From the World Heritage inscription for the Historic Center of Brugge:
The Historic Centre of Brugge is an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble, illustrating significant stages in the commercial and cultural fields in medieval Europe.
Brugge in medieval times was known as a commercial metropolis in the heart of Europe.
The city reflects a considerable exchange of influences on the development of art and architecture, particularly in brick Gothic, which is characteristic of northern Europe and the Baltic. This architecture strongly determines the character of the historic center of the city.
The 1th-century city walls marked the boundaries of the medieval city. Although the walls themselves are lost today, they remain clearly visible, emphasized by the four surviving gates, the ramparts and one of the defense water towers. The medieval street pattern, with main roads leading towards the important public squares, has mostly been preserved, as well as the network of canals which, once used for mercantile traffic, played an important role in the development of the city.
In the 15th century, Brugge was the cradle of the Flemish Primitives and a center of patronage and painting development for artists such as Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling. Many of their works were exported and influenced painting styles all over Europe. Exceptionally important collections have remained in the city until today.
Brugge is a quaint Dutch speaking Belgian town which has become very popular since the release of the movie “In Brugge”. It is an easy day trip from Brussels. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Belgium.
View the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Belgium.
View the list of all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites I have visited on my travels.