Presentation of the destination
Bruges, capital of West Flanders, is one of the largest Flemish cities. Reputed for its romantic atmosphere, it is the ideal destination for a large number of couples in love from all over Europe. But it is also a cultural destination of choice. It was the European Capital of Culture in 2002. It is also in this city that is located the prestigious College of Europe, training center of excellence on European law. Whether you want to get lost in the delta of canals that are worth the nickname of "Venice of the North" or discover a perfectly preserved Middle Age architecture or admire the chefs of works of Flemish painting or simply walk in the footsteps of Colin Farrell, protagonist of Good Kiss of Bruges, there is always a good reason to go to Bruges!
Points of interests / things to see
Bruges is often nicknamed "Venice of the North". Like its Italian cousin, Bruges is surrounded by canals, lined with stone houses, mills and remnants of fortresses. Itâ € ™ s the perfect place to get lost in love, over the water, especially in the little winter mist that envelops the city and gives it an even more mysterious and romantic air. To take full advantage of it, we will go to the side of the Groeneri, a pedestrian zone that borders the canals and admire the facades of ancient buildings, small bridges such as St. Boniface, little bridge in the back of where lovers love to take pictures. We will then pass by the Minnewater (Lake of Love) where formerly shipped the barges that provided the connection between Bruges and Ghent. Legend has it that the lake was created by a lover to pay homage to his beloved, dead by fleeing his father who disapointed their union. Today, it is certainly the most romantic place in Bruges, with its charming park and white swans. The swan is also one of the symbols of Bruges and also possesses its legend: Pieter Lanchals, collaborator of the Emperor Maximilian of Austria, was decreed on the Great -Square. In punishment, Bruges was condemned to keep these "long necks" (langhals) forever on its waters. They are nevertheless part of the romantic charm of Bruges. Bruges will also seduce the lovers with its historical heritage, its picturesque old buildings such as the church Notre-Dame, dating from the 12th-15th century, all brick and high with its tower of 122 meters. Inside, you can admire a Madonna and Child painted by Michelangelo. The Belfry overlooking the Grand Place, allows to have an exceptional view, provided to climb its 366 steps. Its carillon of 47 bells is one of the most famous of Europe. And the cinemiles will remember this central monument in the film Good Kissing Bruges! The Saint-Sauveur cathedral, the oldest in Bruges, has a very beautiful collection of Flemish primitive paintings. There is also the Saint-Anne church, built at the beginning of the 17th century in a Baroque style, all marble and woodwork. Do not forget the ramparts whose greenery encircles the city and hides many treasures: the four windmills, the old city gates like the Kruispoort (Porte Sainte-Croix) built between 1297 and 1304. It is here that Charles Quint, Napoleon and the German Army enter successively. The romantic walk will end in the freshness of a park , Not to be missed in the spring, especially the BÃ © guinage. This place where once lived the Basques, a laity religious community of women, usually celibate or widowed, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Behind its whitewashed facades, hides a cloister and a very beautiful garden where daffodils bloom. We then go to the Koningin Astridpark (Queen Astrid Park) which, with its small pond and its beautiful gilded gazebo, delights the lovers.
Bruges is also a city that we visit for its museums and cultural life. Firstly, the Groeninge Museum, where a varied set of the history of Belgian painting is exhibited, mainly famous Flemish primitives but also masterpieces of the 18th century. 19th and 19th centuries, Flemish expressionists and post-war works. Among the world famous paintings that can be admired: The Virgin of Canon Van der Paele of 1436 and the Portrait of Marguerite Van Eyck both signed Van Eyck and considered as his most beautiful canvases; The Annunciation of P. Christus, the oldest unified perspective Dutch painting; The Death of the Virgin by H. Van der Goes, the Moreel Triptych by H. Memling and the dreadful Judgment of Cambyse by G. David. Among the later painters are paintings by Isenbrandt, Benson, Blondeel, Provost and the Pourbus family. The painters of the seventeenth to the nineteenth century are represented among others by F. Khnopff, one of the children of Bruges. The collection of modern and contemporary art includes Belgian painters such as Rik Wouters, G. Van de Woestijne, Permeke, as well as Vantongerloo, Delvaux, Magritte, Raveel and Panamarenko. The Broodthaers cabinet contains all the printed editions of the artist. Then head to the Gruuthuse museum, housed in a luxurious city palace of the lords of Gruuthuse. In this former Baroque house is now exhibited a collection of objects from everyday life from the 15th to the 19th century: furniture, tapestries, musical instruments and medical and musical pieces. currencies, among others, testify to life in a past Bruges. The Hall of Fame, with its richly ornamented beams, tapestries and his own, gives an idea of the pomp and wealth of the Gruuthuse lords who were rich traders. Do not miss also the bust of Charles V, carved in wood and terracotta in 1520, and the chapel, nestled on the second floor of the palace, made of oak. br /> The Stadsschouwburg (municipal theater) of Bruges, built in 1869, is one of the best preserved in Europe, its home is worthy of a palace and its Great theater room. It offers a large number of contemporary dance and theater performances as well as concerts. The municipal theater is worth the turn for both its architecture and its programming. His style oscillates between the Neo-Renaissance and the Baroque, its rounded, typically Baroque forms, have earned him the nickname "bonbonnière". The rounded arches and porches contrast with the enormous columns as decorative as they are necessary to maintain the structure. Among the cultural events that animate this place every year is the December Dance, organized as part of the Bruges Central festival. This series of dance shows welcomes artists from around the world. The entrance to the theater is guarded by Papageno, the character of Mozart's Flute Enchanted, with its score on the plot on the other side. br /> The charming Flemish is very melancholy and offers throughout a series of concerts quality. The Concertgebow will delight the whole family, from classical music lovers to children, on a quest for fantasy. The building has a much more modern architecture than the rest of Bruges but equally amazing. Responding to the need to have an important cultural platform to attract international ensembles and offer a quality musical program to the region's inhabitants, the Concertgebow was commissioned in the run-up to 2002 , year in which Bruges was European Capital of Culture. It is the project of Paul Robbrecht and Hilde Daem that has been retained, for its aesthetic and functional power. Inaugurated by the royal couple, the Concertgebouw has been offering since 2002 a series of festivals that immerse the public in the rich culture of music and dance. Among the annual meetings of the amateurs of old music let us mention the MA-festival which takes place in August and Bach Academy Brugge, in January. Finally, small gluttony for the road, Bruges na Do not forget its gastronomic culture, that's why we can visit the museum of the French fries! Installed in the Saaihalle, one of the most beautiful building of the city, it will allow the gourmet visitor to discover the poppy of the potato, the history of the fries and its secrets of manufacture for a perfect fries. The visit concludes of course with a tasting, comfortably seated in the medieval cellar.
Vacation rentals in Bruges (Flanders)
How to get there ?
The best way to get to Bruges from France is Thalys, direct and very fast from Paris or Lille. The train station is only 20 minutes walk from the center and the connection can be done by bus. Those who come from far away and would like to fly will have to land in Brussels and catch the train at Brussels-South station or prefer Charleroi airport, less well connected but connected to Bruges by a direct bus. By car, Bruges is only three hours drive from Paris, it will take the E40 motorway between Ostend and Brussels. Once installed, we move mostly on foot or bike to fully enjoy the city. Touristic tours are even organized to visit Bruges and drink a beer between cyclists. We also do not miss a tour of the city by boat on the canals or crawl, especially if we visit the city in love! And to discover the hinterland, we recommend Vespa tours through the green polders, the small authentic villages and the breathtaking landscapes.
Bruges city hall
Hotels in Bruges (Flanders)