To the casual observer,
Bruges will come across as a huge
set for a period piece taking place in the middle ages. The
Venice of the north, as it is known, is a well-preserved city
where the entire historic center has been recognized as a
world heritage site.
The history of
Bruges begins around 2000 years
ago. At this time there was a Gallic-Roman settlement on the
site of the city. The inhabitants survived and prospered by
agriculture and trade. During the third and fourth centuries the
Romans had a fortification here and by the mid sixth century
this fort had possibly become the most important one on the
During the next few centuries trade and contact began with
Scandinavia and the Vikings. The name Bruges is derived from the
old Scandinavian word "Bryggja" which means landing area and
harbor. The city continued to grow due to its proximity to the
North Sea and by the ninth century Bruges was an important
commercial center and had a strong citadel called the Burg.
By the eleventh century
Bruges had become an important
commercial center for Europe. During this time though the
natural link between Bruges and the sea silted over. A severe
storm and flood in 1134 changed the appearance of the Flemish
coast and a deep channel appeared, the Zwin, which at the time
reached as far as present day Damme.
In the thirteen-century merchants
from all over the world were visiting Bruges. They came to sell
their goods and to buy acclaimed Flemish cloth. This time was a
time of civil unrest also. In 1302 an uprising of residents took
the side of the Flemish count against the king of France. On 11
July 1302, an event took place that shook the world. Local
residents and many Brugian craftsmen, supported by the count
being held captive in France, battled an army of what the
Flemish felt were arrogant French noblemen.
In the fourteenth century Bruges
turned into an international financial and trading center.
Several countries had their own representation in Bruges,
including the Italians, the Germans, the Scottish and the
Spanish. This helped create what was a multicultural European
city. Prosperity increased and art and culture flourished.
The local residents and craftsmen
selected the marshlands for the battle. The French nobleman and
their warhorses helplessly sank into the marsh of the
Groeningekouter, and were dispatched one by one. In the 19th
century a statue was erected in the Brugian market for Jan
Breydel and Pieter De Coninck, two deans of the Brugian guild
who organized the victory known in history as the Battle of the
Golden Spurs, which today remains a symbol of civic revolt.
The decline of
started in the 15th century due to the unstoppable silting up of
the Zwin and the competition with the bigger harbor of Antwerp.
In the sixteenth century Bruges began to recover to an extent,
but the city had clearly lost its leading regional position. The
split from the Netherlands in1584 led to the final decline of
Bruges early prosperity.
Through the seventh and
eighteenth centuries Bruges still maintained some of its
capitalist spirit with merchants still trading with England and
the West Indies. The city did struggle through the following
centuries and at one time was Belgium’s poorest city. New
industries where tried but with little success. The city again
began to attract attention in the late nineteenth century when
it was discovered by International tourism and tourists. The
cities heritage and culture begin to bring once again prosperity
to the town and region.
Today visitors from all over the
world explore and experience the wonders and charms of medieval
and historic Bruges.
Finest Collection of Bruges Faboulous Framed
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Ibis Centre Hotel Brugge is
ideally located in the historical centre. Guests can visit
area attractions such as the Beguinage, Brangwyn, Damme,
Saint-Jean and Gruthuuse Museum and the canals, which are
just 3 minutes, walk away from the ...
A warm welcome awaits you at
the Olympia Hotel Brugge, a cosy and homelike place where
you want to come back. It is only 400 metres to the medieval
centre, where all the interesting buildings, squares, shops
and restaurants are. Very easy to find, ...
Located in the city centre,
Martin's Hotel Brugge is just a stones throw from Grote
Markt and the famous monument The Belfry. It is also easily
accessible from all the tourist attractions in the city. The
hotel offers 138 comfortable guest rooms, ...
The Portinari Hotel Brugge
is located on T Zand Square in the centre of Brugges. The
hotel is a short walk or drive from the railway station.
This is a pleasant property with a wonderful location,
suitable for all markets and restaurants. When ...
Situated in the golden
tourist triangle of Bruges, Academie Hotel is less than 50
meters from the famous Lake of Love and the Beguinage or
Convent. The most known sightseeing attractions are all
within walking distance from the hotel. Fine ...
The Hotel De Castillion is
located in the heart of Bruges, in the shadow of Saint
Salvator’s Cathedral. To enter the Hotel De Castillion is
set to foot in another world, an oasis of calm, cosmopolitan
hospitality and good taste. All the 20 luxurious ...
The Oud Huis De Peellaert
Hotel Bruges is an elegant and luxurious property situated
right in the historical centre of Bruges and only 150 meters
from the Market Square. While visiting this hotel, you can
discover style and understated elegance, ...
Golden Tulip Medici Hotel is
located along one of the most beautiful and major canals of
Bruges. The main market square, restaurants, shopping
streets and tourist attractions, are all within close
vicinity of the hotel. Offering all facilities for a ...
Along one of Brugge's most
picturesque canals you will find the most romantic hotel of
the city Die Swaene. An outstanding hotel offers you an
excellent well known restaurant, a cosy bar and a lounge
that dates from the 18th century. For relaxation ...
Situated in the city of
Brugge, Hotel Het Gheestelic Hof is a Typical Brugge Manor
House with a gothic facade. The hotel offers comfortably
equipped guests rooms that are well furnished. In the
morning, guests can enjoy a leisurely and extensive ...
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