Food for the soul and the tummy!
- Church of Our Lady –for Michelangelo’s ‘Mother with child’
- Basilica of the Holy Blood – 2 churches in one! Left door down to the 12th century Romanesque church (oldest building in Bruges) Right hand door leads to the upper chapel, dated from 15th century with a facelift in Neo-Gothic style in the 19th century. This is where the relic of the Holy Blood is kept – worshipped every Friday.
- Coffee & cake (or chocolate!)
- Frites Museum – finish your visit with a yummy bag of frites in the basement café.
- Canal Tour – allows you to sit down & gaze at this very pretty city whilst conveniently being told what you’re looking at!
Wander & wonder!
- Start in the Market Square
- Flemish buildings – many now cafes, but with lots of history attached!
- Climb the Belfry (or just look at it from the ground!) Listen to the carillon that plays every 15 minutes – it contains 47 bells, so can play a variety of tunes.
- Provincial Palace (on the left as you look at the Belfry) Official residence of the governor of the province of West Flanders.
- Castle Square – next to Market Sq
- Former location of the first Count’s Castle built to defend The Flemish coast from the Norsemen.
- Known as the birthplace of Bruges
- Building in two parts – smaller one on left is the Old Chambers and larger one on the right is City Hall.
- The Old Chambers are watched over by a gold plated statue of Justitia
- City Hall façade (14th century)is adorned with many statues of heroes, counts and dukes who featured in the history of Bruges and Flanders
- Basilica of the Holy Blood (also in Castle Square)
- Canal Tour – look out for the fish market and pop back to have a look and also to visit the bust of Frank Van Acker. Mayor of Bruges from 1976-1992 he is warmly remembered by the people of Bruges as the one who laid the foundations for the resurrection of the City.
- Coffee & cake
- Amble round the cobbled streets admiring the chocolate shops, lace shops and beer & Moules frites!
Art & Culture
- Castle square
- Groeningmuseum – famous for its collection of works by ‘The Flemish Primitives’’ and most of all ‘Madonna with Canon van der Paele’ painted by Jan van Eyck between 1434 & 1436. This is the most important museum in Bruges.
- Church of Our Lady – a Gothic church started in the 13th century, with a Baroque interior. Famous for Michelangelo’s ‘Mother with child’
- St Johns Hospital, established in the mid 12th century, and served as a hospital until 1978. The 17th century Old Apothecary is also in here.
- Beguinage. Established in 1245, the Beguine sisterhood lived here until 1930, when their work was taken over by Benedictine nuns. The Beguinage weren’t nuns, but a community of independent women who lived either alone or in groups, working for their living – often called the first emancipated women n Europe.
- Minnewater – the lake of love – beautiful spot to have a rest.
This is now close to the central station if you are catching the train back to Blankenburg for the shuttle to the ship.