Holidays to Bruges

On Bruges holidays, you will find that the city is essentially a tidy and vibrant modern one but that it also has a distinctive mediaeval atmosphere about it, and this creates a unique experience, combining the old and traditional with the new and innovative. It has a quiet and peaceful atmosphere and many attractions besides the well-preserved old buildings.

The Grote Markt is in the middle of the Old City in Bruges, with many tourist attractions clustered around the old square. You can get your visit off to a flying start here by lingering over a cup of Belgian chocolate and admiring the ornate and gabled guildhalls of the mediaeval merchants and the richly decorated belfry that rises above the square. This was a city built on trade in the later middle ages, and the rising merchant classes of those days were keen to flaunt their newfound wealth and power as the modern world began to emerge. The whole of this area is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is like a time capsule where you can flash back 600 years and more to see where it all began.

The Belfry actually dates back to the 13th century and is a famous landmark of the city. At 80 metres high, the view from the top is breathtaking and there are a number of interesting things to see as you climb the 366 steps, such as a small barred treasury and the 47 bells of the Carillon.

The Cathedral (St Salvator) is from the12th century and contains a collection of carpets and paintings. The highly ornate tower, which is a landmark of the city, actually dates from the 1840s, when it was reconstructed and enlarged after a fire.

The Town Hall or Stadhuis is one of the oldest of its kind in the country and certainly, the most attractive, with a highly ornate gothic exterior festooned with statues of local noblemen. It was started in 1376, and took over 40 years to complete, but the effort and resources were clearly worth it. The Gothic Hall on the first floor is open to the public and still in use today for council meetings. Here, on your Bruges holidays, you can see the glory of mediaeval Bruges in all its incredible richness.

An unusual and interesting attraction on the outskirts of Bruges is the Beguinage, a small area of old wooden buildings constituting the home of a 13th century female religious community, the Beguines. The area is cut off from the sinful influences of the Old City by a solid stone wall. The Beguines were pacifists in an unusually violent age, and although they never succeeded in diminishing male violence, they became wealthy from the donations of rich converts.

Bruges is full of many other interesting historic and cultural attractions, and spring is a particularly good time to visit for holidays in Bruges, when the air is fresh and the whole town seems to be waking from its immemorial dream.


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