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Bruges Tourist Information What Barge Bridge x

Bruges Tourist Information What Beguinage The Princely Beguinage Ten Wijngaarde with its whitewashed housefronts, tranquil convent garden and beguinage museum was founded in 1245. Today the nuns of the Order of Saint Benedict inhabit the site.

Bruges Tourist Information What Diamond Museum This museum illustrates the history of Bruges as the oldest diamond centre in Europe. Today, diamond remains one of Belgium’s most important export products. The daily demonstration of diamond cutting is a sparkling affair.

Bruges Tourist Information What Almshouses Godshuizen (almshouses) appeared in the 14th century. Wealthy families built houses for poor and needy widows and widowers. Sometimes the houses were built by corporations or guilds, for their members in need. Most of the time these houses form a complex around an inner court where the people of the complex could get their water and grow vegetables in the little gardens. Most complexes also have a chapel where the inhabitants were supposed to pray for the souls of their benefactors. In most 'Godshuizen' the poor inhabitants also received food and basic care

Bruges Tourist Information What Brewery De Halve Maan ‘Brugse Zot’ is the pride of the traditional brewery ‘De Halve Maan’, whose earliest reference dates back to 1546. It is a tasty beer of high fermentation made of malt, hops and yeast. If you wish to learn more about the production process and the history of the brewery, you can join a guided tour and try the beer.

Bruges Tourist Information What Blacksmith's Gate The first Smedenpoort dates from the period 1297-1299, when the new (or second) ramparts were built. The gate was repaired in 1337-1338 by Jan van Biervliet. The existing gate - built on part of the remains of the original version - was constructed in 1367-1368 by Mathias Saghen and Jan Slabbaert. They were asked by the city council to carry out this work "in the style of the Boeveriepoort", which they had just completed. The same design would also be used for the Ezelpoort. The gate underwent many changes in the centuries which followed. The upper chamber was replaced in 1615 and in 1909 a passageway for pedestrians was made in the northern tower. A cafe - in het Poortershuis (The Gatekeeper's Lodge) - was housed in the southern tower from the end of the 19th until the beginning of the 20th century. On 8 September 1944, the day of the city's liberation at the end of the Second World War, the retreating Germans blew up the bridge across the rampart moat, causing serious damage to the gate. As a result, extensive repairs were carried out in 1948. This occasion was used to create a second passageway in the southern tower. A further restoration of the brickwork is planned for 2006. There is a bronze skull mounted above the left-hand passageway. This is a reminder of the execution of Franรงois Vander Straeten at the end of the 17th century. His attempt to allow hostile French troops to enter the city through the Smedenpoort was foiled by loyal citizens and he died on the execution scaffold. His decapitated head was displayed on the gate as a warning to others and was later replaced by a bronze replica.

Bruges Tourist Information What Donkey's gate The Ezelpoort was built during the construction of the second ring of ramparts in 1297. It was rebuilt in 1369 to a new design by Jan Slabbaerd and Mathias Saghen, who were also responsible for the construction of the Boeveriepoort and the Smedenpoort. Various alterations were carried out between the 14th and 17th centuries. The lower section of the brick gate is authentic, but the old medieval gate was much higher. The original appearance of the gate was significantly altered in the 17th century, following the removal of the top part of the structure. In 1901 City Architect Charles Dewulf drew up a restoration plan, based on iconographic and other archive sources, with the aim of returning the Ezelpoort to its original appearance. The proposal was discussed by the city council, but rejected. Restoration work was eventually carried out in 1906, aimed at preserving the existing situation. The most recent restoration dates from 1991-1993.

Bruges Tourist Information What Great Seminary Bruges A unique place with a lush orchard and meadows with cows at pasture. Between 1628 and 1642 a new Cistercian abbey was erected here, which later on would achieve great fame for the wealth and erudition of its occupants. During the French Revolution the abbey was brought under public ownership, and the abbot and monks were chased away. The 17th-century abbey buildings were first used as a military hospital and then as a military depot and a grammar school before they were eventually taken over by the Great Seminary in 1833. Up to the present day the Seminary has been training catholic priests here.v

Bruges Tourist Information What Choco-Story The museum dips its visitors in the history of cocoa and chocolate. From the Maya and the Spanish conquistadores to the chocolate connoisseurs of today. A chocolate hunt gives children the chance to discover the museum. Chocolates are made by hand and sampled on the premises.

Bruges Tourist Information What Museum of the Basilica of the Holy Blood This double chapel consists of the Romanesque church of Saint Basil (1139-1149) on the ground floor and the Basilica on the first floor, rebuilt in Gothic revival style in the 19th century. The Relic of the Holy Blood is kept in the Basilica.

Bruges Tourist Information What x x

Bruges Tourist Information What Saint Saviour's Cathedral Bruges' oldest parish church (12th-15th century). Worth seeing are the gobelins, mausoleums in the choir, rood-loft with organ (1619-1717), choir stalls and numerous fine paintings. Cathedral ’s treasury: Paintings by, among others, Dirk Bouts, Hugo van der Goes, manuscripts, copper memorial plaques and silver and gold artefacts.

Bruges Day 2 Tourist Information What Hospitaalmuseum The St. John’s Hospital (now Memling in Sint-Jan - Hospital Museum) is one of the oldest preserved hospital buildings in Europe. The museum gives a moving impression of what life was like in a medieval hospital ward. Numerous pieces of furniture, silverwork, pewter, paintings, statues, etc. evoke images of the care of bodies and souls that took place right here, throughout the centuries. The hospital chapel is a virtual monument to the artistic genius of Hans Memling. This 15th-century artist created many of his greatest works for the St John’s Hospital, including his famous St. Ursula Shrine. In the attic, visitors can admire one of the oldest monumental roof truss systems in the world, while the old apothecary chamber and the herb garden are also well worth a visit.

Bruges Day 2 Tourist Information What Gruuthuse The opulent palace of the lords of Gruuthuse include splendid tapestries, a unique prayer chapel, a five-centuries-old kitchen and a collection of objects illustrating daily life between the 15th and the 19th century, from everyday kitchen ware to superb silverware.

Bruges Day 2 Tourist Information What Arenthus In this elegant 18th-century town house with its picturesque garden the work of the versatile British artist Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956) is on display on the top floor. Brangwyn’s talent as an architect, painter and designer of glassware, furniture and jewellery is breathtaking. The ground floor is the setting for temporary plastic art exhibitions.

Bruges Day 2 Tourist Information What Groeninghe Museum This museum offers a rich and fascinating array of (primarily) Belgian artworks. Highlights include the world-famous collection of works by the Flemish Primitives, paintings by various Renaissance and Baroque masters, several interesting pieces from the Neo-classical and Realistic periods of the 18th and 19th centuries, milestones from the Symbolist and Modernist movements, masterpieces by the Flemish Expressionists and a varied selection of Post-1945 modern art. Artists such as Bram Bogart, Hieronymus Bosch, Jean Brusselmans, Petrus Christus, Emile Claus, Gerard David, Paul Delvaux, Gustave De Smet, James Ensor, Fernand Khnopff, RenĂŠ Magritte, Hans Memling, Constant Permeke, Pieter Pourbus, Roger Raveel, Hugo van der Goes, Rogier van der Weyden, Gustave van de Woestyne, Jan van Eyck, Rik Wouters and many others are all exhibited in regularly changing displays.

Bruges Day 2 Tourist Information What Groeninghe Museum No visit is complete without a boat trip on the famous canals of Bruges. Floating down the canals, you will discover the city from a completely different angle. Indeed, some beauty spots are only accessible by water.

Bruges Day 2 Tourist Information What St Anne's Church The tiny square is dominated by the apparently simple church of Saint Anne. Her exterior may be austere, her interior on the other hand is one of Bruges’ most splendid baroque examples. As this neighbourhood gradually went upmarket, so did the church, naturally!

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