Friday, 19 December 2008

Bruges: its History

Bruges: a sense of history

Bruges: Truly the Venice of the North

When planning a trip to Europe, Belgium definitely has to be on your list. The focus in this article will lie on the amazing medieval city of Bruges, but please note that other cities like Brussels, Ghent & Antwerp are equally beautiful.
Bruges has everything the average tourist needs to make his stay an unforgettable one. Whether you're in your twenties or retired, whether you're British or Chinese, Bruges will never seize to amaze you and will fascinate you during every second of your stay. Ofcourse, the best way to be ensured of a wonderful holiday in this egg-shaped city, is to reserve one or more rooms in one of the hundreds fine Bruges hotels. Practically all of them are located in the old cobbled pedestrian-only streets or alleys and offer you a view on the famous romantic canals. You will be soon conviced that Bruges truly deserves the title of 'Venice of the North'.

Bruges managed to preserve its medieval look almost entirely. This is due the enormous efforts the authorities have made to restore the old buildings. A lot of them are world famous, such as the Church of Our Lady (one of the world’s highest brick towers) The Beguinage (with a beautiful garden, especially ins spring), the Burg, and, perhaps the best known building, present on almost every post card, the 13th Century Belfry Tower, located at the heart of the city, on the Market Square. Note that one of the finest
hotels brugge can be found there. If you're tired of watching the old buildings and are desperate for something fresh, Bruges can also arrange that for you: the newly built Concert Hall, with its absolutely original architecture, is one of the best designed and most prominent music complexes in the Lowlands. Dive into the high quality contemporary culture on a daily basis.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

About Bruges

Bruges totally deserved to be crowned as 'European Capital of Culture' in 2002, mainly due to its seemless match between the old and the brand new. This cultural fest was the culmination of a very rich and centuries long cultural history. Bruges was put on the list of the World Heritage Site of UNESCO, since it's undoubtedly one of the most picturesque cities in the world. The city emerged about a 1000 years ago and rapidly became an important port/harbour for merchants from all over Europe (hence its name 'Brugge': derives from the Old Norse word for 'port' or 'landing stage' Bryggja). From its central role in the Flemish cloth fairs circuit, to its function as the most sophisticated money market in the Low Countries in the 14th and 15th century, Bruges' regional power grew steadily over the centuries. This period of growth was sadly followed by a couple of hundred years of downfall ('Bruges la Morte), until tourism came along as an important new source of city income. In the late 19th century, Bruges became a majour tourist destination, giving the city new hope for a prosperous future. Year after year, it keeps attracting tourists worldwide.p>

About 20.000 people still reside in the historic centre nowaday, and about five times more live city suburbs. You won't encounter a single resident who will not share with you his pride of having the privilige to live in the city. Charming to see how friendly they are and how they try to impress you every time with their enthousiasm to show you around 'their' city.p>

Rain, wind and snow? No reason at all to leave Bruges! The city never stops to entertain and amaze you, 365 days a year! It's hard not to remember your stay in Bruges once you have had the chance to walk through it on a cold and snowy Winter's day in Winter or on a hot summer day in July.
Please note that Bruges can become very crowded, especially during high season. At night, however, when most of the city visitors are quietly sleeping in one of the many hotels in Bruges, the city fully reclaims its charm and tranquillity. If you're adverse to big crowds during the day as well, the streets and canals to the north of the city are worth noting, since they will take you right up to the 'Vesten', the beautifully restored fortifications that still surround the city today. Beautifully kept lawns that never seem to end are accompanied by age-old trees and by some stunningly renovated traditional windmills.p>

Friday, 19 September 2008

Restaurants and Museums in Bruges

City of food & beverages

Tired of looking at all the buildings? Sit back and enjoy a drink or a meal at one of the many restaurants, bars, pubs or clubs. Say yes to all the goods and enjoy the typical Belgian chocolate and waffles, or drink a few of the countless varieties of famous Belgian beers. You could ofcourse also let the beast go in one of the many gastronomic restaurants or hotels in Bruges. A lot of those restaurants and the romantic hotels in Bruges are unavoidable for he who likes to enjoy all the good things in life.

Some of the best, yet still very much affordable restaurants in the city centre are: Restaurant Aneth and Restaurant Arthies. Maybe you could also take a look at this website about restaurants in Bruges.

City of museums

With practically a museum around every corner, Bruges lets you dive into history as no other city can. From the Flemish Primitives to present day art, from the classic ‘fine arts’ to archeological excavations, furniture, silverware, folklore, etc. Bruges has it all. Various ‘Flemish Primitives’ Masters, such as Hans Memling and Jan van Eyck were home in Bruges and even Michelangelo has a clear link with Bruges. The only work of art made by him to have left Italy during his lifetime, namely a marble statue of Our Lady can be marveled in the Church of Our Lady. Also worthwile are the Groeningemuseum, with 600 years of different style paintings, the Gruuthusemuseum, the Memling Museum, the Museum of Folklore, the Guido Gezelle Museum, St. John's House, the Old St. John's Hospital (an absolute must-see), the Basilica of the Holy Blood (displays an ampul supposedly containing Christ's blood), the Diamond Museum, etc.
The finest hotels in Brugge are all a stone's throw away from those museums.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Hotels in Bruges

Hotels in Bruges

Alone or with family? No problem, the diversity of hotels that Bruges has to offer is so wide that you won't have any problems to pick the right one. Bruges hotels appeal to practically every visitor. Most hotels in Brugge however can be classified as charming family hotels (max. 30 rooms). Almost all of the Brugge hotels are also located in the cultural and historical heart of the city, where the architectural and artistic treasures are never far away.

Hotel Malleberg Brugge: This charming family hotel can be found on a priviliged location, namely near the Burg Square and the Market Square. All guests of Hotel Malleberg Bruges are welcomed in a contemporary and very tasteful 'décor'. The private facilities with shower/toilet, hairdryer, cable-tv and tea & coffee-facilities, together with the comprehensive breakfastbuffet, all ensure you of a very pleasant stay in Bruges. Hotel Malleberg Bruges also offers free afternoon tea & coffee and free internet access to all customers.

Monday, 23 June 2008

More Hotels in Bruges

Hotel Erasmus in Bruges: This small and charming design hotel in Bruges is nothing compared to the pressure you find in touristy joints. The classical music in the background will take you to higher spheres almost immediately. To fully enjoy the atmosphere in Hotel Erasmus in Brugge it helps to be a beer lover, since the hotel lets you choose between more than 150 artisanally brewed beers. The combination of functionality and comfort in a pleasant athmosphere will leave you with the impression that Hotel Erasmus in Bruges is the perfect location for a stay in Bruges.

Hotel Academie Bruges: Located in the famous golden triangle of Bruges, makes Hotel Academie Bruges one of the best hotels to explore all the sites of interest in Bruges from. The Convent, the Lake of Love, as well as countless restaurants and shops are within walking distance. >Hotel Academie in Brugge is a fine choice as a hotel to stay.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Outside Bruges

Hotels in Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent or Leuven

As said before, Belgium/Flanders offer a lot of cities like Bruges. Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent and Leuven are all in their own distinct way equally attractive to visitors. Belgium is one of the smallest countries in Europe, therefore it's very easy to shift from one city to the other.

The best way to do this is perhaps by train: journeys normally take less than 1 hour. Enjoy the beautiful architecture in or spend the night in one of the many beautiful and charming hotels.

Hotels in Bruges offer more or less the same standards of quality than hotels in Antwerp, hotels in Brussels, hotels in Ghent or hotels in Leuven. Although small and cosy hotels can be found anywhere, Bruges hotels are usually a little smaller in size.

Hotels in Brussel tend to be a bit further away from the historic city centre than hotels in Bruges. On the other hand, and this will stick with you when leaving Belgium, there seem to be railway stations almost on every corner, making hotels in Bruges as accessible for everyone than hotels in Antwerp, hotels in Brussels or hotels in Leuven.