Bruges is nicknamed ‘the Venice of the North’ is one of the most scenic places in Europe. It is one of the most popular cities to visit in Belgium. In this post, we will share with you some of the attractive destinations in Bruges, Belgium.
Attractive Destinations in Bruges
1. Basilica of the Holy Blood
The Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges is said to house the blood of Christ, collected by Joseph of Arimathea and brought to Belgium from the Holy Land. It sounds deeply religious, and Christian visitors will feel that way. However, the basilica is also worth experiencing regardless of faith. Stunning in its simplicity, it has some masterly decorations and historic value. It consists of two chapels; the one on the lower level is austere with very little decoration, while the Gothic upper level is alive with color and detail. Every day at fixed hours, visitors can queue up to touch or kiss the cloth with the holy blood on it.
2. Belfry (Belfort van Brugge)
The south side of Bruges’ Markt (the main square) is dominated by the Halle with the belfry-Bruges’ most distinctive landmark-soaring above it. The Halle was begun in 1248 and twice enlarged, first in the 14th century and then again in the 16th century, and once functioned as the city’s main marketplace. The building encloses a picturesque courtyard, and the balcony above the entrance was once used by the city fathers to promulgate their statutes to the populace assembled beneath.
The 83-meter-high belfry is one of the finest bell towers in Belgium and is entered from Halle’s inner courtyard. Construction of the bell tower began in 1282, and the crowning octagonal upper section was finally completed in 1482. Today, a carillon of 47 bells still hangs in the tower. For the best view over Bruges, you can climb the 366 steps up to the top of the tower.
3. The Markt
Located in the heart of the city is The Markt (“Market Square”). This is a wonderful spot to begin your tour in Bruges. You’ll load of lovely restaurants and cafes to sit in. From here can you admire the historical landmarks in The Markt such as the 12th-century belfry and the West Flanders Provincial Court. In the center of the square stands the statue of patriotic heroes Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck, famous for their passion for Flemish identity.
4. Town Hall
On the southeast side of the Burg is Bruges’ Town Hall (Stadhuis), one of the oldest in Belgium, having been constructed between 1376 and 1420. The facade of the delicate Gothic building displays the strong vertical emphasis characteristic of the style, with soaring pilasters, three of which end in octagonal turrets, separated by tall Gothic arched windows.
Statues of the counts of Flanders from Baldwin Iron Arm onwards fill the 49 niches. Inside, don’t miss the great Gothic Hall on the first floor with its beautiful timber vaulting, which dates from 1402, and its murals recording events in the town’s history by A and J de Vriendt (1895-1900).
5. Windmill Walk
6. Almshouses (Godshuizen)
These beautiful little white-painted facades were built from the 14th century onwards. Each community of almshouses had its own chapel where the occupants were expected to send their prayers of thanks up to heaven. These communities were sometimes set up by guilds to lodge elderly members, widows, or well-to-do burghers who wanted to ensure their place in heaven.
More than 46 blocks of almshouses have been preserved, 43 of which are still occupied by elderly people. A couple includes Nieuwe Gentweg and Stijn Streuvelsstraat.
7. Groeninge Museum
Head to the Dijver Canal to visit the Groeninge Museum, which holds Bruges’ best collection of art. In addition to its excellent endowment of Old Flemish paintings, the museum also incorporates a gallery of modern art and a superb collection of views of old Bruges. However, the first five rooms of the museum are the ones most likely to claim your attention as they contain quite exceptional paintings by Old Flemish masters.
In conclusion, these are attractive destinations in Bruges you must visit at least once.