historic city of Bruges started as a fortress built upon the order of Charles the Bald of
France by his son-in-law Baldwin, count of Flanders, at the top of the "Zwin"-estuary
where some coastal rivers were reaching the sea.
Centrally situated, accessible by land and sea, Bruges soon became the
leading trading place of Europe.
After the 14th century though, things changed.
Still, in the 15th century, Bruges witnessed the splendour of the court of
the Dukes of Burgundy. It was the age of the "Flemish Primitives" with
amongst others, Jan Van Eyck, Hugo Van Der Goes, Hans Memling and Gerard
David. The accidental death of Mary of Burgundy cast a death-spell over the
Slowed down by two world-wars, the revival of the "sleeping beauty" came
with the 20th century.
Nowdays, UNESCO has recognized the cultural importance
of the historic centre by awarding it World Heritage
Medieval Gothic architecture is the big deal. Although
there are touches of Romanesque;
Renaissance, baroque, and rococo; a dab of
neoclassical and neo-Gothic; and a smidgen of Art
Nouveau and Art Deco. But Gothic is what Bruges
provides, in quantities that come near to numbing the
senses - and likely would do so if it weren't for the
distraction of the city's contemporary animation. Now the future is bright for this old historical