Squirrel's Secret Spot No: 9 Bruges

on Thursday, September 06, 2007

PhotoCredit: LGS (1. View from Belfry; 2. The beautiful canals; 3. Jerusalem Church; 4. Inside the Church; 5. Windmills; 6. Romantic canals and horsedrawn buggies)

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a gem; a portal to a different age. The old town centre transports you magically back to the Middle Ages for this compact 430 hectare site has hardly changed since its heyday from the 12-15th Centuries when it belonged in the Flemish court. Today, it lies within the boundaries of modern day Belgium.

This city made its wealth as a trading port and as a centre for the wool trade and for weaving. Later, it would also become famous for producing intricate lace. This delicate craft is still demonstrated and displayed at a local museum.

For the visitor though, it is like a wonderland with its cobbled streets revealing historical and architectural marvels at every turn. You can find the influences of the First Crusade in the form of relics found in certain churches. The Jerusalem Church is said to be a replica of a church found in that distant Holy City. Another landmark is the Belfry with its 47 bell Carillion which is still played till today.

The canals are beautiful and both surround the city centre as well as penetrate into it. Some parts of the canals weave past tightly packed buildings and might be reminiscent of Amsterdam or Venice while others are bordered by belts of green which are a great place to rest weary feet and have a picnic. Around the edge of the city there are also picturesque windmills to enjoy.

At a certain time of the year, the streets come alive with clourful and gay period costumes and parades which represent all the guilds that once made the city wealthy. This is probably one of the best times to visit except for the accompanying crowds.

Bruges is a place to immerse oneself in history in a pleasant environment and at a wonderfully slow pace. It is also a very romantic location and to top it all off, the cuisine and the local beer are also exceptional. It packs a lot into a small compact space. You could probably see it all in a day but it would be so much better to savour its charms over a week.


Becky Wolfe said...

Wow - it looks like a BEAUTIFUL little old town. A wonderful place to visit. Thanks for sharing!

Molly said...

When we lived in Belgium We took everyone who came to visit to Bruges! What a treat to click over to LGS today.....

Tai said...

Wow! You are so well traveled, and you write so clearly about where you've been, it's wonderful.
Love this post!

Janice Thomson said...

Ditto Tai! and I love that old church and would love to hear the bells...what a treat for the ears that would be. I think it would be superb to live on/in a canal - until it flooded the building of course :)
Love these posts Lgs - they are so informative with wonderful photos.

geewits said...

Thanks for sharing Bruges with us. It is very picturesque. I'm sorry I missed your last post. I also love old cemeteries, although Europeans laugh when we call anything old. I have lots of pictures of the beautiful New Orleans cemeteries. I once fell asleep in a cemetery in Illinois because it was so peaceful.

Dave said...

I look at your photos and read your post and realize that we really don't have anything here in my neck of the woods to really compare it to. Something is to be said about the history of a land beyond our own borders.

Thanks for the post LGS.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful and so are the pictures.
Thanks LGS.:)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

My pleasure.

Belgium seems like a lovely place to live. The Ardennes is also beautiful.

Thanks for the kind words. I have been waiting to read more of your Italian adventures.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I too liked that church and enjoyed the bells. There was a sense of tranquility about that place.

I have not visited New Orleans. I always imagined that the cemetries there would be fascinating but were they damaged or destroyed during Katrina?

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I don't know about that. They may not be as old as Bruge but I think places like Quebec City and Niagara-on-the -Lake to be equally special.

My pleasure. Thanks.

Claudia said...

How beautiful. I know nothing about Bruges - thank you so much for sharing!

Cheryl said...

I would love to visit Belgium. These pictures are beautiful. I've never been out of the states and therefore, never seen an 'old' country.

...Kat said...

I so appreciated your remarks to me that I placed them to my own gravesite posting....
and know that I am thinking wonderful happy thought for you

...Kat said...

and for you I risk retribution as in copyright infringement but kats get rabid in defense of squirrels at times

tsduff said...

*sigh*... oh to be traveling again... Beautiful pictures, makes me want to run to the nearest airport and takeoff. I love experiences I have at your place :)

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

You're welcome. I enjoy sharing about gems like Bruge. They should be for all humanity to enjoy and relish.

"Old countries" are interesting if you like history. In the USA, don't forget the native American sites are positively ancient.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...


I enjoy your photos and travel tales too.

my backyard said...

We liked it a lot, too. Hard to believe that it's so pretty and historic on almost every street.

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