Travel to Belgium
Day 2 Bruges (0 Km.)
Bruges: We start the tour at Market Square, which has been the heart of the city during the past ten centuries. Since 985 was a weekly outdoor market, but it ended in 1983, ending a long tradition of 1000 years. The wonder of this place is undoubtedly the bell and "The Halle". Throughout the years "The halle" was used for trade and textile warehouse. The tower 80 meters high inclines one meters left. You can climb the tower by means of a staircase of 366 steps, which allows you to enjoy breathtaking views over the city and its environs. At the top of the tower is a carillon with 47 bells.
Bruges - Market square
Another notable building in this square is the palace of the provincial government (1887-1921). In the middle of the square stands the statue of the heroes of Bruges who fought against the French at the beginning of the fourteenth century. They led an army of peasants and workers against an army of Flemish French knights.
Bruges - Basilica of the Holy Blood
We go to the Burg square, where is the town hall, one of the oldest(1376-1420) of Gothic style in Netherlands and the proof of the prosperity of those days. On the first floor is the stunning Gothic Hall, with a vault of wood and polychrome paintings relating to the history of Bruges. The second building is the Basilica of the Sacred Blood (Basilica of the Holy Blood) on the right of the council. It is the oldest building in town. Double Romanesque chapel was built in the mid-twelfth century to save the relics of the Holy Blood. It is said that the relic was brought from the Holy Land by Count Thierry of Alsace in 1149. Only the lower chapel (Chapel of St. Basil 1139-1149) has retained its Romanesque style. The upper chapel was restored in the fifteenth century in Gothic style.
Bruges - Rozenhoedkaai
We left the town square through a small street that goes to the fish market to one of the most beautiful squares (Huidenvettersplein). We are in the canal zone. At Rozenhoedkaai we found one of the most beautiful places to take pictures, besides being one of the places from which you can take a boat ride through the canals.
Bruges - Behind the Church of Our Lady
We continue along the canal and cross a small bridge that allows us to see a square with a modern art statues of the horsemen of the apocalypse. We crossed a small bridge to the rear of the church of Our Lady (s.XIII-XV), with a tower of 122 meters and a marble statue of a virgin by Michelangelo. This bridge crosses a small canal and gives us the oportunity to view some nice houses with wooden balconies. The back of the house of the Lords of Gruuthuse has a wall with the smaller window of Bruges. This house is an example of Gothic architecture.
Bruges - Mariastraat
We left the most romantic part of Bruges and go to "Weyngaerde Ter", a monastery founded in 1245 dedicated to the care of the sick. Just next door is "Minnewater" (Lake of Love), surrounded by tall trees and inhabited by swans. We went outside the city wall, where the dock in which since the thirteenth century barges operating between Bruges and Ghent. There is still a tower (Poertoren) which formed part of the wall. A couple of miles around the walls are several old windmills.