Bruges Journals

Bruges: Artistry Frozen in Time

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A December 2002 trip to Bruges by kjlouden

Waterways Dripping with Medieval Charm Photo, Bruges, Belgium More Photos
Quote: Medieval artisans were determined to reveal to the church and to mankind the creative spirit, how to elevate, nourish and indulge it. I wouldn’t have gone for the "Holy Blood," but humanism shines supreme in the real tapestry of Bruges.

Bruges: Artistry Frozen in Time

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Waterways Dripping with Medieval Charm Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
Ignoring what is and seeing what isn’t--this clinical hysteria defined the medieval church and its domination of art. The vacuum of power after Rome gave the church rule of every aspect of life. Amid this meddling, medieval artisans created the tapestry of Bruges: brick, stone, metal, lace, cloth, wood, and water scenes to indulge the senses. The UNESCO designation of Bruges as a World Heritage Site recognizes the conflict that defines human history: the Holy Blood of sacrifice vs. individual desire. I luxuriated in the artistry that set the course for humanism, the middle class and democracy. No visitor can deny that "artistic sanity," inspired by reality, was a driving forc...Read More

Brasserie Erasmus

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Restaurant

Brasserie Erasmus Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
We sought out Brasserie Erasmus because it was recommended by Arthur Frommer with only one $ and a star. It was supposed to be a good place to try the famous Belgian waterzooi, a "hearty stew" traditionally made with fish, more recently with fish or chicken. I would have the fish stew, I thought, and my friend was willing to try lapin a la biere or rabbit in beer sauce. It wasn’t far up Wollestraat (35) from the Burg. Inside, the decor was modern chic with light wood and fabrics, and we were seated in the second room by a window with plants looking onto a patio behind, on a canal and one of the most beautiful spots in Bruges with plenty of photo opps. Erasmus himself seated and...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 14, 2002

Brasserie Erasmus
Wollestraat 35
Bruges, Belgium
050/33-57-81

Bruges Stadhuis: Medieval Prototype

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Attraction

Bruges Stadhuis:  Medieval Prototype Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
It’s a fairytale facade with three hanging turrets forward, little red roof dormers and filigree fences decorating the peaks. On the Burg between Tourist Info and the Basilica of the Holy Blood, the Stadhuis at Bruges is not to be missed, even if others in Belgium are passed over. This one is reckoned the finest of medieval town halls and the prototype for other Flemish municipal monuments throughout the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1376, when the cornerstone was laid, Bruges was one of the largest towns in Europe with a population of 35,000 prosperous citizens, and it was a crossroads of trade, culture and art. More than any other building, this one was responsible for naming a "Bruge School" o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 14, 2002

Bruges Stadhuis: Medieval Prototype
1 Burg
Bruges, Belgium

Basilica of the Holy Blood

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Attraction

Basilica of the Holy Blood Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
All the "pilgrims" in the Basilica seemed totally unconfused. We had all come to see the precious sweat of builders, artisans, and artists, the work of wood carvers, metal smiths, and workers in stained glass. The entire city is so beautiful, anything to get the faithful of the Middle Ages to journey to Bruges to behold what human industry could achieve! Perchance they would buy some lace or a tapestry. If they viewed the Holy Blood, they would still see great craftsmanship. So much wealth to see here! A small museum room contains the most exquisite, most valuable masterpiece by Jan Crabbe, a 17th century metal smith. The Shrine of the Holy Blood is crafted of gold and silver and encru...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 14, 2002

Basilica of the Holy Blood
Burg
Bruges, Belgium

Shopping in Bruges

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Attraction | "Nothing Transports Me in Time Like Shopping!"

Shopping in Bruges Photo, Bruges, Belgium
Quote:
The rest of this day was going to be fun! I had been in Belgium all week and had dutifully followed my own rigorous itinerary, even in freezing temperatures, reading maps, standing in lines, running to catch buses. And, thanks to my own frugality, I still had plenty euros in my pocket--if I got rid of them now, I wouldn't have to exchange them! Christmas was approaching, so if I saw more of this city, it would have to be the goods in the shops. I didn't see many decorations, except at the Markt, but I wanted to shop the charming, winding narrow straats. Carols in English rang out everywhere. Regardless of all the artwork and architecture to see in this city, I had to take home a little of t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 14, 2002

Shopping in Bruges
Steenstraat
Bruges, Belgium