan offers visitors the chance to see how Belgium produces some of the best loved beer in the world. Belgium’s other famous export, chocolate, is also given a similar treatment by the Choco-Story Museum. This similarly reveals the process in which it is produced, with equally tasty samples on offer!
Where is it?
Bruges is located in the north west of Belgium, in the Flemish province of West Flanders.
What is it?
The city was an important port city from the 12th to the 15th century, which gave it the wealth to become such a well-developed medieval city, as well as retaining its attractive image.
Best time to visit?
Visit in April, as this is when many of Bruges best attractions reopen after their winter closure. This also coincides with the blossoming trees which come back to life as spring takes hold.
The Church of Our Lady, which dates from the 13th century, is a perfect example of a medieval gothic church. Its tower, at 122.3 meters in height, is the second tallest brickwork tower in the world.