Theme Week Belgium – Bruges, Venice of the North

Thursday, 8 September 2011 - 02:57 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Architecture, European Union, General, European Capital of Culture, UNESCO World Heritage

Rozenhoedkaai Canal © Jean-Christophe BENOIST

Rozenhoedkaai Canal © Jean-Christophe BENOIST

Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is located in the northwest of the country. The historic city centre is a prominent World Heritage Site of UNESCO. It is oval-shaped and about 430 hectares in size. The area of the whole city amounts to more than 13,840 hectares, including 1,075 hectares off the coast, at Zeebrugge (meaning “Brugge aan Zee” or “Bruges on Sea”). The city’s total population is 117,000, of which around 20,000 live in the historic centre. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 616 km² and has a total of 256,000 inhabitants. Along with a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam, it is sometimes referred to as “The Venice of the North”. Bruges has a significant economic importance thanks to its port. At one time, it was the “chief commercial city” of the world.

Bruges has most of its medieval architecture intact. The historic centre of Bruges has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Many of its medieval buildings are notable, including the Church of Our Lady, whose brick spire reaches 122.3 m (401.25 ft), making it one of the world’s highest brick towers/buildings. The sculpture Madonna and Child, which can be seen in the transept, is believed to be Michelangelo’s only sculpture to have left Italy within his lifetime.

View from the belfry © Donarreiskoffer Town Hall © Olavfin The Groenerei canal © Jean-Christophe BENOIST Spiegelrei © Richardfabi Spiegelrei and Langerei © Cavalier JY Rozenhoedkaai © Cavalier JY Market Square © Redlands597198 Kruis Gate © Wolfgang Staudt Inside of the Beguinage © Cavalier JY Gruuthuuse Museum © Wolfgang Staudt Groenerei and Rozenhoedkaai © Cavalier JY Grand Place © Willy Horsch Church of Saint Salvator © Gaeddal Belfry on the Market Square © Graham Richter Rozenhoedkaai Canal © Jean-Christophe BENOIST
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The Groenerei canal © Jean-Christophe BENOIST
Bruges’ most famous landmark is its 13th-century belfry, housing a municipal carillon comprising 48 bells. The city still employs a full-time carillonneur, who gives free concerts on a regular basis. Bruges also has a very fine collection of medieval and early modern art, including the world-famous collection of Flemish Primitives. Various masters, such as Hans Memling and Jan van Eyck, lived and worked in Bruges.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on City of Bruges and Wikipedia Bruges. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organisations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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