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Bruges: a wonderful medieval historic center

Gorgeous Bruges (Brugge) is one of the most beautiful historic cities in Belgium. This city, which was famous since the Middle Ages for the production of lace and fabrics, is located a short distance from the sea with which it is connected by canals.


Bruges originated from a Roman fortified center built in the time of Julius Caesar. Subsequently, in the Middle Ages, a renowned wool market arose and the city acquired more and more power thanks to trade with England and the Mediterranean. These trades were developed thanks to a canal that connected the city to the sea. At that time Bruges had become one of the main commercial centers of Europe, this contributed to significantly increase its population which reached 200,000 inhabitants.

In the 14th century (1309) what was probably the first financial stock exchange in the world was opened. Then, starting from the sixteenth century, due to the silting up of the canal that connected it to the sea, Bruges suffered a gradual decline, outclassed by the nearby city of Antwerp.


UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000, it retains a wonderful historic center with a medieval aspect. Often, due to the numerous canals that cross it, it is nicknamed the “Venice of the North”. The most famous building in Bruges is the Belfort, a medieval tower from the 13th century, which overlooks the city’s main square, the Markt, and which houses a carillon made up of 47 bells.

Another impressive building is the Church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk), a Gothic-style building topped by a 122-meter-high bell tower. Inside the church is Michelangelo’s famous statue of the Madonna of Bruges. The 14th-century Town Hall (Stadhuis) and the Cathedral of Saint Savior (Sint-Salvatorskathedraal) are two other prestigious buildings. In the city there are also interesting museums including the Groeningemuseum dedicated to Flemish painting.

When to go to Bruges.