BRUGGE BITES

Don't mind if I do.

Don’t mind if I do.

Chocolate shops abound in Brugge (Bruges in English). In something of the fashion of chocolates in a box, they fill the ancient streets. I am dumbfounded. How do they all make a living? There are, of course, many repetitions of flavour but most have a few specialties.

Brugge, Bruges, Belgium, travel,

The aroma of waffles fills the streets.

Belgium is also home of the waffle and possibly the chip (a bit like icecream, its origin is hard to pin down).

Brugge, lace

Lace, yet another commodity in which Belgium excels.

Naturally, the old part of Brugge, is found within the circle of river. Modern shops have taken over a number of streets but the beauty of the buildings remains.Brugge

The Brugge belfry is part of a halls building which was used in the middle ages for storing and displaying Flemish cloth and other goods. The bottom two square layers were built in the thirteenth century whilst the top, octagonal lantern tower was added from 1482-86.

IMG_6905

Belfries are typically found in Flanders, Northern France and Wallonia (southern Belgium).

Belgium, Brugge, Bruges,  belfry,  inside a belfry, bells

A workman tends the bells.

With a concentration of 2.915 per 1000 square kilometres Belgium has the second highest density of carillons in the world after the Netherlands (4.383).

belfry drum

From colossal bells to a tiny music box, the drum is the driver (unless it’s not, but that’s another post).

  Belgium, Brugge, Bruges, belfry

The carillon in Brugge consists of 47 bells with a combined weight of 27.5 tonnes. Needless to say, a carillon is the largest extant musical instrument.

Brugge, Bruges

Make sure you arrive early for a tower visit as, when we were there, the cashiers closed admittance fifteen minutes before the advertised time. There can be a bit of a wait as there is a maximum number of visitors allowed up at one time.

Belgium, Brugge, Bruges, belfryThese splendid wrought iron doors had no less than ten padlocks (with keys held by ten people in authority) when they were in use from the late thirteenth century. What treasures lay within the padlocked chests they protected? Gold? Jewels? Chocolate recipes? No, city charters and other documents. Any opening was quite an event.

Belgium, Brugge, Bruges, belfry

Brugge, Belgium, horse and carriage

Brugge, Belgium, statue, architecture

Brugge, Belgium, Bruges, statue, architecture

Detail from the statue in the photo above.

Brugge, Belgium, horse and carriage

IMG_6947

Brugge, Belgium, horse and carriage

Belgium, Bruges, Brugge, travel, old buildings

Belgium, Bruges, Brugge, travel, old buildings, architecture,

Did the builders have a concept of how long their structure would last?

Belgium, Bruges, Brugge, travel, old buildings, architecture,

All the faces are different.

Belgium, Bruges, Brugge, travel, old buildings, architecture,

Belgium, Bruges, Brugge, travel, old buildings,

Brugge, Bruges

A girl in white turns a marketplace bench into a stage beneath red doors and golden statues.

Belgium, Bruges, Brugge, travel, old buildings, architecture,

A man sits at work beside a river.

      Belgium, Bruges, Brugge, travel, old buildings, architecture,

Belgium, Bruges, Brugge, travel, old buildings, architecture,

I find these plaques very soulful.  It is a way of claiming and naming a building, of addressing the essence, if you will. And, in doing so, beauty and art are an integral part of function. This building, unsurprisingly, is beside a river. A small arched footbridge crosses to the entrance on the left.

Belgium, Bruges, Brugge, travel, old buildings, architecture,

Belgium, Bruges, Brugge, travel, old buildings, architecture,

With all the steps around the roof lines, I’m feeling as if I’ve been transported to some giant, quaint Legoland.

Belgium, Bruges, Brugge, travel, horse statue

Belgium, Bruges, Brugge, travel, horse statue

Upon entering this small and lovely park, it takes a moment or two to realize these beautifully executed horse statues are actually quite threatening.

Belgium, Bruges, Brugge, travel, old buildings, architecture,

If they don’t grow, create your own.

Belgium, Bruges, Brugge, travel, road sign

From the roadworkers and from me:  “…that’s it. Have a good trip and thank you for your understanding.”

4 responses to “BRUGGE BITES

  1. I loved your Lego comment. Bruges looks like a fabulous town to visit. Now I want chocolate.

  2. A beautiful location. I enjoyed all the amazing photos.

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