Brugge is one of the most impressive, picturesque towns I have ever seen. Earlier this month, I was fortunate to have spent two days in this beautiful, largely intact, medieval city located in Western Flanders in Belgium.
Brugge (Bruges in French) used to be an important port from the 13th to 17th centuries but declined in importance as the estuary silted up. While this was unfortunate for the citizens of Brugge, it’s not so anymore. As a result of it’s decline, the city was ignored for hundreds of years and thus, homes and other building were not renovated for the tastes of the day. Today, It’s a largely intact example of of a medieval city with winding streets, churches and homes, etc.
One of the highlights of visiting Brugge was simply walking along the streets, admiring the architecture and getting lost. The old city is surrounded by a wide canal and there are waterways within the city. In its heyday, merchants loaded goods in the city to be shipped around the world.
I visited a tranquil Begijnhof, an enclosed community of homes for religious women who lost their husbands in a war, etc. These women lived in such communities throughout Belgium and the Netherlands. Unlike nuns, they did not have to renounce their wealth.
The main square of Brugge was quite impressive. The square is replete with restored administrative buildings and homes – many guilded. Brugge was a wealthy and powerful city and the government made sure everyone knew that. I had lunch in a restaurant on the square where I enjoyed a heart bowl of fish soup and a bottle of Leffe Brune beer before continuing my exploration of the city.
Brugge is now very popular with tourists and it’s certainly worth spending a few days to absorb the splendor of this city. I’ll return as I’d like to see more of the city.
Feel free to contact me if you would like more information on Brugge or you are interested in helping me plan and book your trip to this city.
For more photos of Brugge,click here.