A Day Out in Bruges

1st suggestion:

Food for the soul and the tummy!

  1. Church of Our Lady –for Michelangelo’s ‘Mother with child’
  2. 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.
  3. Coffee & cake (or chocolate!)
  4. Frites Museum – finish your visit with a yummy bag of frites in the basement café.
  5. Canal Tour – allows you to sit down & gaze at this very pretty city whilst conveniently being told what you’re looking at!

2nd suggestion:

Wander & wonder!

  1. Start in the Market Square
    1. Flemish buildings – many now cafes, but with lots of history attached!
    2. 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.
  2. Provincial Palace (on the left as you look at the Belfry) Official residence of the governor of the province of West Flanders.
  3. Castle Square – next to Market Sq
    1. Former location of the first Count’s Castle built to defend The Flemish coast from the Norsemen.
    2. Known as the birthplace of Bruges
    3. Building in two parts – smaller one on left is the Old Chambers and larger one on the right is City Hall.
    4. The Old Chambers are watched over by a gold plated statue of Justitia
    5. City Hall façade (14th century)is adorned with many statues of heroes, counts and dukes who featured in the history of Bruges and Flanders
    6. Basilica of the Holy Blood (also in Castle Square)
    7. 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.
    8. Coffee & cake
    9. Amble round the cobbled streets admiring the chocolate shops, lace shops and beer & Moules frites!

3rd Suggestion:

Art & Culture

  1. Castle square
  2. 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.
  3. Church of Our Lady – a Gothic church started in the 13th century, with a Baroque interior. Famous for Michelangelo’s ‘Mother with child’
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.