As part of the conference on the E.U. we visited Bruges. Bruges is a delightful city, a tourist destination for good reason.
The steeple seen in the first picture is to the Church of Our Lady. The Church contains the only Michelangelo sculpture to leave Italy during his lifetime.
Near the church is the Memling Museum. The building was a hospital from the middle ages until the 1970s.
The middle of town boasts a Market Square, dominated by a bell tower.
Close by, Berg Square has the Basilica of the Holy Blood (the building in the corner with the gold statues). Derrick of Alsace brought back some of Christ’s blood preserved by some Christians in Jerusalem from the crusades and it is housed here.
Down a few alleys and around a corner or two is the Huidevettersplein, a small square which used to be home to the skinners and tanners of Bruges. If you ignore what used to happen here and don’t imagine the smell it must have produced, it is a lovely place. If you desire to bring back the tradition of tanning, there are instructions on one of the buildings.
Just when you have had enough of the touristy places, one spot to be quiet and reflect is the Begijnhofs. Women dedicated themselves to piety and service and lived in these buildings. The daffodils were getting close to blooming while we were there.
In case you are wondering it’s Bruges in French and English (don’t pronounce that S!) and Brugge in Flemish.