In BrugesFriday, 27 August 2010
Markt – The Market Square – in the centre of medieval Bruges.
London’s a great city, but there are lots of other great cities it’s easy to get to from London. Last week I hopped on my bicycle and spent three days riding to Paris. And Maureen and I have also hopped on Eurostar and zipped across to Bruges, Belgium’s perfectly preserved medieval city.
▲ The weather wasn’t always perfect during our three days in Bruges, but that certainly didn’t stop us (or anybody else) from exploring the city. Like this boatload of umbrella-toting tourists out for their €6.70 (US$8.50) canal cruise, it’s one of the city’s ‘must dos’.
▲ The canals are even more beautiful at night.
Markt is dominated by the towering Belfort and clambering up the 366 steps to the top is another Bruges essential. The view is superb in all directions and this was one of the key locations in the 2008 movie In Bruges. You find yourself wandering around the town quoting memorable lines (of which there were many) from the film.
▲ Or reading them. There was some repair work underway at the top of the Belfort and visitors had used the plywood partitioning as a handy place to graffiti their favourite In Bruges quotes.
◄ Another Bruges ‘must see’ is the beautiful Madonna & Child statue by Michelangelo in the Onze-Lievevrouwekerk church. It dates from 1504 and is the only such work to have left Italy during the artist’s lifetime.
The riverside used to be lined by windmills, a handful of them still remain. ▼