If there was a list of the most beautiful cities in Belgium, Bruges would, without a doubt, win the first place. “Venice of the north”, as it is also called because of the numerous canals which surround it, is considered a real gem of this part of Europe. If you are arriving by train, immediately after leaving the railway station you will see that this is the city with a unique history. After a 10 minute leisure stroll through the cobbled alleys you’ll find yourself in the main square – Grote Markt, which was once a shopping mall.
The symbol of Bruges – Belfort, a bell tower from the 13th century which still has 47 bells, dominates the medieval architecture of the square on one side, while on the opposite side is Provinciaal Hof op de Markt. Another important square, which had previously been a center of administration, is Burg. There is also a city hall which makes the historical center with the surrounding Gothic and Renaissance buildings and the main square. In the vicinity you have the opportunity to ride the beautiful canals, and experience the city from a completely different perspective (bridges, parks, city towers, monasteries), or if you are a romantic soul, you can explore it in one of the charming carriages.
During the tour of medieval churches you will come to realize that in the Basilica of the Holy Blood – Heilig-Bloedbasiliek, is a relic which was brought here after the Second Crusade and, according to legend, it contains a few drops of Christ’s blood. In the Church of Our Lady, Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk, there is a sculpture Madonna and Child, which is believed to be the only Michelangelo’s sculpture that left Italy during his lifetime. Also interesting is the belfry of the church, which is the second tallest tower in the world built of bricks.
While walking through the city drop in a cafe and try one of the excellent local trapist cheeses, or have a lunch in a restaurant, where, besides a relaxed atmosphere and the pleasure of national cuisine, you will gaze upon the much acclaimed canals. If you notice there is lace on almost every table, do not be surprised, it’s the main souvenir. After seeing Bruges once, many visitors want to return. You can always do this, especially the younger ones, and not only as a tourist but as a student at the College of Europe, one of the most prestigious faculties of political science in the world, because the mixture of knowledge and beauty in life is always a winning combination.
The prices in Bruges are high because the Belgium is one of the most expensive (cost of living) country in the World.
Picture by: Lies Thru a Lens