A March 2006 trip
to Bruges by Monique Witsel
Quote: The historic city center was added to the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Restaurant | "Ryad Morrocan Restaurant"
On our last day we just happened up on this restaurant during our long walk to visit the Windmills (Sint-Janshuysmolen) at the edge of town.Once entering through the glass door you are transported to another land, Morocco to be exact. The decor is suitable to the theme, adding to the enchanting and romantic atmosphere.
The restaurant is set up on two stages. The upstairs section is set up with the traditional Moroccan seating, where one can enjoy a tea and smoke a "Chicha"(traditional water pipe).After enjoying our delicious meals of Couscous and Tagine (both Vegetarian), we enjoyed a cup of nouss nouss and took in the sweet aroma of the Chicha. A great experience not to be passed up!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 29, 2006
Ryad Moroccan Restaurant
+32 (0) 50 331 355
Restaurant | "Cafe - Brasserie Craenenburg"
Cafe Brasserie Craenenburg
Restaurant | "De Vier Winden (De Sneeuwberg)"
De Vier Winden
In the heart of Brugge, you find the court of Rembrandt. This café/Pub, with its good reputation and large terrace, is a valued hot spot of Brugge. During the summer it is delicious to stay on the terrace, where about 90 people can sit and a spot in the sun is guaranteed. On cold days this terrace is also heated. But also in the winter the court of Rembrandt holds a trump card, with its sociable bar, and relaxed indoor atmosphere. The court of Rembrandt also offers various bottled and on draft beers.
You may choose from a wide variety, such as some of their local beers: the renowned Bruges Tripel, among others: Jupiler, Hoegaarden, Duchesse, Leffe in the blonde and dark versions, the Koninck, and of coarse, the beer of the month. Enjoy a small snack along with one or more of their great beers.
HetHof van Rembrandt
+32 050 33 7450
Restaurant | "Saint-Amour ('t Voermanshuys)"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 29, 2006
Oude Burg 14
Bruges, Belgium 8000
32 050 33 71 72
Attraction | "The Belfry of Bruges"
Belfry Tower/Belfort of Bruges
Bruges is the Capital of the West Flanders province, connected by canals with Zeebrugge (North Sea). It is also a Rail Junction for commercial, Industrial use (including: Lace, Textiles, Ships, Industrial Glass), and of coarse for the use of tourists.Bruges was founded on an Inlet of the North Sea in the 9th century and turned in to a Center of Trade with England in the 11th century. It flourished as a major "Entrepôt" port, and was one of the chief wool processing centers of Flanders, turning Bruges in to one of the major commercial hubs of Europe during the 14th century.The City held extensive political privileges and played a major part in the chronic struggle between England, France, and the Counts of Flanders.Philip IV of France annexed Flanders in 1301. Bruges led the rebellion against him. The French garrison was massacred in 1302. Shortly afterwards the "Citizens-Army" of Bruges was led to Victory in the Battle of the Spurs.As a result of foreign competition, the wool Industry in Bruges took a great decline in the 15th century. The City lost its access to the North Sea and its outer ports by 1490, because the inlet Brudges was located on, silted up completely.By the 1500, Antwerp replaced Bruges as chief Entrepôt of north Europe. With the start of extensive repairs to its ports, the industrial and commercial revival of Bruges began once again in 1895.During World War I and II, Bruges was occupied by the Germans. A tag in history, known as "The Raid on Zeebrugge" (in 1918) planned to neutralise the key Belgian Ports of Zeebrugge and Ostend, both used by the German Navy as a base for submarines and light shipping.Back in the 14th and 15th century, Bruges was home to many masters of Flemish Art such as Jan van Eyck and Gerard David whose work is represented in the Churches, Museums of the City, and other public buildings. Six authentic masterpieces created by Hans Memling can be seen in the Hospital of St. John (built in the 13th and 14th century), Mariastraat 38, which adjoins the Cornelius Chapel. Just across the street in the Church of Our Lady (constructed between the 13th-15th Century), and recently restored, one can visit the tombs of Charles the Bold and Mary of Burgundy. Michelangelo's white marble Madonna with Child is also displayed there.The Basilica of the Holy Blood (1139 to 1149), Burg 15, was a major site for pilgrimage. A most beautiful and breathtaking double chapel. On ground level, St. Basil's Chapel is in Roman style. The first floor chapel, converted into neo-Gothic style in the 19th century, contains the famous relic of the Holy Blood. Sint-Janshuysmolen, the so called stilt windmill (1770), located at the edge of town along the Kruisveststraat was in use up to 1914. After some restoration work, it is once again active since 1964. During the summer season, wind providing, the vanes turn at full speed. The miller will gladly show you around.The Royal City Theater is also a visit worth, located on Vlamingstraat 29. The theater was built in 1869 and is one of the best preserved theater buildings in Europe, having been recently restored to its former glory. The elegant neo-Renaissance facade conceals a majestic auditorium and foyer in eclectic style. The historic setting is regularly used as a platform for contemporary dance, theatre, and concerts.Discovering Bruges on foot should also include a visit through Jeruzalemstraat, Jerusalem Church located on Peperstraat 3. Built in the 15th century according to the plans of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. Worth seeing are the precious stained-glass windows and mausoleums of the church founders (Anselmus Adornes and his spouse). Directly next-door is the Kantcentrum.Just a short walk away is the Jan van Eyckplein Old Toll House, on Jan van Eyckplain 2, built in 1477. This recently restored building was levied on the goods brought in by ship from the outer ports of Bruges. It is now a provincial information office. In the same square, you can admire the statue of Jan van Eyck, the famous 15th-century Flemish painter. Close by, Woensdagmerkt (statue of Hans Memling) and Oosterlingenplain where the German Hanseatic League (consisted of an alliance of trading cities maintaining a Monopoly) had its headquarters.Near the Railway Station, walking along Wijngaardstraat / Wijngaardplein you will come to Beguinage, the Princely Beguine of the Vineyard was founded in 1245 by Margaretha of Constantinopel, the Countess of Flanders. Since 1937, Sisters of the religious St. Benedict Order have taken the place of the former beguines, and it is now a monastery. Yes, I was asking myself as well what is a Beguinage and after doing some research, asking a lot of questions: It seems that during the 13th-century people were looking for a new, purer, more mystical form of religion, as a reaction to the growing materialism. Numerous movements came about which were followed by men and women, resulting in the creation of several religious orders. The Churches Official Leaders did not like these new orders, often condemning and forbidding them. However, in the low countries, the female followers of the mystical movement were tolerated in the form of the Beguin. They lived in secluded parts of the city in Beguinages, and this way the religious-authorities could keep and eye on them, control them.
The women there were considered to be nuns, but did not make the same vows. Beguines took the vows of obedience and chastity, but not the vow of poverty. There also were no restrictions to the vows. They could at all times break their vows and leave the community. A Beguine, as described in the dictionary, is a member of any several lay sisterhoods founded in the Netherlands in the 13th century.Tip: when walking through this area take notice, and abide by, the silence signs posted around the buildings.Via the street called Minnewater you reach the park carrying the same name, otherwise known as Lake of Love, today a romantic spot, used to be a dock for so called barges which operated a regular transport service between Bruges and Ghent. Close to the bridge spanning over the Lake of Love you see the Poertoren, a former ammunition dump (1398).Also a most interesting site to see and visit, are the miniature like houses called; Almshouses, these are communal houses which were built by the guilds for their members and their widows or as a deed of charity by wealthy citizens for the poor and elderly. The oldest houses date back to the 14th century, often built around a communal garden with a small chapel and water well. These complexes have been owned by the City since the French Revolution. Most have been restored and modernised and are still inhabited by the elderly. Most of the inner gardens are open to the public. Some beautiful examples: Almshouse De Vos (Noordstraat), De Pelikaan (Groene Rei), Alsmhouse Zorghe and Schippers (Stijn Streuvelstraat), the Rooms Couvent (Katelijnestraat).Certainly I was not able to cover all the possibilities to be discovered in Bruges, but during our weeks stay we had a marvelous time, all the way around. You dont have to follow in anyone's footsteps but your own, so enjoy discovering!