Sunday 20 April 2014

In Bruges

... the bold modern Concertgebouw stands out in what may be Europe's most perfectly preserved medieval city. 

When I visited in late November last year (yes, my blog has suffered serious neglect) the central market square was just opening its Christmas market stalls, surrounded by colourful flags and buildings.

The burgers of Brugge and their dogs were out and about, looking unimpressed by seasonal tourist trappings, but maybe appreciating like me the amazing smells of fresh baked goodies. 

The Markt is surrounded by cosy bookstores, cafés and restaurants

and towered over by the 12th century belfry, unforgettable (to me, at least) as the site of some particularly grisly scenes involving darkly comedic Irish hitmen in In Bruges.

Sint Salvators cathedral and Church of Our Lady (bottom right)

I loved the Groeninge museum's collection of Flemish Primitive art and the walled gardens of the Arentshuis next door which has these sculptures of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse.

Wandering the cobble-stoned streets surrounding the centre, it's all picture-perfect canals and bridges. 

You begin to see how, compared to many other European cities, Bruges has endured its long history as a prosperous trading port (and focus for Flemish art) pretty much unscathed by both world wars or major upheavals.

 It's friendly, fabulously photogenic, civilised,  almost literally crammed with some of the world's best chocolatiers and restaurants  - I'd go back in a hearbeat.


  1. Karen, that you for the gift of these fabulous photographs of Bruges. I have never visited this place, and now think that I truly have missed something special. The mix of very old and very contemporary aspects is a mix that appeals to me very much. Also, I can never, never see enough moss covered old brick. Those colors are enchanting.

    May I also tell you that I have missed your posts and do hope to see another before too long. xo

  2. This was a good surprise! Your pictures are as beautiful as ever. And Bruges deserves a good photographer ,it is really a gem of a city.

  3. Yes, return and take me with you!
    I haven't been there for fifteen years - one of my top Euro cities. Totally loved it.
    Your photos are lovely and capture most of the delights.
    Yes, the food was wonderful too!

  4. Wonderful photos of possibly the most charming city in all of Europe. (Well, at least in a tie for the title.)
    I first saw it in the dead of winter, a stony gray and freezing January afternoon, mist rising all around, and we went into a little cafe and had a vin chaud, and were happy in a way I never quite remember being before. But it's equally beautiful under a brilliant blue sky with the sky catching every glint on the waters. Thanks for the chance to visit again.


Related Posts with Thumbnails