Bruges

Bruges

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Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province
Provinces of Belgium
Belgium is divided into three regions, two of them are subdivided into five provinces each.The division into provinces is fixed by Article 5 of the Belgian Constitution...

 of West Flanders in the Flemish Region
Flemish Region
The Flemish Region is one of the three official regions of the Kingdom of Belgium—alongside the Walloon Region and the Brussels-Capital Region. Colloquially, it is usually simply referred to as Flanders, of which it is the institutional iteration within the context of the Belgian political system...

 of Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

. It is located in the northwest of the country.

The historic city centre is a prominent World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 of UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

. 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
Zeebrugge
Zeebrugge is a village on the coast of Belgium and a subdivision of Bruges, for which it is the modern port. Zeebrugge serves as both the international port of Bruges-Zeebrugge and a seafront resort with hotels, cafés, a marina and a beach.-Location:...

 (meaning "Brugge aan Zee" or "Bruges on Sea"). The city's total population is 117,073 (1 January 2008), of which around 20,000 live in the historic centre. The metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 616 km² and has a total of 255,844 inhabitants as of 1 January 2008.

Along with a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

, it is sometimes referred to as "The Venice of the North
Venice of the North
The term Venice of the North refers to various cities in northern Europe that contain canals, comparing them to Venice, Italy, which is renowned for its canals .* Saint Petersburg* Amsterdam* Bruges* Stockholm* Copenhagen* Hamburg...

".

Bruges has a significant economic importance thanks to its port. At one time, it was the "chief commercial city" of the world.

Origins


Very few traces of human activity in Bruges date from the Pre-Roman Gaul
Gaul
Gaul was a region of Western Europe during the Iron Age and Roman era, encompassing present day France, Luxembourg and Belgium, most of Switzerland, the western part of Northern Italy, as well as the parts of the Netherlands and Germany on the left bank of the Rhine. The Gauls were the speakers of...

 era. The first fortifications were built after Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

's conquest of the Menapii
Menapii
The Menapii were a Belgic tribe of northern Gaul in pre-Roman and Roman times. Their territory according to Strabo, Caesar and Ptolemy stretched from the mouth of the Rhine in the north, and southwards along the west of the Schelde. Their civitas under the Roman empire was Cassel , near Thérouanne...

 in the first century BC, to protect the coastal area against pirates. The Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

 took over the whole region from the Gallo-Romans
Gallo-Roman culture
The term Gallo-Roman describes the Romanized culture of Gaul under the rule of the Roman Empire. This was characterized by the Gaulish adoption or adaptation of Roman mores and way of life in a uniquely Gaulish context...

 around the 4th century and administered it as the Pagus
Pagus
In the later Western Roman Empire, following the reorganization of Diocletian, a pagus became the smallest administrative district of a province....

 Flandrensis
. The Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

 incursions of the ninth century prompted Baldwin I, Count of Flanders
Baldwin I, Count of Flanders
Baldwin I , also known as Baldwin Iron Arm , was the first count of Flanders....

 to reinforce the Roman fortifications; trade soon resumed with England and Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

. It is at around this time that coins appeared for the first time bearing the name Bryggia. This name may stem from the Old Norse
Old Norse
Old Norse is a North Germanic language that was spoken by inhabitants of Scandinavia and inhabitants of their overseas settlements during the Viking Age, until about 1300....

 , meaning "landing stage" or "port", and may have the same etymology
Etymology
Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during...

 as Norway’s Bryggen
Bryggen
Bryggen , also known as Tyskebryggen is a series of Hanseatic commercial buildings lining the eastern side of the fjord coming into Bergen, Norway. Bryggen has since 1979 been on the UNESCO list for World Cultural Heritage sites. The name has the same origin as the Flemish city of Brugge.The city...

, a World Heritage site in the city of Bergen
Bergen
Bergen is the second largest city in Norway with a population of as of , . Bergen is the administrative centre of Hordaland county. Greater Bergen or Bergen Metropolitan Area as defined by Statistics Norway, has a population of as of , ....

.

Golden Age (12th to 15th century)


Bruges got its city charter on July 27, 1128 and new walls and canals were built. Since about 1050, gradual silting had caused the city to lose its direct access to the sea. A storm in 1134, however, re-established this access, through the creation of a natural channel at the Zwin
Zwin
The Zwin is a nature reserve at the North Sea coast, on the Belgian-Dutch border. It consists of the entrace area of a former tidal inlet which during the Middle Ages connected the North Sea with the ports of Sluis and Bruges inland....

. The new sea arm stretched all the way to Damme
Damme
Damme is a municipality located in the Belgian province of West Flanders, six kilometres northeast of Brugge . The municipality comprises the city of Damme proper and the towns of Hoeke, Lapscheure, Moerkerke, Oostkerke, Sijsele, Vivenkapelle, and Sint-Rita. On 1 January 2006, the municipality had...

, a city that became the commercial outpost for Bruges.

With the reawakening of town life in the twelfth century, a wool market, a woollens weaving industry, and the market for cloth all profited from the shelter of city walls, where surpluses could be safely accumulated under the patronage of the counts of Flanders
Count of Flanders
The Count of Flanders was the ruler or sub-ruler of the county of Flanders from the 9th century until the abolition of the position by the French revolutionaries in 1790....

. Bruges was already included in the circuit of the Flemish cloth fairs at the beginning of the 13th century. The city's entrepreneurs reached out to make economic colonies of England and Scotland's wool-producing districts. English contacts brought Normandy grain and Gascon wines. Hanseatic ships filled the harbor, which had to be expanded beyond Damme
Damme
Damme is a municipality located in the Belgian province of West Flanders, six kilometres northeast of Brugge . The municipality comprises the city of Damme proper and the towns of Hoeke, Lapscheure, Moerkerke, Oostkerke, Sijsele, Vivenkapelle, and Sint-Rita. On 1 January 2006, the municipality had...

 to Sluys to accommodate the new cog-ships
Cog (ship)
A cog is a type of ship that first appeared in the 10th century, and was widely used from around the 12th century on. Cogs were generally built of oak, which was an abundant timber in the Baltic region of Prussia. This vessel was fitted with a single mast and a square-rigged single sail...

. In 1277, the first merchant fleet from Genoa
Genoa
Genoa |Ligurian]] Zena ; Latin and, archaically, English Genua) is a city and an important seaport in northern Italy, the capital of the Province of Genoa and of the region of Liguria....

 appeared in the port of Bruges, first of the merchant colony that made Bruges the main link to the trade of the Mediterranean. This development opened not only the trade in spices from the Levant
Levant
The Levant or ) is the geographic region and culture zone of the "eastern Mediterranean littoral between Anatolia and Egypt" . The Levant includes most of modern Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and sometimes parts of Turkey and Iraq, and corresponds roughly to the...

, but also advanced commercial and financial techniques and a flood of capital that soon took over the banking of Bruges. The Bourse
Bourse
Bourse may refer to:*exchange *stock exchange*Bourse : metro station, Paris, France*Bourse de Travail: French labor council-Exchanges:*Paris Bourse: Euronext Paris, historical Paris stock exchange...

 opened in 1309 (most likely the first stock exchange
Stock exchange
A stock exchange is an entity that provides services for stock brokers and traders to trade stocks, bonds, and other securities. Stock exchanges also provide facilities for issue and redemption of securities and other financial instruments, and capital events including the payment of income and...

 in the world) and developed into the most sophisticated money market of the Low Countries in the 14th century. By the time Venetian galleys first appeared, in 1314, they were latecomers.

Such wealth gave rise to social upheavals, which were for the most part harshly contained. In 1302, however, after the Bruges Matins
Bruges Matins (history)
The Bruges Matins or Brugse Metten was the nocturnal massacre of the French garrison in Bruges by the members of the local Flemish militia on 18 May 1302. It has been named "matins" in analogy to the Sicilian Vespers...

 (the nocturnal massacre of the French garrison in Bruges by the members of the local Flemish militia
Militia
The term militia is commonly used today to refer to a military force composed of ordinary citizens to provide defense, emergency law enforcement, or paramilitary service, in times of emergency without being paid a regular salary or committed to a fixed term of service. It is a polyseme with...

 on 18 May 1302), the population joined forces with the Count of Flanders
Count of Flanders
The Count of Flanders was the ruler or sub-ruler of the county of Flanders from the 9th century until the abolition of the position by the French revolutionaries in 1790....

 against the French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

, culminating in the victory at the Battle of the Golden Spurs
Battle of the Golden Spurs
The Battle of the Golden Spurs, known also as the Battle of Courtrai was fought on July 11, 1302, near Kortrijk in Flanders...

, fought near Kortrijk
Kortrijk
Kortrijk ; , ; ) is a Belgian city and municipality located in the Flemish province West Flanders...

 on July 11. The statue of Jan Breydel
Jan Breydel
Jan Breydel is credited with leading the Bruges Matins , a violent uprising against Philip the Fair....

 and Pieter de Coninck, the leaders of the uprising, can still be seen on the Big Market square.

At the end of the 14th century, Bruges became one of the Four Members
Four Members
The Four members consisted of Bruges, Franc of Bruges, Ghent and Ypres gathered together in a medieval parliament. Together they exercised considerable power in Flanders....

, along with Franc of Bruges, Ghent
Ghent
Ghent is a city and a municipality located in the Flemish region of Belgium. It is the capital and biggest city of the East Flanders province. The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Lys and in the Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of...

 and Ypres
Ypres
Ypres is a Belgian municipality located in the Flemish province of West Flanders. The municipality comprises the city of Ypres and the villages of Boezinge, Brielen, Dikkebus, Elverdinge, Hollebeke, Sint-Jan, Vlamertinge, Voormezele, Zillebeke, and Zuidschote...

. Together they formed a parliament, however they frequently quarrelled amongst themselves.

In the 15th century, Philip the Good
Philip III, Duke of Burgundy
Philip the Good KG , also Philip III, Duke of Burgundy was Duke of Burgundy from 1419 until his death. He was a member of a cadet line of the Valois dynasty . During his reign Burgundy reached the height of its prosperity and prestige and became a leading center of the arts...

, duke of Burgundy, set up court in Bruges, as well as Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 and Lille
Lille
Lille is a city in northern France . It is the principal city of the Lille Métropole, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country behind those of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Lille is situated on the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium...

, attracting a number of artists, bankers, and other prominent personalities from all over Europe. The weavers and spinners of Bruges were thought to be the best in the world, and the population of Bruges grew to 200,000 inhabitants at this time.

The new Flemish-school, oil-painting techniques gained world renown. The first book in English ever printed was published in Bruges by William Caxton
William Caxton
William Caxton was an English merchant, diplomat, writer and printer. As far as is known, he was the first English person to work as a printer and the first to introduce a printing press into England...

. This is also the time when Edward IV
Edward IV of England
Edward IV was King of England from 4 March 1461 until 3 October 1470, and again from 11 April 1471 until his death. He was the first Yorkist King of England...

 and Richard III of England
Richard III of England
Richard III was King of England for two years, from 1483 until his death in 1485 during the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty...

 spent time in exile here.

16th century onwards


Starting around 1500, the Zwin channel, which had given the city its prosperity, also started silting. The city soon fell behind Antwerp as the economic flagship of the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

. During the 17th century, the lace
Lace
Lace is an openwork fabric, patterned with open holes in the work, made by machine or by hand. The holes can be formed via removal of threads or cloth from a previously woven fabric, but more often open spaces are created as part of the lace fabric. Lace-making is an ancient craft. True lace was...

 industry took off, and various efforts to bring back the glorious past were made. During the 1650s, the city was the base for Charles II of England
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 and his court in exile. The maritime infrastructure was modernized, and new connections with the sea were built, but without much success. Bruges became impoverished and gradually disappeared from the picture, with its population dwindling from 200,000 to 50,000 by the end of the 1800s.

The symbolist novelist George Rodenbach even made the sleepy city into a character in his novel Bruges-la-Morte
Bruges-la-Morte
Bruges-la-Morte is a short novel by the Belgian author Georges Rodenbach, first published in 1892. The title is difficult to translate but might be rendered as The Dead City of Bruges...

, meaning "Bruges-the-dead", which was adapted into Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Erich Wolfgang Korngold was an Austro-Hungarian film and romantic music composer. While his compositional style was considered well out of vogue at the time he died, his music has more recently undergone a reevaluation and a gradual reawakening of interest...

's opera, Die tote Stadt
Die tote Stadt
Die tote Stadt is an opera in three acts by Erich Wolfgang Korngold. The libretto is by the composer and Paul Schott , and is based on Bruges-la-Morte, a short novel by Georges Rodenbach.-Performance history:When Die tote Stadt had its premiere on December 4, 1920, Korngold was just 23...

(The Dead City). In the last half of the 19th century, Bruges became one of the world's first tourist destinations attracting wealthy British and French tourists. Only in the second half of the 20th century has the city started to reclaim some of its past glory. The port of Zeebrugge was built in 1907. The Germans used it for their U-boat
U-boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

s in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. It was greatly expanded in the 1970s and early 1980s and has become one of Europe's most important and modern ports. International tourism has boomed, and new efforts have resulted in Bruges being designated 'European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by theEuropean Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension....

' in 2002.

Geography


The municipality comprises:
  • The historic city centre of Bruges, Sint-Jozef
    Sint-Jozef
    Sint-Jozef is a quarter in Bruges, which is the capital of the Flemish province of West Flanders, in Belgium.-External links:***...

     and Sint-Pieters
    Sint-Pieters
    Sint-Pieters is a suburb of Bruges, in the province of West Flanders, Belgium....

     (I)
  • Koolkerke
    Koolkerke
    -External links:*...

     (II)
  • Sint-Andries
    Sint-Andries
    Sint-Andries is suburb of Bruges in the province of West Flanders in Belgium.The Jan Breydel Stadium, where the football teams Club Brugge and Cercle Brugge play, is situated in Sint-Andries....

     (III)
  • Sint-Michiels
    Sint-Michiels
    Sint-Michiels is a suburb of Bruges, in the province of West Flanders, Belgium.The amusement park Boudewijn Seapark with the dolphinarium is situated in Sint-Michiels.-External links:*...

     (IV)
  • Assebroek
    Assebroek
    Assebroek is a suburb in the municipality and city of Bruges, Belgium. In 2004, Assebroek had 19,525 inhabitants. Since 1999, this number has hardly changed...

     (V)
  • Sint-Kruis
    Sint-Kruis
    -External links:*...

     (VI)
  • Dudzele (VII)
  • Lissewege
    Lissewege
    Lissewege is a village and a subdivision in the municipality of Bruges, Belgium. Lissewege also includes Zeebrugge and Zwankendamme....

     (with Zeebrugge
    Zeebrugge
    Zeebrugge is a village on the coast of Belgium and a subdivision of Bruges, for which it is the modern port. Zeebrugge serves as both the international port of Bruges-Zeebrugge and a seafront resort with hotels, cafés, a marina and a beach.-Location:...

     and Zwankendamme
    Zwankendamme
    Zwankendamme is a village in the municipality of Bruges, Belgium.See also: West Flanders...

    ) (VIII)

Sights



Bruges has most of its medieval architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

 intact. The historic centre of Bruges has been a UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 World Heritage Site
World Heritage Site
A UNESCO World Heritage Site is a place that is listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance...

 since 2000.

Many of its medieval buildings are notable, including the Church of Our Lady
Church of Our Lady, Bruges
The Church of Our Lady in Bruges, Belgium, dates mainly from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries.Its tower, at 122.3 meters in height, remains the tallest structure in the city and the second tallest brickwork tower in the world The Church of Our Lady in Bruges, Belgium, dates mainly from the 13th,...

, 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
Madonna of Bruges
The Madonna of Bruges is a marble sculpture by Michelangelo, of Mary with the infant Jesus.Michelangelo's depiction of the Madonna and Child differs significantly from earlier representations of the same subject, which tended to feature a pious Virgin smiling down on an infant held in her arms...

, which can be seen in the transept, is believed to be Michelangelo
Michelangelo
Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni , commonly known as Michelangelo, was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art...

's only sculpture to have left Italy within his lifetime.

Bruges' most famous landmark is its 13th-century belfry
Belfry of Bruges
The belfry of Bruges, or Belfort, is a medieval bell tower in the historical centre of Bruges, Belgium. One of the city's most prominent symbols, the belfry formerly housed a treasury and the municipal archives, and served as an observation post for spotting fires and other danger...

, housing a municipal carillon
Carillon
A carillon is a musical instrument that is typically housed in a free-standing bell tower, or the belfry of a church or other municipal building. The instrument consists of at least 23 cast bronze, cup-shaped bells, which are played serially to play a melody, or sounded together to play a chord...

 comprising 48 bells. The city still employs a full-time carillonneur, who gives free concerts on a regular basis.

Other famous buildings in Bruges include:
  • The Beguinage
    Béguinage
    A béguinage or begijnhof is a collection of small buildings used by Beguines. These were various lay sisterhoods of the Roman Catholic Church, founded in the 13th century in the Low Countries, comprising religious women who sought to serve God without retiring from the world.-Description:A...

  • The Basilica of the Holy Blood
    Basilica of the Holy Blood
    The Basilica of the Holy Blood is a Roman Catholic minor basilica in Bruges, Belgium. Originally built in the 12th century as the chapel of the residence of the Count of Flanders, the church houses a venerated relic of the Holy Blood allegedly collected by Joseph of Arimathea and brought from the...

     . The relic of the Holy Blood, which was brought to the city after the Second Crusade
    Second Crusade
    The Second Crusade was the second major crusade launched from Europe. The Second Crusade was started in response to the fall of the County of Edessa the previous year to the forces of Zengi. The county had been founded during the First Crusade by Baldwin of Boulogne in 1098...

     by Thierry of Alsace, is paraded every year through the streets of the city. More than 1,600 inhabitants take part in this mile-long religious procession
    Procession of the Holy Blood
    The Procession of the Holy Blood is a large religious procession, dating back to the Middle Ages, which takes place each Ascension Day in Bruges, Belgium. The centerpiece is the Blood of Christ, a coagulated relic said to become fluid again each year on this day. Sixty to one hundred thousand...

    , many dressed as medieval knights or crusaders.
  • The modern Concertgebouw ("Concert Building")
  • The Old St-John's Hospital
  • The Saint Salvator's Cathedral
  • The Groeningemuseum
    Groeningemuseum
    The Groeningemuseum is a municipal museum of Bruges, Belgium.It houses a comprehensive survey of six centuries of Flemish and Belgian painting, from Jan van Eyck to Marcel Broodthaers...

  • The City Hall on the Burg square
  • The Provincial Court (Provinciaal Hof)
  • The preserved old city gateways: the Kruispoort, the Gentpoort, the Smedenpoort and the Ezelpoort. The Dampoort, the Katelijnepoort and the Boeveriepoort are gone.


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
Hans Memling
Hans Memling was a German-born Early Netherlandish painter.-Life and works:Born in Seligenstadt, near Frankfurt in the Middle Rhein region, it is believed that Memling served his apprenticeship at Mainz or Cologne, and later worked in the Netherlands under Rogier van der Weyden...

 and Jan van Eyck
Jan van Eyck
Jan van Eyck was a Flemish painter active in Bruges and considered one of the best Northern European painters of the 15th century....

, lived and worked in Bruges.

Theatres and concert halls



  • Aquariustheater
  • Biekorf
  • Concertgebouw ("Concert Building")
  • De Dijk
  • De Werf
    De Werf
    De Werf is a Belgian arts center based in Bruges. It organizes concerts and records CDs for jazz musicians. The first record it released was Sketches of Belgium by K. D.'s Basement Party, a band led by Kris Defoort. The next year, Octurn's first album went out on this label...

  • Het Entrepot
  • Joseph Ryelandtzaal
  • Magdalenazaal
  • Sirkeltheater
  • Stadsschouwburg
  • Studio Hall

Festivals

  • Music festival
    Music festival
    A music festival is a festival oriented towards music that is sometimes presented with a theme such as musical genre, nationality or locality of musicians, or holiday. They are commonly held outdoors, and are often inclusive of other attractions such as food and merchandise vending machines,...

    s:
    • Airbag (accordion festival)
    • Ars Musica
      Ars musica
      Founded in 1989, Ars Musica is an annual contemporary music international festival that takes place in Brussels during several weeks, usually in March. Nowadays, Ars musica is one of the biggest world festival for contemporary music...

      (contemporary music)
    • Blues in Bruges
    • Brugge Tripel Dagen
    • Brugges Festival (world music)
    • Cactusfestival
    • Elements Festival (electronic music)
    • Fuse on the Beach (dance festival in Zeebrugge)
    • Hafabrugge (orchestra festival)
    • Internationale Fedekam Taptoe
    • Jazz Brugge (jazz festival)
    • Koorfestival (choir festival)
    • Festival van Vlaanderen - MAfestival (old music)
    • Music in Mind (atmospheric (rock) music)
    • September Jazz (jazz festival)
    • Sint-Gillis Blues- en Folkfestival
    • Many small rock festivals; the best known are:
      • BurgRock
      • Comma Rocks Festival
      • Red Rock Rally
      • Thoprock
Cultural or food festival
Food festival
A food festival is a festival, usually held annually, that uses food, often produce, as its central theme. "These festivals have always been a means of uniting communities through celebrations of harvests and giving thanks for a plentiful growing season...

s:
  • Aristidefeesten
  • BAB-bierfestival (beer festival
    Beer festival
    A Beer Festival is an organised event during which a variety of beers are available for tasting and purchase. Beer festivals are held in a number of countries...

    )
  • Brugse Kantdagen ("Bruges' Lace Days")
  • Chapter 2 (juggling convention
    Juggling convention
    Many countries, cities or juggling clubs hold their own annual juggling convention. These are the backbone of the juggling scene, the events that regularly bring jugglers from a wide area together to socialize...

    )
  • Choco-Laté (chocolate festival)
  • Cinema Novo (film festival
    Film festival
    A film festival is an organised, extended presentation of films in one or more movie theaters or screening venues, usually in a single locality. More and more often film festivals show part of their films to the public by adding outdoor movie screenings...

    )
  • Cirque Plus (circus festival)
  • European Youth Film Festival of Flanders
  • Ice Magic (snow and ice sculpture festival)
  • Jonge Snaken Festival
  • Midwinterfeest
  • NAFT (theatre festival
    Theatre festival
    Theatre festivals amongst the earliest types of festival. Classical Greek theatre was associated with religious festivals dedicated to Dionysus. The medieval mystery plays were presented at the major Christian feasts...

    )
  • Poirot in Bruges - Knack thrillerfestival
  • Razor Reel Fantastic Film Festival
  • Reiefeest (festival on the canals)
Musical cultural festivals:
  • Come On!
  • Coupurefeesten
  • December Dance (dance festival)
  • Feest In 't Park
  • FEST!
  • Klinkers
  • Polé Polé Beach (in Zeebrugge)
  • Sint-Michielse Feeste
  • Summer End Festival
  • Vama Veche festival

Municipal museums

  • Artistic works from the 15th to 21st century:
    • Groeningemuseum
      Groeningemuseum
      The Groeningemuseum is a municipal museum of Bruges, Belgium.It houses a comprehensive survey of six centuries of Flemish and Belgian painting, from Jan van Eyck to Marcel Broodthaers...

    • Arents House (contains a Sir Frank Brangwyn museum and a museum for ever-changing exhibitions of expressive art)
  • The Bruggemuseum ("Bruges Museum") (general name for 11 different historical museums in the city):
    • Gruuthusemuseum
    • Welcome Church of Our Lady
      Church of Our Lady, Bruges
      The Church of Our Lady in Bruges, Belgium, dates mainly from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries.Its tower, at 122.3 meters in height, remains the tallest structure in the city and the second tallest brickwork tower in the world The Church of Our Lady in Bruges, Belgium, dates mainly from the 13th,...

    • Archaeological Museum
    • Gentpoort
    • Belfry
      Belfry of Bruges
      The belfry of Bruges, or Belfort, is a medieval bell tower in the historical centre of Bruges, Belgium. One of the city's most prominent symbols, the belfry formerly housed a treasury and the municipal archives, and served as an observation post for spotting fires and other danger...

    • City Hall
    • Liberty of Bruges
    • Museum of Folklore
    • Guido Gezelle Museum
    • Koelewei (Cool Meadow) Mill
    • Sint-Janshuis (St. John’s House) Mill
  • Hospitalmuseums:
    • Old St John’s Hospital (Hans Memling
      Hans Memling
      Hans Memling was a German-born Early Netherlandish painter.-Life and works:Born in Seligenstadt, near Frankfurt in the Middle Rhein region, it is believed that Memling served his apprenticeship at Mainz or Cologne, and later worked in the Netherlands under Rogier van der Weyden...

      )
    • Our Lady of the Potteries

Non-municipal museums

  • Beguine's House
  • Brewery museum
  • Hof Bladelin
  • Basilica of the Holy Blood
    Basilica of the Holy Blood
    The Basilica of the Holy Blood is a Roman Catholic minor basilica in Bruges, Belgium. Originally built in the 12th century as the chapel of the residence of the Count of Flanders, the church houses a venerated relic of the Holy Blood allegedly collected by Joseph of Arimathea and brought from the...

  • Choco-Story (chocolate museum)
  • Lumina Domestica (lamp museum)
  • Museum-Gallery Xpo: Salvador Dalí
  • Diamond Museum
  • English Convent
  • Frietmuseum (museum dedicated to Belgian Fries)
  • Jerusalem Church
  • Lace centre
  • St. George’s Archers Guild
  • Saint Salvator's Cathedral
  • St. Sebastian’s Archers’ Guild
  • St. Trudo Abbey
  • Public Observatory Beisbroek
  • Ter Doest Abbey (in Lissewege)

Road


Bruges has motorway connections to all directions:
  • A10 to Ostend
    Ostend
    Ostend  is a Belgian city and municipality located in the Flemish province of West Flanders. It comprises the boroughs of Mariakerke , Stene and Zandvoorde, and the city of Ostend proper – the largest on the Belgian coast....

  • A10/E40
    European route E40
    European route E 40 is the longest European route, more than long, connecting Calais in France via Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan, with Ridder in Kazakhstan near the border to China....

     to Ghent
    Ghent
    Ghent is a city and a municipality located in the Flemish region of Belgium. It is the capital and biggest city of the East Flanders province. The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Lys and in the Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of...

     and Brussels
    Brussels
    Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

  • A18/E40
    European route E40
    European route E 40 is the longest European route, more than long, connecting Calais in France via Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan, with Ridder in Kazakhstan near the border to China....

     to Veurne
    Veurne
    Veurne is a city and municipality in the Belgian province of West Flanders. The municipality comprises the town of Veurne proper and the settlements of Avekapelle, Booitshoeke, Bulskamp, De Moeren, Eggewaartskapelle, Houtem, Steenkerke, Vinkem, Wulveringem, and Zoutenaaie.-Origins in the 15th...

     and France
  • A17/E403
    European route E403
    The European route E 403 is a European route connecting the Belgian towns of Zeebrugge and Tournai. This north-south route runs entirely on Belgian territory and falls together with the Belgian roads N31 and A17....

     to Kortrijk
    Kortrijk
    Kortrijk ; , ; ) is a Belgian city and municipality located in the Flemish province West Flanders...

     and Tournai
    Tournai
    Tournai is a Walloon city and municipality of Belgium located 85 kilometres southwest of Brussels, on the river Scheldt, in the province of Hainaut....

  • N31/E403
    European route E403
    The European route E 403 is a European route connecting the Belgian towns of Zeebrugge and Tournai. This north-south route runs entirely on Belgian territory and falls together with the Belgian roads N31 and A17....

     to Zeebrugge
    Zeebrugge
    Zeebrugge is a village on the coast of Belgium and a subdivision of Bruges, for which it is the modern port. Zeebrugge serves as both the international port of Bruges-Zeebrugge and a seafront resort with hotels, cafés, a marina and a beach.-Location:...

  • N49/E34
    European route E34
    The European route E 34 is a road in Europe and a part of the United Nations International E-road network. It connects Zeebrugge, the major seaport of Bruges, with Bad Oeynhausen, a German spa town located beside the River Weser at the eastern edge of North Rhine-Westphalia. At Bad Oeynhausen...

     to Antwerp


Driving within the 'egg', the historical centre enclosed by the main circle of canals in Bruges, is discouraged by traffic management schemes, including a network of one way streets. The system encourages the use of set routes leading to central car parks and direct exit routes. The car parks are convenient for the central commercial and tourist areas; they are inexpensive.

Railway


Bruges' main railway station is the focus of lines to the Belgian coast. It also provides at least hourly trains to all other major cities in Belgium, as well as to Lille
Lille
Lille is a city in northern France . It is the principal city of the Lille Métropole, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country behind those of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Lille is situated on the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium...

, France. Further there are several regional and local trains.

The main station is also a stop for the Thalys
Thalys
Thalys is an international high-speed train operator originally built around the high-speed line between Paris and Brussels. This track is shared with Eurostar trains that go from Paris or Brussels to London via Lille and the Channel Tunnel and with French domestic TGV trains. Thalys reaches...

 train Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

Ostend
Ostend
Ostend  is a Belgian city and municipality located in the Flemish province of West Flanders. It comprises the boroughs of Mariakerke , Stene and Zandvoorde, and the city of Ostend proper – the largest on the Belgian coast....

.

Bus links to the centre are frequent, though the railway station is just a 10 minute walk from the main shopping streets and a 20 minute walk from the Market Square.

Plans for a north–south light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 connection through Bruges, from Zeebrugge to Lichtervelde
Lichtervelde
Lichtervelde is a municipality located in the Belgian province of West Flanders. The municipality comprises only the town of Lichtervelde proper. On January 1, 2006 Lichtervelde had a total population of 8,400. The total area is 25.93 km² which gives a population density of 324 inhabitants per km²....

, and a light rail connection between Bruges and Ostend are under construction.

Air


The national Brussels Airport
Brussels Airport
Brussels Airport is an international airport northeast of Brussels, Belgium. The airport is partially in Zaventem and partially in the Diegem area of Machelen, both located in the Flemish Region of Belgium.Brussels Airport currently consists of 54 contact gates, and a total of 109 gates...

, one hour away by train or car, offers the best connectivity. The nearest airport is the Ostend-Bruges International Airport
Ostend-Bruges International Airport
Ostend-Bruges International Airport is located in Ostend, Belgium, near the coast and about 25 km from the city centre of Bruges. Although an important proportion of the activities focuses on freight transport, it is increasingly used for passenger flights, mainly charter and holiday flights...

 in Ostend (around 25 km from the city centre of Bruges), but it offers limited passenger transport and connections.

Public city transport


Bruges has an extensive web of bus lines, operated by De Lijn
De Lijn
Vlaamse Vervoersmaatschappij De Lijn , usually known as simply De Lijn , is a company run by the Flemish government in Belgium to provide public transportation, similar to the way in which Belgian railroads or the postal system is run. It runs about 3650 buses and 359 trams...

, providing access to the city centre and the suburbs (city lines) and to many towns and villages in the region around the city (regional lines).

In support of the municipal traffic management (see "Road" above), free public transport is available for those who park their cars in the main railway station car park.

Cycling


Although a few streets are restricted, no part of Bruges is car free.

Cars are required to yield to pedestrians and cyclists. Plans have long been under way to ban cars altogether from the historic center of Bruges or to restrict traffic much more than it currently is, but these plans have yet to come to fruition. In 2005, signs were changed for the convenience of cyclists, allowing two-way cycle traffic on more streets, however car traffic has not decreased. Recent cycle fatalities have increased pressure to close bridges and further calm inner Bruges, but laws have not yet passed. Due to heavily populated suburbs, bus traffic is high on the narrow streets. This makes cycling even trickier.

Nevertheless, in common with many cities in the region, there are thousands of cyclists in the city of Bruges.

Port


The port of Bruges is Zeebrugge. It's the most modern and second biggest port of Belgium and one of the most important in Europe.

Sports



Bruges is traditionally the starting town for the annual Ronde van Vlaanderen cycle race, held in April and one of the biggest sporting events in Belgium.

Bruges is also a football
Football (soccer)
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a sport played between two teams of eleven players with a spherical ball...

 town, represented by two teams at the top level (Belgian First Division): Club Brugge K.V. and Cercle Brugge K.S.V.
Cercle Brugge K.S.V.
Cercle Brugge Koninklijke Sportvereniging is a Belgian football team from Bruges. Cercle have played in the Belgian Pro League since the 2003-04 season, having previously spent several years in the Belgian Second Division following relegation in 1997. Their matricule is the n°12. The club play...

, both playing in the Jan Breydel Stadium (30,000 seats) in Sint-Andries
Sint-Andries
Sint-Andries is suburb of Bruges in the province of West Flanders in Belgium.The Jan Breydel Stadium, where the football teams Club Brugge and Cercle Brugge play, is situated in Sint-Andries....

. Although, there are plans for a new stadium with about 45,000 seats in the south of the city, near the junction of the E40
European route E40
European route E 40 is the longest European route, more than long, connecting Calais in France via Belgium, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan, with Ridder in Kazakhstan near the border to China....

 and the E403
European route E403
The European route E 403 is a European route connecting the Belgian towns of Zeebrugge and Tournai. This north-south route runs entirely on Belgian territory and falls together with the Belgian roads N31 and A17....

.

In 2000 Bruges was one of the eight host cities for the UEFA European Football Championship.

Education



Bruges is an important centre for education in West Flanders. Next to the several common primary and secondary schools, there are a few colleges, like the KHBO
Katholieke Hogeschool Brugge-Oostende
The Katholieke Hogeschool Brugge-Oostende is a university college in Belgium which was founded in the 1990s. It is the result of a merger between two colleges from Ostend and three colleges from Bruges....

 (Katholieke Hogeschool Brugge-Oostende) or the HOWEST
Hogeschool West-Vlaanderen
The Hogeschool West-Vlaanderen , abbreviated as HOWEST, is a university in West-Flanders, a province of Belgium....

 (Hogeschool West-Vlaanderen). Furthermore, the city is home to the College of Europe
College of Europe
The College of Europe is an independent university institute of postgraduate European studies with the main campus in Bruges, Belgium...

, a prestigious institution of postgraduate studies in European Economics
Economics
Economics is the social science that analyzes the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. The term economics comes from the Ancient Greek from + , hence "rules of the house"...

, Law
Law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

 and Politics
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

, and of the United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS)
UNU-CRIS
The United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies is a of the United Nations University . Based in Bruges, since 2001, UNU-CRIS specialises in the comparative study of regional integration, monitoring and assessing regional integration worldwide and in the study...

, a Research and Training Institute of the United Nations University
United Nations University
The United Nations University is an academic arm of the United Nations established in 1973, which serves purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. The UNU undertakes research into the pressing global problems of human survival, development and welfare that are the concern of...

 specialising in the comparative study of regional integration
Regional integration
Regional integration is a process in which states enter into a regional agreement in order to enhance regional cooperation through regional institutions and rules...

.

Town twinning policy


On principle, Bruges has to date never entered into close collaboration with twin cities. Without denying the usefulness of this schemes for towns with fewer international contacts, the main reason is that Bruges would find it difficult to choose between cities and thinks that it has enough work already with its many international contacts. Also, it was thought in Bruges that twinning was too often an occasion for city authorities and representatives to travel on public expense.

This principle resulted, in the 1950s, in Bruges refusing a jumelage with Nice
Nice
Nice is the fifth most populous city in France, after Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Toulouse, with a population of 348,721 within its administrative limits on a land area of . The urban area of Nice extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of more than 955,000 on an area of...

 and other towns, signed by a Belgian ambassador without previous consultation. In the 1970s, a Belgian consul in Oldenburg
Oldenburg
Oldenburg is an independent city in Lower Saxony, Germany. It is situated in the western part of the state between the cities of Bremen and Groningen, Netherlands, at the Hunte river. It has a population of 160,279 which makes it the fourth biggest city in Lower Saxony after Hanover, Braunschweig...

 made the mayor of Bruges sign a declaration of friendship which he tried to present, in vain, as a jumelage.

The twinning between some of the former communes, merged with Bruges in 1971, were discontinued.

This does not mean that Bruges would not be interested in cooperation with others, as well in the short term as in the long run, for particular projects. Here follow a few examples.

  Bastogne
Bastogne
Bastogne Luxembourgish: Baaschtnech) is a Walloon municipality of Belgium located in the province of Luxembourg in the Ardennes. The municipality of Bastogne includes the old communes of Longvilly, Noville, Villers-la-Bonne-Eau, and Wardin...

, Luxembourg
Luxembourg (Belgium)
Luxembourg is the southernmost province of Wallonia and of Belgium. It borders on the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, France, and the Belgian provinces of Namur and Liège. Its capital is Arlon, in the south-east of the province.It has an area of 4,443 km², making it the largest Belgian province...

, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 : After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 and into the 1970s, Bruges, more specifically the Fire Brigade of Bruges, entertained friendly relations with Bastogne
Bastogne
Bastogne Luxembourgish: Baaschtnech) is a Walloon municipality of Belgium located in the province of Luxembourg in the Ardennes. The municipality of Bastogne includes the old communes of Longvilly, Noville, Villers-la-Bonne-Eau, and Wardin...

. Each year a free holiday was offered at the seaside in Zeebrugge, to children from the Nuts city.
  Arolsen, Hesse
Hesse
Hesse or Hessia is both a cultural region of Germany and the name of an individual German state.* The cultural region of Hesse includes both the State of Hesse and the area known as Rhenish Hesse in the neighbouring Rhineland-Palatinate state...

, Germany : From the 1950s until the 1980s, Bruges was the patron of the Belgian First Regiment of Horse Guards
Horse Guards
Horse Guards or horse guards can refer to:* A Household Cavalry regiment:** Troops of the Horse Guards Regiment of the British Army from 1658-1788** The Royal Horse Guards, which is now part of the Blues and Royals...

, quartered in Arolsen.
  Salamanca
Salamanca
Salamanca is a city in western Spain, in the community of Castile and León. Because it is known for its beautiful buildings and urban environment, the Old City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. It is the most important university city in Spain and is known for its contributions to...

, Castilla y León, Spain : Both towns having been made European Capital of Culture
European Capital of Culture
The European Capital of Culture is a city designated by theEuropean Union for a period of one calendar year during which it organises a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension....

 in 2002, Bruges had some exchanges organized with Salamanca
Salamanca
Salamanca is a city in western Spain, in the community of Castile and León. Because it is known for its beautiful buildings and urban environment, the Old City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. It is the most important university city in Spain and is known for its contributions to...

.
  Mons
Mons
Mons is a Walloon city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut, of which it is the capital. The Mons municipality includes the old communes of Cuesmes, Flénu, Ghlin, Hyon, Nimy, Obourg, Baudour , Jemappes, Ciply, Harmignies, Harveng, Havré, Maisières, Mesvin, Nouvelles,...

, Hainaut, Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 : In 2007, cultural and artistic cooperation between Mons
Mons
Mons is a Walloon city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Hainaut, of which it is the capital. The Mons municipality includes the old communes of Cuesmes, Flénu, Ghlin, Hyon, Nimy, Obourg, Baudour , Jemappes, Ciply, Harmignies, Harveng, Havré, Maisières, Mesvin, Nouvelles,...

 and Bruges was inaugurated.
  Burgos
Burgos
Burgos is a city of northern Spain, historic capital of Castile. It is situated at the edge of the central plateau, with about 178,966 inhabitants in the city proper and another 20,000 in its suburbs. It is the capital of the province of Burgos, in the autonomous community of Castile and León...

, Castilla y León, Spain : On 29 January 2007, the mayors of Burgos
Burgos
Burgos is a city of northern Spain, historic capital of Castile. It is situated at the edge of the central plateau, with about 178,966 inhabitants in the city proper and another 20,000 in its suburbs. It is the capital of the province of Burgos, in the autonomous community of Castile and León...

 and Bruges signed a declaration of intent about future cooperation on cultural, touristic and economic matters.

Notable people


The following people were born in Bruges:
  • Jan Breydel
    Jan Breydel
    Jan Breydel is credited with leading the Bruges Matins , a violent uprising against Philip the Fair....

     and Pieter de Coninck, freedom fighters
  • Philip I of Castile
    Philip I of Castile
    Philip I , known as Philip the Handsome or the Fair, was the first Habsburg King of Castile...

    , first Habsburg
    Habsburg
    The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

     ruler in Spain (1478–1506)
  • Adrian Willaert
    Adrian Willaert
    Adrian Willaert was a Flemish composer of the Renaissance and founder of the Venetian School. He was one of the most representative members of the generation of northern composers who moved to Italy and transplanted the polyphonic Franco-Flemish style there....

    , composer of the Renaissance
    Renaissance
    The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

    , (birth in Bruges uncertain, c. 1490-1562)
  • Simon Stevin
    Simon Stevin
    Simon Stevin was a Flemish mathematician and military engineer. He was active in a great many areas of science and engineering, both theoretical and practical...

    , mathematician and engineer (1548–1620)
  • Franciscus Gomarus
    Franciscus Gomarus
    Franciscus Gomarus , was a Dutch theologian, a strict Calvinist and opponent of the teaching of Jacobus Arminius , which was formally judged at the Synod of Dort .-Life:His parents, having embraced the principles of the Reformation, emigrated to the Palatinate in 1578, in order...

    , Calvinist theologian (1563–1641)
  • Guido Gezelle
    Guido Gezelle
    Guido Pieter Theodorus Josephus Gezelle was an influential Flemish language writer and poet and a Roman Catholic priest from Belgium.- Life :...

    , poet and priest (1830–1899)
  • Tony Parker
    Tony Parker
    William Anthony "Tony" Parker is a French professional basketball player who currently plays for the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA....

    , French Basketball Player
  • Gotye
    Gotye
    Wouter "Wally" De Backer , also known professionally by his stage name Gotye , is a Belgian-Australian multi-instrumental musician and singer-songwriter. He has released three studio albums independently and one remix album featuring remixes of tracks from his first two albums...

    , Australian-Belgian singer songwriter (1980)


In the 15th century, the city became the magnet for a number of prominent personalities:
  • Philip the Good
    Philip III, Duke of Burgundy
    Philip the Good KG , also Philip III, Duke of Burgundy was Duke of Burgundy from 1419 until his death. He was a member of a cadet line of the Valois dynasty . During his reign Burgundy reached the height of its prosperity and prestige and became a leading center of the arts...

    , Duke of Burgundy
    Duke of Burgundy
    Duke of Burgundy was a title borne by the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy, a small portion of traditional lands of Burgundians west of river Saône which in 843 was allotted to Charles the Bald's kingdom of West Franks...

     set up court in Bruges, Brussels
    Brussels
    Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

    , and Lille
    Lille
    Lille is a city in northern France . It is the principal city of the Lille Métropole, the fourth-largest metropolitan area in the country behind those of Paris, Lyon and Marseille. Lille is situated on the Deûle River, near France's border with Belgium...

     in the 15th century
  • William Caxton
    William Caxton
    William Caxton was an English merchant, diplomat, writer and printer. As far as is known, he was the first English person to work as a printer and the first to introduce a printing press into England...

    , English merchant, diplomat, writer, and printer
  • Petrus Christus
    Petrus Christus
    Petrus Christus was an Early Netherlandish painter active in Bruges from 1444.-Life:Christus was born in Baarle, near Antwerp and Breda. Long considered a student of and successor to Jan van Eyck, his paintings have sometimes been confused with those of Van Eyck. At the death of Van Eyck in 1441,...

    , Flemish painter
  • Gerard David
    Gerard David
    Gerard David was an Early Netherlandish painter and manuscript illuminator known for his brilliant use of color.-Life:...

    , Flemish painter
  • Hans Memling
    Hans Memling
    Hans Memling was a German-born Early Netherlandish painter.-Life and works:Born in Seligenstadt, near Frankfurt in the Middle Rhein region, it is believed that Memling served his apprenticeship at Mainz or Cologne, and later worked in the Netherlands under Rogier van der Weyden...

    , Flemish painter
  • Jan van Eyck
    Jan van Eyck
    Jan van Eyck was a Flemish painter active in Bruges and considered one of the best Northern European painters of the 15th century....

    , Flemish painter
  • Juan Luís Vives
    Juan Luís Vives
    Juan Luis Vives , also Joan Lluís Vives i March , was a Valencian Spanish scholar and humanist.-Biography:Vives was born in Valencia...

    , Spanish scholar and humanist
  • Simon Bening
    Simon Bening
    Simon Bening was a 16th century miniature painter of the Ghent-Bruges school, the last major artist of the Netherlandish tradition....

     and Levina Teerlinc
    Levina Teerlinc
    Levina Teerlinc was a Flemish miniaturist who served as a painter to the English court of Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I....

    , Limners

Miscellaneous



  • Bruges is known for its lace
    Bobbin lace
    Bobbin lace is a lace textile made by braiding and twisting lengths of thread, which are wound on bobbins to manage them. As the work progresses, the weaving is held in place with pins set in a lace pillow, the placement of the pins usually determined by a pattern or pricking pinned on the...

    .
  • Several beers are named after Bruges, such as Brugge Blond, Brugge Tripel, Brugs
    Brugs
    Brugs is a white beer from Bruges, Belgium, based on a traditional Brabant brew.The name comes from Dutch "Brugs tarwebier", which means "wheat beer of Bruges". Brugs was first brewed in Bruges, capital of West-Flanders...

    , Brugse Babbelaar, Brugse Straffe Hendrik and Brugse Zot. However, only Brugse Zot and Brugse Straffe Hendrik are still brewed in the city itself, in the Halve Maan Brewery.
  • In Sint-Michiels
    Sint-Michiels
    Sint-Michiels is a suburb of Bruges, in the province of West Flanders, Belgium.The amusement park Boudewijn Seapark with the dolphinarium is situated in Sint-Michiels.-External links:*...

     is the amusement park Boudewijn Seapark
    Boudewijn Seapark
    Boudewijn Seapark is a marine mammal park and theme park located in Sint-Michiels, Bruges, Belgium.-External links:*...

    , which features a dolphinarium
    Dolphinarium
    A dolphinarium is an aquarium for dolphins. The dolphins are usually kept in a large pool, though occasionally they may be kept in pens in the open sea, either for research or for public performances...

    .
  • Fiction:
    • Bruges-la-Morte
      Bruges-la-Morte
      Bruges-la-Morte is a short novel by the Belgian author Georges Rodenbach, first published in 1892. The title is difficult to translate but might be rendered as The Dead City of Bruges...

      , a short novel by the Belgian author Georges Rodenbach
      Georges Rodenbach
      Georges Raymond Constantin Rodenbach was a Belgian Symbolist poet and novelist.- Biography :Georges Rodenbach was born in Tournai to a French mother and a German father from the Rhineland . He went to school in Ghent at the prestigious Sint-Barbaracollege, where he became friends with the poet...

      , first published in 1892.
    • In Bruges
      In Bruges
      In Bruges is a 2008 black comedy crime film written and directed by Martin McDonagh. The film stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two hitmen in hiding, with Ralph Fiennes as their gangster boss. The film takes place—and was filmed—within the Belgian city of Bruges. In Bruges was...

      , a film from Oscar-winning director Martin McDonagh
      Martin McDonagh
      Martin McDonagh is an Irish-British playwright, filmmaker, and screenwriter. Although he has lived in London his entire life, he is considered one of the most important living Irish playwrights.-Life:...

      , starring Colin Farrell
      Colin Farrell
      Colin James Farrell is an Irish actor, who has appeared in such film as Tigerland, Miami Vice, Minority Report, Phone Booth, The Recruit, Alexander and S.W.A.T....

       and Brendan Gleeson
      Brendan Gleeson
      Brendan Gleeson is an Irish actor. His best-known films include Braveheart, Gangs of New York, In Bruges, 28 Days Later, the Harry Potter films, The Guard and the role of Michael Collins in The Treaty...

      , is set almost entirely in Bruges. The city's major landmarks and history are mentioned repeatedly throughout the film, as are the contrasted viewpoints of the two lead characters of the story.
    • The detective stories of Pieter Aspe
      Pieter Aspe
      Pieter Aspe is a Belgian/Flemish writer of a series of detective stories starring inspector Van In.-Novels:-See also:* Flemish literature...

       are situated in Bruges.
    • The Nun's Story
      The Nun's Story (film)
      The Nun's Story is a 1959 Warner Brothers film directed by Fred Zinnemann and starring Audrey Hepburn. Based upon the 1956 novel of the same title by Kathryn Hulme, the story tells of the life of Sister Luke , a young Belgian woman who decides to enter a convent and make the many sacrifices...

      , a dramatic film released by Warner Bros. Pictures in 1959, is mostly set in Bruges.
    • Niccolò Rising, the first volume of the 8 book House of Niccolò
      The House of Niccolò
      The House of Niccolò is a series of eight historical novels by Dorothy Dunnett set in the mid-fifteenth century European Renaissance. The protagonist of the series is Nicholas de Fleury , a boy of uncertain birth who rises to the heights of European merchant banking and international political...

      series by Dorothy Dunnett
      Dorothy Dunnett
      Dorothy Dunnett OBE was a Scottish historical novelist. She is best known for her six-part series about Francis Crawford of Lymond, The Lymond Chronicles, which she followed with the eight-part prequel The House of Niccolò...

       is largely set in Bruges, and other books in the series also have sections set in Bruges.
    • Floris
      Floris (TV series)
      Floris is a 1969 Dutch television action series, written by Gerard Soeteman starring Rutger Hauer and Jos Bergman and directed by Paul Verhoeven.-Concept:...

      , a Dutch television action series, written by Gerard Soeteman
      Gerard Soeteman
      Gerard Soeteman is a Dutch screenwriter. He worked together with Paul Verhoeven on several films, such as Turkish Delight and Black Book...

      .
    • Alan Hollinghurst
      Alan Hollinghurst
      Alan Hollinghurst is a British novelist, and winner of the 2004 Man Booker Prize for The Line of Beauty.-Biography:Hollinghurst was born on 26 May 1954 in Stroud, Gloucestershire, the only child of James Hollinghurst, a bank manager, and his wife, Elizabeth...

      's novel The Folding Star
      The Folding Star
      -Plot summary:The novel is the story of an English gay man, Edward Manners, who, disaffected with life, moves to a town in Flanders where he teaches two students English. One, Marcel, is good but ugly while the other, Luc, is bad but, to the protagonist, deeply beautiful...

      is set in a Flemish town that is recognisably Bruges.
    • L'Astrologue de Bruges
      L'Astrologue de Bruges
      L'Astrologue de Bruges is the twentieth book from Yoko Tsuno comic book series written by Roger Leloup and published in 1994...

      , a Belgian bande dessinée in the Yoko Tsuno
      Yoko Tsuno
      Yoko Tsuno is a comic book series created by the Belgian writer Roger Leloup published by Dupuis and in Spirou since its debut in 1970. Through twenty-five volumes, the series tell the adventures of Yoko Tsuno, a female electrical engineer of Japanese origin surrounded by her close friends, Vic...

       series by Roger Leloup
      Roger Leloup
      Roger Leloup is a Belgian comic strip artist, novelist, and a former collaborator of Hergé. He is most famous for the Yoko Tsuno comic series.- Biography :...

      , is entirely set in Bruges, both contemporary and in 1545.

Panoramas


Further reading


  • de Roover, Raymond. Money, Banking and Credit in Mediaeval Bruges: Italian Merchant-Bankers Lombards and Money-Changers: A Study in The Origins of Banking (Harvard U.P. 1948);
  • Murray, James M. Bruges, Cradle of Capitalism 1280–1390 (2005)

External links



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