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Bruges sights

The sights of Bruges are amazing northern Gothic, Romanesque neighborhoods and ancient churches that are a must-see. This city is also famous for its colorful carnivals and processions.

Bruges is one of the most beautiful cities in Belgium and Europe, where its medieval past lives on. Here you get, as if in an old German fairy tale in the style of Hoffmann, and the city remains in memory forever.

Top 20 attractions in Bruges

The “Old Town” area is protected by UNESCO. On the streets of Bruges you can find friendly inhabitants, everything breathes calm and peaceful. They have been brewing excellent beer and making delicious chocolate for centuries.

We offer you a brief description of the attractions of Belgian Bruges with names, photos and descriptions, so that in the future, coming here as a tourist, you will not miss the most interesting and worthy of attention.

Market square

The market square is the main attraction of Bruges

This is the center of the Old Town of Bruges. Even today, the main city institutions are located here: the City Council, the courthouse, as well as the bell tower, etc. For more than 20 years, the square has been reserved exclusively for pedestrians. This is a favorite place in Bruges for tourists.

The most interesting thing here is the bell tower with half a hundred bells and bells and the Renaissance statue of the Madonna. The entire market square is the center of the rich history of this small but important country in Europe, the heart of medieval Bruges.


Belfort - the bell tower in Bruges

This is the medieval bell tower of Bruges, built in the 13th century on its market square, the main symbol of the city. In the bell tower there was a treasury and the city archives for many centuries. It was also used for the timely detection of fires.

Today you can climb the ancient steps to the top to see the beauty and historical sights of Bruges. A famous Longfellow poem is dedicated to this bell tower.

City Hall

The Bruges town hall is a must-see

In this building, which is a monument of Gothic architecture, the City Council meets today. The town hall is the most beautiful attraction of Bruges and the whole of Belgium and is included in the famous UNESCO list.

The town hall is located in the center of the city on Burg Square. It was built in the early 15th century and today is one of the oldest administrative buildings in the city. During the Middle Ages this town hall was a trendsetter in architecture.

Gruninge Museum

The famous Gruninge Museum in Bruges

It is the city’s art museum, famous throughout the world for its rich collection of paintings of the early Dutch. Its building was built in the 30s of the last century, there are 15 halls of masterpieces of the old Flemish school.

Van Eyck, Bosch, David, Memling, Bruegel the Younger, Provost – these are the most famous artists whose paintings are on display here. And in another museum building, you can see works by more modern Magritte and Delvaux.

Chocolate Museum

The Museum of Chocolate - the pride of Belgian Bruges

You can come to this museum with children to learn in detail how cacao beans are made into delicious chocolate. Here you will be told in detail about the history of this delicacy, the geography of the spread of the chocolate tree, etc.

You can also get the best recipes at the chocolate museum, including. from the Belgian chemist who invented chocolate, read books about the sweet, ask experts questions and learn about the benefits of chocolate, etc.

St. John’s Hospital

St. John's Hospital - Bruges

It is a former hospital established by a monastic order, which today houses a museum. The museum features, among other things, a gallery of works by Memling, a 15th-century painter. You can also see the work of other famous Flemings.

The hospital building is one of the oldest of its kind in Europe. The hospital was constantly being expanded and expanded, and the poor were treated here. But in the 19th century it was closed. Today this building is also often used as a conference hall.

Gruuthuse Museum

Bruges - Gruuthuse Museum

It is a unique historical castle preserved in the vicinity of Bruges. It was built in the 15th century, then given to the city, and today its rooms house exhibits and collections relating to medieval life in Bruges.

In the castle itself, the interior, furnishings, and personal belongings of its inhabitants have been preserved. The kitchen has a 15th century fireplace in working order, and the castle has an entire authentic heating system. There are a lot of old kitchen and dining utensils, clothes, furniture of those times.

Basilica of the Holy Blood of Christ

Basilica of the Holy Blood of Christ in Bruges, Belgium

The Holy Grail with the blood of the Lord taken from the Cross is the reason for many crusades. In Belgium, it is believed that a Count of Flanders brought a piece of this blood from Jerusalem to Bruges in the early 13th century. In connection with this, a chapel was built on Burg Square.

The chapel was later rebuilt into a basilica, which combines Romanesque and Gothic styles. It is inconspicuous against the background of City Hall, but it is here in the upper Gothic part of the temple that this Christian relic is kept in a crystal ampulla.

Church of Our Lady

Church of Our Lady - photos and description of places of interest in Bruges

It is a Catholic church built in the Gothic style in Bruges in the 12th and 13th centuries. It is famous for housing Michelangelo’s sculpture “Mary with Child”, also called the “Madonna of Bruges”.

The Church of Our Lady is a cathedral, topped with a tall bell tower, one of the symbols of this city. Also buried here are the remains of the last Duke of Burgundy and his daughter.

Jerusalem Church

Jerusalem Church in Bruges

This temple was built in the 15th century and has not been rebuilt since. All of its interiors have been preserved in their original form. It is a replica of the temple of the Holy Sepulchre, which is located in Jerusalem.

The Adorn brothers, members of the noble family of Bruges, after their pilgrimage to Jerusalem, decided to build this church in their homeland. They brought from the Holy Land and kept in the church part of the cross on which Christ was crucified and other relics.


Beguinage - Bruges

It is a commune of single women, which was established in the 13th century. The beginage was a kind of convent from which one could leave at any time and get married. This monastery in the city occupies a large block.

The first beguinage buildings appeared at the beginning of the 13th century, when such communes were very fashionable in northern Europe, but the main Baroque buildings date from the 17th and 18th centuries.

The canals of Bruges

The romantic canals of Bruges

It is one of the main attractions of Bruges. Thanks to her, the city is among the contenders for the title of “Venice of the North. The canals cut Bruges apart, and many of its houses stand directly on the water.

The fact is that the city stands in the lowlands and used to be periodically flooded by water from the North Sea. Then the sea receded, but there were still canals to sail to the middle of Belgium, bringing cargo or passengers to Bruges.

Ter Doest Monastery

Ter Doest Monastery in Bruges

It was once a large abbey, most of whose buildings were built in the 12th century, but today all that remains of the monastery is a large Gothic-style cattle farm.

Here in the 13th century there was a flood, most of the monastery was destroyed by water and could not be rebuilt. There used to be a Catholic church, a hospital, a large refectory, etc.

English monastery

English Monastery - Bruges (Belgium)

This convent was erected in Bruges in the early 17th century by fleeing Catholic women from Great Britain. They intended to help all Catholics suffering oppression in other countries.

In the 18th century the monastery was significantly reconstructed. They built a new church with domes, increased the refectory area, and decorated the main altar with several varieties of marble.

Museum of French Fries

The Bruges Fries Museum

This museum in Bruges will tell you everything mankind knows about the potato and, in particular, about French fries. The only museum of its kind opened in 2008. It is located in an old building from the 14th century, built in the Gothic style.

In the museum’s exhibition you can see various documents, photographs, potatoes of different varieties, dishes on which fries are prepared and served. The machines used to grow and harvest the crops are of great interest.

Lace Museum

Lace Museum in Bruges

Bruges has been the center of lace production since the Middle Ages, so be sure to take the time to visit this museum. Here you can learn about the history of this handicraft and see lace creations of incredible beauty.

The fame of Bruges lace began to spread across Europe in the 15th century. It was purchased by the noble and wealthy families of this city. For many centuries there have been special ways of weaving the finest lace.

Monument to Jan Nepomutsky

Monument to Jan Nepomutský - Bruges

This saint of the Catholic Church was martyred because he refused to reveal the secret confession of the Queen of Bohemia to her husband King Wenceslas. Furious, the king ordered the execution of the priest.

Jan Nepomutsky was thrown off the Charles Bridge in Prague and tragically died without revealing the secret. Since then, in the Catholic rank of saints, he has been considered the patron saint of all bridges. In honor of this saint and his exploit, a monument is erected in Bruges.

Monument to the girl with an umbrella

Monument to the girl with an umbrella - the city of Bruges (Belgium)

The streets of Bruges are full of bronze sculptures dedicated to the beautiful sex. In front of us is a cute young fashionista, as if posing for viewers and photographers on the runway. Who this girl is, only the author knows.

Tourists are very fond of this sculpture and often stop near it to take pictures. Everyone makes up this girl’s story for himself, fantasizing about her life.

Jan Bradel Stadium

The Grandiose Jan Breidel Stadium

This stadium was built in the mid-1970s and seats nearly 30,000 spectators. It is named after the folk hero who led a popular uprising against French rule in Belgium in the early 14th century.

Today the stadium is in good condition. Many local soccer clubs play on it every year. And after the reconstruction it successfully hosted some teams in the Euro 2000.

Lake of Love

The Lake of Love is a natural attraction in Bruges

This lake is located in the heart of the medieval part of Bruges and is one of its symbols. Here live snow-white swans, which symbolize eternal love and fidelity.

On the lake of love you can make a trip on your own by boat or in company by boat to admire once again the local ivy-covered houses, the old bridge and artists with easels on the shore.

Excursions in Bruges in the style of decadence

Decadence excursions in Bruges

Some call Bruges dead or gray. So it is described in the famous novel “Dead Bruges” by J. Rodenbach and in an old guidebook of the early 20th century by Mary Stratton, which is still relevant to tourists.

Both books retain their original illustrations, pre-revolutionary Russian spelling, antique photos, and indexes. By following them, you will be able to visit the sights of Bruges on the map and get the opinion of the authors about it.

Video overview of Bruges sights

Bruges sights on the map

We recommend you to buy or download a map of Bruges with sights in advance in order to use it during individual or group excursions in this unique city.

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