Bruges - Belgiums Medieval City
Trip Start May 13, 2004
2Trip End May 29, 2004
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Anyhow, upon arrival, I found my way through the old cobble streets and around the the meandering canals towards the Belfry at Mark't Square. Towering over the city (which wasn't a major feat considering most of the buildings were two storeys high), the 88 metre tall Belfry is Bruges most outstanding landmark, offering a breathtaking view of the city
Tucked away in a small corner of an area called Burg Square is the Basilica of the Holy Blood. Its a small little chapel dedicated to the relic of the Holy Blood, a small bottle of rock crystal, believed to contain the blood of Jesus Christ, brought to Bruges from Constantinople (that's Istanbul for those who got a f grade in history) sometime around the 12th century. Every year, on Ascension Day, a procession takes place along the city's streets, with a knight carrying the relic.
A two minute walk away from Burg Square takes you to the Huidenvettersplein. There was everything to love about this small quarter of historic homes, except if you were an English student asked to spell it's name. Many of the homes have been turned into restaurants with al fresco dining, and the warm European summer made it a wonderful place to chill out and have Belgian waffles and ice cream.
Adjacent to Huidenvettersplein is Rozenhoedkai Street, usually the starting point for an enchanting canal tour of Bruges and for photographers the site of a great photo of the Belfry. But with all that junk food still swirling around my stomach, I decided against it and continued to explore the city by foot.
The Beginhof is another part of Bruges not to be missed. It is former convent housed in a secluded court of almshouses with a quiet inner garden. The convent was inhabited then by the Beguines, a catholic order of unmarried or widowed women from wealthy families that took it upon themselves to look after the elderly. The serenity of the place was otherworldly, and I felt as if time had stood still whilst I was there.
It didn't, and before long I had to make the trip back to Brussels for the night, but not before exhausting the memory in my camera!