Bruges is a wondrous waterborne city situated in the northwest of Belgium. Bruges, which is called the Venice of Belgium, is renowned for its imposing gothic architecture and intricate canals. The medieval town is a delight for history enthusiasts because every monument and sculpture has a tale to tell.
Even though it was raining when we arrived, the city looked all brushed up and festive. The best way to explore this historical town is to hire a guide and go on a walking tour. Our guide took us through all the beautiful cobbled lanes while explaining the art and architecture of Bruges. So fascinating! We started our tour from Minnewater Lake and walked all the way up to the Market Square (Markt).
Our first stop was the Béguinage (Begijnhof), a convent for Benedictine nuns, which was earlier a place for single or widowed women to live in a pious way. The 18th century buildings surrounded by lush foliage is a sight to see – it’s one of the most tranquil places I’ve ever seen. There’s also a small museum, which recreates the living quarters of Béguinage an absolute must visit.
Another brilliant piece of architecture is the Church of Our Lady, a magnificent brickwork church famous for its white marble sculpture of the Madonna and Child created by Michelangelo. The Old St. John’s Hospital next to it houses the famous Hans Memling museum, which showcases the 19th century artists’ works.
Since the weather took a turn for the worse, we decided to have a quick meal before exploring further. After gobbling up waffles and frites, we decided to wander around Market Square – the lane is dotted with quaint lace shops and outdoor restaurants. Horse-drawn carriages and water fountains are a common sight in Bruges – the city still remains untouched by modern civilization.
You’ll love the Groeninge Museum if you are an art lover. The museum has exquisite Flemish and Belgian artists’ masterpieces. You can languish and pore over the beautiful works of art. Though we didn’t get to see Basilica of the Holy Blood, you must make sure to check it out. The Romanesque style chapel is famed for housing a phial of Jesus Christ’s blood. Intriguing, isn’t it?