09 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions and Things to Do in Bruges
1. Praise the Church of Our Lady.
The top of the Church of Our Lady is 112 meters high ( Onze to live Vrouwekerk ) is the longest in Belgium. Work began on the nave and aisles around 1230, with the aisles and outer chapels added in the 14th and 15th centuries.
The church has a wealth of artistic treasures, including Michelangelo’s magnificent sculpture, The Virgin and Child (1503-04). The statue stands on the altar of the church at the end of the south aisle.
Calvary on the high altar is by Bernard van Orley, the Adoration of the Shepherds triptych is by Peter Porbus , and the Transfiguration is by Gerard David.
2. Visit Sint-Janspital (Old St. John’s Hospital).
Opposite the west door of the Church of Our Lady is Bruges’ oldest building, the Sint-Janspital (St. John’s Hospital), founded in the 12th century. The tympanum above the brick portal to the left of the Maristrat entrance, decorated with reliefs depicting the Virgin , has been dated 1270.
Inside the old building, which once housed the wards, is an exhibition of documents and surgical instruments charting the history of the hospital. The old infirmary adjacent to the wards has also been preserved.
Also within the walls of the old hospital is the Memmling Museum, a small collection of works by Hans Memmling (circa 1430-1494).
The most notable of these works is the Museum of St. Ursala (1489), which is recognized as one of the most important works of the master. Hardly less famous is the mystical marriage of St. Catherine, painted for the so-called altarpiece of St. John.
South of Sint-Jansspitaal is the Wallstraat, lined with exceptionally beautiful little houses from the 16th and 17th centuries where lacemakers still practice their craft.
3. Explore the Miniwater and Béguinage area.
In the Middle Ages, Miniwater (“Lake of Love”), on the far side of Wijngardplein, was part of Bruges’ busy outer harbour. Today, only the Gothic sacristy ( sluishuis) at the north end offers a hint of its quiet, ancient past.
Nice view of the bridge over Beginji ( the main one). Begijnhof ten Wijngaerde ) with its 17th-century whitewashed houses grouped around a tree-shaded, grassy square.
Founded in 1245 by Margaret of Constantinople, today it is home to Benedictine nuns.
Between the entrance and the church (founded in 1245, restored in 1605), one of Beguinage’s former houses has been converted into the Beguinage Museum , which offers a fascinating insight into life in Beguinage.
4. Visit the museum in Djour Palace.
On the left, at the end of the Djour Canal , is an attractive group of 15th-century buildings that once housed the palace of Heeren van Grothes . The original ” Hairans” were the merchants who had a monopoly on the dry herb trade .
Part of the mansion is now home to the extraordinary Groothose Museum , which houses an impressive collection of antiques and applied arts that spans 22 rooms.
Particularly striking are the lacework, carvings, tapestries, and armory, as well as the authentic and delightfully restored old Flemish kitchen and infirmary.
Brangwen , adjacent to the Grothesmuseum ‘s 18th-century Arendtshuis, boasts an impressive collection of porcelain, pewter, ceramics, mother-of-pearl, and views of old Bruges, as well as paintings and drawings. Burroughs – English artist Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956) was born.
5. Visit the Sint-Salvatorskathedraal.
From the Church of Our Lady, take the short Heilage Street. Geeststraat to Sint-Salvatorskathedraal , the oldest parish and cathedral church in Bruges since 1834. Most of the current building, originally founded in the 10th century, dates from the 12th and 13th centuries.
The castle-like, 99-meter-high western tower was built in several stages, the lower Romanesque part between 1116 and 1227 and the brick part between 1183 and 1228.
Over the centuries, the cathedral has survived four fires as well as the iconoclastic wrath.
The 101-meter-long interior contains some wonderful furnishings. Particularly prominent are the Baroque road screens with an image of God the Father in the Arts. Quillen the Younger, the 15th-century choir stalls are adorned with the coats of arms of knights of the Golden Fleece, and above the stalls, Brussels tapestries dating from 1731.
Just after the right detour is the Cathedral Museum which houses some priceless art treasures.
From here to Bruges market, take the Steenstraat with its row of typical Bruges gable gildehuizen that made it famous as one of the most beautiful streets in the city.
6. Admire the interior of Sint-Jacobskerk.
From the northwest corner , Sint Jacobstraat continues across the Eyremarkt to the Gothic Sint Jacobskerk, passing the 18th-century Musical Academy on the left and the Boterhaus (cultural center) on the right.
Gifts from the Dukes of Burgundy, whose palace was nearby, transformed the church in the 13th and 15th centuries from its relatively humble beginnings to its present size.
The rich interior contains fine 16th- to 18th-century paintings by local artists, as well as some interesting tombs. Between the latter, to the right of the choir, is the double-tiered tomb of Ferry de Gros (treasurer of the Order of the Golden Fleece, who died in 1544).
7. See Jerozelmkerk stained glass
The late Gothic church dates back to 1428 and was built over the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem .
The Adorn family, who built the church, made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and built the church on their return.
Visitors should note the church’s impressive stained-glass work, dating from the 15th and 16th centuries, and be sure to visit a replica of Christ’s tomb ( a replica of the one in the Holy Sepulcher) while here. ) Look
From the outside, Jerusalem Church is known for its tower, which stands out from other Belgian church towers due to its eastern influence.
8. Walk to the windmills along the canal.
One of the best walks in Bruges is strolling outside the city center to reach the windmills of Kreuzfest Park , which line the city’s ancient eastern avenues.
Windmills were originally over the ramparts in the 13th century, although the remaining windmills today, perched atop the turf-covered remnants of the ramparts, are much smaller.
The four windmills are still used to grind grain, and at Sint- Janshuismolen (Sin – Janshuis Windmill), from late spring to early autumn , you can watch the process. In all of them you can climb the steps of the grassy hummocks to get a closer look at the windmills and enjoy great views of the turf-covered walled area.
9. Day trip to Flanders
Military history buffs based in Bruges can easily take day trips to the battlefields and monuments of Flanders.
Less than an hour’s drive away, Ypres is home to many of the area’s most important World War I sites, including Menon Gate , Port Regal (also known as Lilletor ), and many war graves and memorials. A vast battlefield.
Ypres also has many beautiful churches and the pretty old Grok Square. The market, along with the 13th-century Lecken Hall (clothing hall) , is home to the important In Flanders Fields Museum.
Tourists without their own vehicles can visit Flanders on a full-day World War I battlefield tour from Bruges to Flanders. The tour includes transportation and a light lunch, as well as an expert guide who provides insight into key historical sites and landmarks.
on the tour include Tyne Cot Cemetery, Menin Gate, the In Flanders Fields Museum, and the German Military Cemetery.