|Explore the canals|
i) Explore Her Canals
To walk along her canals is to discover the medieval heart of Bruges. The town grew on trade, and her waterways gave her access to trading ports.
Now the canals are lines with gracious houses and picturesque bridges; white swans drifts by, and the sun plays upon the water. Boat tours (with a commentary in multiple languages, naturally) offer an ideal way to see this town from the water.
|A side entrance to the hospital|
ii) Visit Sint-Janshospitaal
Dating from the 12th century, Sint-Janshospitaal is Europe’s oldest preserved hospital, and was still being used up until 1978. Now it is a museum of the world of medieval medicine, with even the apothecary and herb garden remaining.
And not to be missed: 6 masterpieces from the most famous of the Flemmish Primitives, Hans Memling (1430-1493) painted specifically for the hospital.
|Michelangelo in Bruges|
iii) Michelangelo in Bruges.
Not the best photo, for which I apologise. I just wasn't expecting to find a work by Michelangelo in Bruges.
Dating from 1501-4, his Madonna and Child sits in the Church of Our Lady, and is the only statue of Michelangelo's to leave Italy during his lifetime.
|The 15th C Kruispoort|
iv) Bruges' Town Gates
Fortifications once surrounded this town, and four of Bruges' town gates remain, marking the limit of the old city. This includes the Kruispoort, which was begun in 1401 on the site of an older gate.
|So many museums to visit|
v) Visit the Museums and Galleries of Bruges
Bruges boasts a plethora of museums, from the Groeninge Museum with its impressive collection of Flemish works (an exhibition of the Flemish Primitives was on display during my visit), the Memling Museum, to modern art galleries. There is even a diamond museum. No matter how short a stay, there is enough time to see at least one.
|The Bonne Cherie Windmill|
vi) See the windmills
Bruges was once a town of windmills, producing the flour needed to feed a growing population. Now only four remain, standing beside a canal along the line on the original fortifications. They have all been lovingly restored.
|The stepped roofline of Bruges|
vii) Simply look around you.
|Carvings of Chocolate|
|Outside the Basilica|
Ready to travel - please click here
Like my photos - please click here