The most important sights in Bruges, the dream of every tourist. It is the best-preserved medieval city in Belgium, and its beautiful architecture attracts more than two million visitors each year. If you don't have time for your travels in Belgium, Bruges should be your number one stop. With its wealth of interesting old buildings and canals, Bruges still retains a different medieval air. Anyone who walks the narrow streets or travels by boat on the canals falls just below their spell, fascinated by the atmosphere of what for many is the most delightful of all the cities in Flanders (Dutch-speaking northern Belgium). As the center of Bruges is relatively small, even those who only have one day to see the sights can expect to get a good idea of all the main sights. The essential view should definitely include at least the central square with the bell tower, the garden with the Basilica of the Sacred Blood and a trip along the canals.
The southern coast of Bruges, Markt (in the central square) is dominated by the Halle with the bell tower - the most characteristic landmark of Bruges - which rises above it. Halle began in 1248 and expanded twice, first in the 14th century and then again in the 16th century and once functioned as the city's main market. The building surrounds a picturesque courtyard, and the balcony above the entrance was once used by the city's fathers to promulgate their statutes to the population gathered below. The 83-meter-high bell tower is one of the most beautiful bell towers in Belgium and was introduced from the Halle courtyard. Heilig Bloedbasiliek presides over the central square, known as the fortified city. The church is famous for the crystal vials held inside, which are said to contain a drop of blood from Christ, returned from the Holy Land by Dietrich of Alsace in 1149 on his return.
Every year in May, this sacred relic is carried through the streets of the Bruges Procession of the Holy Blood. The basilica itself consists of a Romanesque lower chapel and a late Gothic upper chapel, which contains the remains of St. Basil, brought from Palestine by Robert II, Count of Flanders. In the heart of the city is Mark. The lively central square of Bruges, surrounded on all sides by elegant buildings from different periods.
The east side is dominated by the neo-Gothic Hof Province building, which dates from 1887 and is the seat of the provincial government of West Flanders. On the west side, occupying the left corner, is the attractive 15th-century brick Huis Butchute. On the opposite corner stands Craenenburg, where in 1488, at the initiative of Ghent, the burghers in Bruges kept the future Habsburg Emperor Maximilian imprisoned for 11 weeks.
On the southeast side of the fortified city is the town hall of Bruges (Stadhuis), one of the oldest in Belgium, built between 1376 and 1420. The facade of the delicate Gothic building shows the strong vertical accent characteristic of the style, with towering pilasters, three of which end octagonal towers separated by tall Gothic cathedrals arched windows. The Baldwin Iron Shoulder Flanders Census Statues resemble 49 niches. Inside, don't miss the great Gothic hall on the first floor with its beautiful wood carvings, which date back to 1402, and its murals record events in the history of the city by A and J de Vriendt (1895-1900).
Go to the Dijver Canal to visit the Stedelijk voor Schone Kunst museum, which has the best art collection in Bruges. In addition to the excellent donation of old Flemish paintings, the museum also includes a gallery of modern art and a superb collection of views of old Bruges. However, the first five rooms of the museum are most likely to treat you, as they contain quite exclusive paintings by old Flemish lords.
The 112-meter church of the Virgin Mary (Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk) is the tallest in Belgium. Work began on the nave and aisles around 1230, with the most remote aisles and chapels being added in the 14th and 15th centuries. The church has a wealth of treasures of art, among which is the sublime sculpture of Michelangelo, Virgo and Child (1503-04).