The city center of Bruges, Belgium does not disappoint with its myriad views of its distinctive architecture.
We saw this scene at dusk as we were walking back to the hotel from the oldest tavern in Bruges. Of course, then the sun was behind the scene, so we determined to get up early, hike back across most of Bruges to get here again when the morning sun was where we wanted it. Here's the result. Lovely shot of the two towers, thanks to the wide angle lens.
One of the things we noticed in Belgium and the Netherlands was the apparent prosperity of towns like Ghent, Bruges, and Amsterdam in the 15th and 16th Centuries. But, in contrast to southern Europe, this prosperity seems to manifest itself more in the daily life and commercial sector, rather than in the churches. Not that Belgium doesn't have nice churches, but the homes and civic buildings are, if anything, even more ornate. The Stathuis, or City Hall, of Bruges was built in the 14th Century, as you can see from its gothic facade. But the meeting hall, renovated and with murals painted in the late 19th Century, carries on the tradition of tasteful, yet certain, ostentation.
As we entered the Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges, I noticed this woman in an alcove stroking the knees of the statue of Christ and murmuring a prayer. She was there long enough that she must have been asking a big favor. I hope she found the comfort she was seeking.
BTW, the Basilica of the Holy Blood purports to have a vial which contains the blood of Jesus. You can walk up a little platform and get a good look at the reliquary. I did, and squinted, and looked at it from many angles, but couldn't see any blood. Maybe I just was missing the necessary vision.
The city center of Bruges is a Unesco World Heritage site in Belgium. Click here to see the list of Unesco World Heritage sites in Belgium, with links to our posts about the ones we've visited.
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Tours of Bruges
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