Belgium – Brugge, Brussels & Ghent

Bruges or is Brugge…looks like either spelling is correct but the pronunciations are different. Bruges (broozh) is the English and French spelling and pronunciation. Brugge (broo-gha) is the Flemish spelling and pronunciation. Since Flemish, a Dutch dialect, is the local language then I’ll stick with the Flemish spelling and pronunciation…Broo-gha.

Now that we’ve cleared the spelling and pronunciation hurdle, getting into Brugge on a Monday and renting an apartment just slightly on the outskirts of the historic city center/tourist hub means you get to walk the streets of this city and admire its ageless beauty without a crowd.

I haven’t gotten a complete eyeful yet, but I think I’m going to like Brugge. We did find our way to the local grocery store to pick up a few things and the pharmacy. We all seem to be dealing with runny noses, coughs, sniffles and sneezing from hay fever and allergies, but we’ve managed to keep moving. The temperature dropped and the sun disappeared so it was nice to break out the jacket, scarf and hat for our short and brief walk into the Markt Square, part of the historic city center.

Tomorrow is when we get in a full day of Brugge but we’re here until we leave for Amsterdam on Saturday. Along with enjoying our home base of Brugge, we plan to do day trips to Brussels, Ghent and possibly Antwerp. But in the meantime, here’s just a Brugge snippet.

The cool and overcast day seemed to fit well with the canal-riddled and dreamy Brugge. I’m looking forward to enjoying a ride through this medieval city’s canals. June 4, 2018

I’m already loving the distinct architecture and the colorful ness of Brugge’s historic city center. This is in the Markt Square. June 4, 2018

It’s so easy to spend a day wandering around Brugge, and that’s exactly what Alice, Tammy and I did. First with a “Legend of Bruges” free walking tour in the morning and a do our own thing for the remainder of the day.

It was cold and overcast…but not even the weather could dampen the beauty of Brugges. So, let’s just get to it.

Alice, me and Tammy in Burg Square in what is considered to be the historic birthplace of Brugge, Belgium. Behind us is the City Hall and the Basilica of the Holy Blood. Plus there’s the ChocolAterie De Burg, which as you can see from Tammy’s smile and the bag she’s holding up, we already hit up for our chocolate fix. June 5, 2018

More of the Burg Square in Brugge, Belgium, the Brugse Vrije, the Palace of the Liberty and the ornate City Hall. June 5, 2018

The inside of the ChocolAterie De Burg in Burg Square, Brugge, Belgium. We shopped here and walked away with some goodies. June 5, 2018

The Basilica of the Holy Blood in Brugge, Belgium’s Burg Square. June 5, 2018

A close-up of the gold statues on the exterior of the Basilica of the Holy Blood in Brugge, Belgium. June 5, 2018

The Gothic interior of the Basilica of the Holy Blood in Brugge, Belgium. The Basilica is famous for housing the venerated relic of the Holly Blood of Christ which was allegedly collected by Joseph of Arimathea. The relic is in a side chapel, which we stepped on a platform to see with a priest in attendance. The relic itself is inside a clear gold encrusted container that’s housed inside a clear box. June 5, 2018

Our Legends of Bruges free walking tour guide Pascal giving our group of about 20, gathered at Market Square this morning, a history lesson…with some interesting stories…about Brugge, Belgium. June 5, 2018

The former guild houses of merchants, who use to do business in Brugge, Belgium’s Market Square, has since been converted to restaurants while maintains their colorful charm and adding to the beauty of the square. June 5, 2018

Provincial Court in the Market Square in Brugges, Belgium, with the horse and buggy’s lined up to provide tours around the city. June 5, 2018

Statue of Jan Breydel and Pieter de Conick in Brugge, Belgium’s, Market Square, who were freedom heroes in the struggle against the French at the beginning of the 14th century. And, behind the statue are the colorful former guild houses of merchants and are now restaurants. June 5, 2018

Inside the courtyard of the Belfry or Bell Tower, which has overlooked the Market Square in Brugge, Belgium, since the 1300s. June 5, 2018

Ornate bridge walkway and canal views in Brugge, Belgium. June 5, 2018

Me trying to keep warm and dry by the idyllic waterway called Minnewater in Brugge, Belgium, home to swans, quaint bridges and weeping willows. June 5, 2018

The Minnewater, just south of the Begijnhof, is also nicknamed the “Water of Love” in Brugge, Belgium. June 5, 2018

Just a picturesque site in Brugge, Belgium. June 5, 2018

That’s our Legends of Bruges free walking tour guide Pascal making himself comfortable on the St. Bonifaciusbrug bridge, considered to be one of the most photographed bridges in Brugge, Belgium. June 5, 2018

Another view of the St. Bonifaciusbrug bridge in Brugge, Belgium, with the Church of Our Lady in the background. June 5, 2018

The gold trimmed tunnel/walkway leading to the Palace of the Liberty in Brugge, Belgium. June 5, 2018

The gold trimmed Palace of the Liberty in Brugge, Belgium, next to the City Hall, in Burg Square dates from 1722 to 1727. The palace later became a courthouse and now houses the city council’s administration. June 5, 2018

This sweet man, Janis Rozentals, is the weaver who made the linen scarf around my neck. Janis was weaving another scarf at the outdoor Fishmarket (although no fish were being sold) in Brugge, Belgium. As soon as I saw this scarf, I had to have it. It was the only black and red scarf on the table…I guess it was just waiting for me to take it home. Thank you Janis for making the scarf and for draping it so gracefully around my neck. I will cherish it. June 5, 2018

More of Brugge, Belgium. June 5, 2018

The cobblestone streets and beauty of Brugge, Belgium. June 5, 2018

Brugge, Belgium, and its architectural beauty. June 5, 2018

More of beautiful Brugge, Belgium. June 5, 2018

Another view of the Church of our Lady in Brugge, Belgium. June 5, 2018

The Church of Our Lady in Brugge, Belgium, is undergoing restoration in certain areas. This restorer is carefully scraping away layers of plaster covering a possible painting or fresco. What a painstaking process requiring a great deal of time and patience. June 5, 2018

Bronze carvings inside the Church of Our Lady in Brugge, Belgium. June 5, 2018

The southern aisle large chapel altarpiece contains the “Mother and Child” marble statue by the one and only Michelangelo at the Church of Our Lady in Brugge, Belgium. The sculpture is the one in the middle of the large carved altarpiece. June 5, 2018

A close-up of the Michelangelo Buonarroti, “Mother and Child” white marble sculpture at the Church of Our Lady in Brugges, Belgium. The southern aisle large chapel altarpiece created around 1504, was possibly meant for the Siena Cathedral but was purchased in Italy by two merchants from Brugge and donated to the church in 1514. It’s said this is the only Michelangelo statue to leave Italy in his lifetimes. June 5, 2018

The interior nave of the Church of Our Lady in Brugge, Belgium. June 5, 2018

Behind the high altar of the Church of Our Lady in Brugge, Belgium, are the tombs of Charles the Bold, last Valois Duke of Burgundy, and his daughter, the duchess Mary. June 5, 2018

The beauty of Brugge, Belgium’s canal and bridges. June 5, 2018

More canal and more Church of Our Lady tower in the Brugge, Belgium, distance. June 5, 2018

The view across the canal with the Belfry in the distance in Brugge, Belgium. June 5, 2018

The crowds along the walkway of the canal with the Church of Our Lady tower, considered the tallest structure in the Brugge, Belgium, in the distance. June 5, 2018

After a full day of walking on cobblestone streets, Alice came back to the apartment and cooked Tammy and I this mega meal of shrimp and fish along with cauliflower and a spinach/ couscous mix. Yum! And, thank you Alice! June 5, 2018

Brussels, Belgium, is basically the de facto capital of the European Union and the major center of international politics. It is a big city with old city elements but misses that old city charm. We took the hour long train into Brussels from Brugge and by the time our walking tour was done and we ate lunch, I can honestly say, I was ready to get back to Brugge.

Brussels is a great city to spend a day in but I so prefer the quaintness, calmness and beauty of Brugge and so glad we chose to make it our home base in Belgium. That’s not to say Brussels doesn’t pack its own historical and contemporary punch and I’m sure we only touched its surface. So here’s to a very small portion, I’m sure, of what makes Brussels…Brussels.

Our group selfie at the Grand Place of Brussels, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as we wait to take our SANDERMANs Free Walking Tour. That’s Tammy, me and Alice with the lavishly designed guild houses behind us. June 6, 2018

The Town Hall in the Grand Place of Brussels, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Town Hall was built in several stages between 1402 and 1455. It is also the square’s only remaining medieval building. June 6, 2018

The guild houses of the Grand Place in Brussels, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These are private homes, restaurants and one even houses a beer museum. June 6, 2018

The guild house in the Grand Place in Brussels, with the equestrian statue, is a brewery museum. The building dates back to 1696 and was restored in 1901. The statue of Charles Alexander of Lorraine was placed a top the building in 1752. June 6, 2018

The Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the central square of Brussels. It is surrounded by opulent guild houses, the city’s Town Hall, and the former King’s House containing the Museum of the City of Brussels. June 6, 2018

The House of the Dukes of Brabant in the Grand Place of Brussels is actually a set of seven houses grouped behind the same facade. June 6, 2018

A close-up of one of the opulently decorated guild houses in the Grand Place of Brussels. June 6, 2018

The former King’s House or Breadhouse is now the Museum of the City of Brussels in the Grand Place, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The original wood building was replaced in the 15th century by this stone building. June 6, 2018

A close-up of the former King’s House or Breadhouse, now the Museum of the City of Brussels, in the Grand Place. June 6, 2018

Brussels is a modern city with old world touches but it still feels like a congested, yet thriving city. June 6, 2018

The Adventures of Tintin is a comic series created by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who wrote under the pen name Hergé. Tintin, an adventurous reporter, with his famed quiff hairstyle is quite the emblematic Belgium figure. He travels around with world with his loyal canine companion Snowy, solving mysteries and standing up against injustice. The mural, on a busy Brussels streets, is quite the attention getter for tour groups. June 6, 2018

The Manneken Pis is a landmark small bronze sculpture in Brussels of what used to be a naked little boy urinating into a fountain’s basin. I was actually more entertained by the people taking selfies with the littler pisser than I was with the landmark himself. The original statue was placed here, a five minute walk from the Grand Place, around the early 1600s and is kept in the Museum of the City of Brussels. The current statue is a copy which dates from 1965. June 6, 2018

A close-up of the Manneken Pis in Brussels who is often dressed in a variety of costumes. According to the free walking tour guide, Tom from SANDEMANs, this landmark symbol of the people of Brussels has some 1,000 costumes for just about any occasion. The background of the Manneken Pis relates to a story about a boy pissing on a fire that stopped a town from burning down but no one really knows how he got his claim to fame. June 6, 2018

Yes, there’s even a schedule posted on the railing of the fountain about the Manneken Pis costume changes. The people of Brussels take their little pisser seriously. June 6, 2018

Our free walking tour group were standing across the way, listening to the walking tour guide about the Manneken Pis statue in Brussels when I noticed the painting on this dilapidated building. June 6, 2018

As I walked closer to the painting, on the wall of a dilapidated building close to the Manneken Pis statue in Brussels, I see this 3-D art piece with fingers and a red heart projecting from the wall called “Strange Bird.” This peeked my curiosity but I couldn’t find out much about this art piece or the artist. June 6, 2018

The rainbow crosswalk along a major intersection in Brussels. June 6, 2018

My footsie with a golden scallop shell on a street in Brussels. A number of shells have been placed on the streets as a signpost to pilgrims making their way to the city of Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain. Since the Middle Ages pilgrimages have been made to Santiago de Compostela, and today the route still attracts people to walk “The Way” of St. James. June 6, 2018

The former Stock Exchange to the left, shops/apartments in the center and the St. Nichols Church to the right all make for an interesting corner in Brussels. June 6, 2018

The former Brussels Stock Exchange building, or Bourse, was constructed between 1868 and 1873. This gorgeous building may become a beer museum. June 6, 2018

The Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert in Brussels is an in-door shopping arcade under an arched glass-paned roof with a delicate cast-iron framework. Construction began May 6, 1846 and lasted 18 months. June 6, 2018

The shops along the Galeries Royales Saint-Hubert shopping arcade in Brussels. June 6, 2018

Walking up hill from lower Brussels to upper Brussels brought us to the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. The church was completed in 1519, but it took about 300 years to do so. June 6, 2018

Walking up hill from lower Brussels to upper Brussels brought us to the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula. The church was completed in 1519, but it took about 300 years to do so. June 6, 2018

Brussels is a city under construction but at least the exterior of the construction sites has art work to make it more palatable. June 6, 2018

Brussels Park is a large park in the center of Brussels. June 6, 2018

The Royal Palace of Brussels was constructed in 1904. June 6, 2018

This row of beautiful architecture along the Montagne de la Cour/Hofberg in Brussels, with the water fountain, caught my eye. June 6, 2018

A view of Brussels from the Mont des Arts. June 6, 2018

Street life in Brussels. June 6, 2018

More street life in Brussels. June 6, 2018

This distinctive sculpture is outside the Brussels Central Train station entrance. June 6, 2018

Ghent, which is actually spelled Gent, here in Belgium, as opposed to Ghent spelled in English and Gand in French, is another Belgium city with several spellings and pronunciations. I’ll go with the Ghent because that’s my own personal preference.

It turned out to be a layering kind of day. When we left Brugge for the 30 minute train ride to the Gent Sint-Pieters main train station, we were covered up in full rain and chilly mode. But while in Gent, just during our two and a half hour free walking tour, the jacket came off, then the sweater, then the hat. And, by the time we were heading back to Brugge, each item made it back on by the day’s end.

The morning version of Ghent under the cloudy skies and misty air was rather mysterious and surreal. We met with our Gent Free Walking Tour group and guide, Fabian, at the hostel at the foot of the St. Michael Bridge and from there begin on our tour on the bridge itself. The hordes of tourists had not arrived so there was still a slightly eerie feeling to being on that bridge, and looking into the beautiful grayness of the Ghent skyline and the stillness of the Leie river. I loved it. I loved the hovering mysterious feel as if I had taken a step back in time when Ghent was a prominent Middle Ages city. I continued liking Ghent as the clouds drifted away and the sun showed up.

Ghent, at least to me, falls between Brugge and Brussels with Brugge taking the win…again. But Ghent still breathes the atmosphere of a thriving late-medieval city. The center of Ghent, which is car free, but not tram free, is small and quite walkable. We did take a taxi from the train station to the city center because we didn’t want to be late for our walking tour. But we took the tram at the end of the day back to Ghent’s train station.

Come and enjoy beautiful Ghent, Belgium.

Ghent, Belgium, has the look of a medieval city just waking up in the morning mist. I just loved it. Standing on St. Michel’s Bridge we have a misty view of the city center. June 7, 2018

Early morning Ghent, Belgium, along the St. Michael’s bridge and across from the Roman Catholic church baring his name, St. Michael’s Church. St Michael’s Bridge used to be a flat turntable bridge, but it was replaced by stone arches at the beginning of the 20th century. In the middle of the bridge, to the right, is a beautiful central lantern with a bronze statue of St Michael. Construction of the current late Gothic church probably began in 1440, but took place in two phases and was separated by a long interval due to religious conflicts. Some parts were completed by 1528 and others by 1566. June 7, 2018

Early morning Ghent, Belgium, while standing on St. Michael’s Bridge taken with my iPhone 8. June 7, 2018

St. Michael’s Bridge in Ghent, Belgium, taken with my iPhone 8. June 7, 2018

St. Nicholas’s Church in Ghent, Belgium, begun in the early 13th century, is one of the oldest and most prominent landmark in Ghent. June 7, 2018

People enjoying the Leie, a canal-like river going through Ghent, Belgium between the Graslei and Korenlei areas both part of the medieval port and are now cultural and touristic hotspots with its historical buildings, walkways and cafe patios. June 7, 2018

People enjoying the Leie, a canal-like river going through Ghent, Belgium between the Graslei and Korenlei areas both part of the medieval port and are now cultural and touristic hotspots with its historical buildings, walkways and cafe patios. June 7, 2018

The Graslei is one of the most scenic places in Ghent’s old city centreThe Graslei is one of the most scenic places in Ghent, Belgium’s old city centre. Laid out along the Leie River, the Graslei and Korenlei areas date back to the fifth century A.D. when Ghent was the center of the wheat trade in the County of Flanders. Most of the current buildings on the Graslei date back to the Middle Ages although many of the façades were heavily modified in the 18th and 19th century. June 7, 2018

Views of Ghent, Belgium from the Korenlei side along the Leie, a canal-like river. June 7, 2018

The Korenlei, which is on the other side of Graslei, and stretches across the Leie, a canal-like river running through Ghent, Belgium. The beautiful buildings along the walkway were restored according to their original plans which had been preserved. June 7, 2018

The Town Hall in Ghent, Belgium, is a remarkable building that’s a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance styles. June 7, 2018

The Belfort or Belfry is the tower in the middle tower and is one of three towers in Ghent, Belgium. The other two belong to St. Bavo’s Cathedral and St. Nicholas’ Church. A fiery dragon at the top of the Belfry is the proud symbol and mascot of Ghent and guards the historic heart of the city. June 7, 2018

The Stadshal or City Pavillion is located on the square between the Belfry to the right and the renaissance City Hall to the left in Ghent, Belgium. The City Pavillion constructed in 2012 received criticism because of its size, height and use of modern materials in the historical surroundings. June 7, 2018

The Stadshal or City Pavillion is a large stand-alone canopy in the historical city center of Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

The multifunctional and open Stadshal or City Pavilion is a large stand-alone canopy with the use of glass, wood and concrete in the historical city center of Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

This was taking by our Gent Free Walking tour guide, Fabian, and posted on the Gent Free Walking Tour Facebook Page for June 7, 2018, which is when we took the morning tour in Ghent, Belgium. The pinky finger is how you order a beer in Belgium!

The small annex with the green door is called the Mammelokker in Ghent, Belgium, and dates back to 1741. It served as the entrance and guard’s quarters of the old city jail that occupied part of the old Cloth Hall, the building with the red-framed windows behind it, from 1742 to 1902. The name refers to the sculpture of Roman Charity above the front doorway. It depicts a Roman legend regarding a prisoner called Cimon who was sentenced to death by starvation. But he survived and ultimately gained his freedom thanks to his daughter Pero, a wet nurse who secretly breastfed him during her visits. Her act of selflessness impressed officials and won her father’s release. The term ‘mammelokker’ translates as ‘breast sucker.’ The Cloth Hall, built onto the Belfry, was completed in 1907 as an ode to the industry to which Ghent built its fortunes on. June 7, 2018

Statue depicting the Mammelokker legendIn 1741, a building was erected between the Belfry and the Cloth Hall, which served as the entrance to the city jail. You will see a relief sculpture above the entrance. The sculpture tells an old Roman legend of a man, Cimon, who was sentenced to death by starvation. He survived his sentence because his daughter visited every day and breastfed him. ‘Mamme’ means ‘breast’ and ‘lokken’ means ‘suck’ in an old Ghent dialect.June 7, 2018

The Belfort or Belfry tower behind the Cloth Hall in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

St. Bavo’s Square in Ghent, Belgium, includes the . June 7, 2018

St. Baafskathedraal or St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium was first founded as a wooden construction in 942 and dedicated to St. John the Baptist. Subsequent expansions into the Gothic style saw the renaming of the church around 1539 to St. Bavo after Saint Bavo of Ghent, a Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox saint. The cathedral is home to many great works of art and is itself a stunning piece of historical art. June 7, 2018

The interior of St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium

Although photos were not allowed, I did take this very grainy looking photo with my iPhone 8 in the dark Vijd’s chapel of St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. The 12 panel painting, connected by hinges, has hung in this chapel since May 6, 1432, until it was stolen several times, recovered, damaged and repaired. The cathedral is noted for this Ghent Altarpiece more formally known as: The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by Hubert and Jan van Eyck. This work is considered Van Eyck’s masterpiece and one of the most important works of the early Northern Renaissance, as well as one of the greatest artistic masterpieces of Belgium. June 7, 2018

A photo from the internet of the most famous painting, “The Adoration of the Lamb of God,” is housed in a chapel of St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium, specially built for this purpose.

I was just enthralled by this intricate St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. The white Carrara marble and Danish oak pulpit by Laurent Delvaux, who was born in Ghent in 1696 and died in 1778, depicts “The Triumph of Truth over Error.” June 7, 2018

A close-up of the “Triumph of Truth over Error,” pulpit inside St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

“Saint Bavo’s Entrance into the Monastery of Ghent,” is a painting by Peter Paul Rubens from around 1623-1624 hangs in the north transept of St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

St. Bavo CathedraI’s crypt in Ghent, Belgium, with its traces of the original structure dating from 942 A.D, as well as centuries old books, scrolls, chalices and other historical artifacts including  frescos of religious figures. June 7, 2018

The St. Bavo Square in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

The Royal Dutch Theater was built in Ghent, Belgium, in 1899 and is home to the NTGent (or Nederlands Toneel Gent) theater founded in 1965 as the city theatre. The Royal Dutch Theater is located in St. Bavo’s square with St. Bavo’s Cathedral. June 7, 2018

The Royal Dutch Theater in Ghent, Belgium’s, St. Bavo Square. June 7, 2018

The art work on the Royal Dutch Theater in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

Having lunch at Hema, a retail grocery store with a top floor restaurant overlooking the KorenmarktIn in Ghent, Belgium. That’s Tammy, Alice and me, Diana. June 7, 2018

Our lunchtime views from Hema restaurant onto the KorenmarktIn in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

This richly decorated, several styles, building is the 1909 former post office turned shopping center and luxury hotel in the KorenmarktIn in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

The façade of this 16th-century house is like a historical picture book illustrated with the heads of the Counts of Flanders from the 12th to the 16th century. The first is Baldwin of Constantinople and the last is the Spanish King Philip II. The most famous head is the one of Charles V, just above the main door. This emperor was born just a few streets further away, at Prinsenhof in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

A close-up of the various heads of the Counts of Flanders from the 12th to the 16th century on the façade of this 16th-century building in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

The former Fish Market Square in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

The former Fish Market Square in Ghent, Belgium. The Fish Market was housed in this Baroque facade building from 1689. The facade is decorated at the top with a statue of Neptune. June 7, 2018

Gravensteen or the “Castle of the Counts” was originally a stronghold from the Middle Ages was built by Count Baldwin I in Ghent, Belgium.

The Gravensteen is a castle in Ghent, Belgium, originating from the Middle Ages. The name means “Castle of the Count” in Dutch. The present castle was built in 1180 by count Philip of Alsace and was modeled after the crusaders castles that Philip of Alsace encountered while he participated in the second crusade. June 7, 2018

This Graffiti Street in Ghent, Belgium, is a public canvas for street artists. This colorful and every changing alley allows street artists to create striking spray-can art. However, that means this Graffiti Street never looks the same from one week to the next. June 7, 2018

Graffiti Street in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

Graffiti Street in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

The former Ghent Groot Vleeshuis or Great Meat House in Ghent, Belgium, was built between 1407 and 1419. It operated as the central meat market from the medieval period until the end of the 19th century. June 7, 2018

The former Ghent Groot Vleeshuis or Great Meat House in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

Inside the former Ghent Groot Vleeshuis or Great Meat House in Ghent, Belgium, now a cafe with craft shops. June 7, 2018

These two distinctive houses actually have names and quite the history in Ghent, Belgium. The flute player (to the left) is made in at the baroque style and has a richly decorated upper facade dating from 1669. Next to it is the Seven Works of Mercy house that looks toward the Alijn hospital where the matchless Museum of Medicine is housed. June 7, 2018

These two distinctive houses actually have names and quite the history in Ghent, Belgium. The flute player (to the left) is made in at the baroque style and has a richly decorated upper facade dating from 1669. Next to it is the Seven Works of Mercy house that looks toward the Alijn hospital where the matchless Museum of Medicine is housed. June 7, 2018

The statue of Jacob van Artevelde, known as The Wise Man and the Brewer of Ghent, was a Flemish statesman, politician and amassed wealth in the weaving industry. His statue, in the Vrijdagmarkt in Ghent, shows van Artevelde standing with his arm outstretched towards England whom he sided with during the Hundred Years’ War. The square is surrounded by former guild halls which currently house bars and restaurants. June 7, 2018

The Belfry in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

Statues on display in the Belfry in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

A replica of the bronze dragon on top of the Belfry in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

Just had to get a photo of the beautiful patchwork-tiled floors of the Belfry in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

The east end of St. Nicholas’ Church in Ghent, Belgium, as seen from the Belfry. St. Nicholas’ Church, one of the oldest and most prominent landmarks, is constructed of blue-gray stone from the Tournai area. June 7, 2018

Views of St. Bavo’s Square with the Royal Dutch Theater and St. Bavo’s Cathedral from the top of the Belfry in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

The large stand-alone Stadshal or City Pavillion as seen from the top of the Belfry in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

Alice and Tammy checking out the views from the Belfry balcony in Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

Although we took the elevator up to the Belfry viewing area, these are the stairs you can use to get up and down from the Belfry viewing area balcony. So glad we took the elevator. June 7, 2018

Views of Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

Views of Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

Views of Ghent, Belgium. June 7, 2018

Today was all about taking it easy while enjoying a relaxing day in Brugge. It’s actually our last day in Brugge and Belgium because tomorrow we take the train to Amsterdam, in the Netherlands, the last leg of this 30-something day European excursion. There’s no better way to end my time in Belgium than in the charm of Brugge with chocolate and a walk along the canal.

This is Marleen Maenhout of the ChocolAterie De Burg in Brugge, Belgium’s Burg Square where I am back for my second round of chocolates. Marleen has been making chocolates at her shop for more than 32 years and from the taste of her chocolates, she is a true skilled chocolate artisan. Thank you Marleen for making this chocoholics dreams come true. June 8, 2018

Marleen Maenhout of the ChocolAterie De Burg in Brugge, Belgium’s Burg Square. June 8, 2018

The colorful architecture of Brugge, Belgium. June 8, 2018

The city streets of Brugge, Belgium. June 8, 2018

The quiet back streets of Brugge, Belgium. June 8, 2018

A walk along the canal in Brugge, Belgium. June 8, 2018

A walk along the canal in Brugge, Belgium. June 8, 2018

A walk along the canal in Brugge, Belgium. June 8, 2018

A walk along the canal in Brugge, Belgium. June 8, 2018

A walk along the canal in Brugge, Belgium. June 8, 2018

A walk along the canal in Brugge, Belgium. June 8, 2018

A walk along the canal with the Brugge belfry in the distance in Brugge, Belgium. June 8, 2018

A walk along the canal in Brugge, Belgium. June 8, 2018

A walk along the canal in Brugge, Belgium. June 8, 2018

An old canopy walkway to the inner courtyard of the Brugge belfry. June 8, 2018

Another quiet street in Brugge, Belgium. June 8, 2018

The Jan van Eyck square in Brugge, Belgium, features a sculpture of the renowned Brugges painter. He is often considered one of the founders of Early Netherlandish painting and one of the most significant representatives of Northern Renaissance art. The few surviving records of his early life indicate that he was born c. 1380–1390. Although Van Eyck painted both secular and religious subject matters, including altarpieces, single panel religious figures and commissioned portraits, he is probably best known for the Ghent Altarpiece also known as “Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” at St. Bavo’s Cathedral in Ghent Belgium. Van Eyck lived in Brugge until his death on July 9, 1441. June 8, 2018

The Jan van Eyck square in Brugge, Belgium. June 8, 2018

The Jan van Eyck square in Brugge, Belgium. June 8, 2018

Me by the Bruges Whale sculpture rising from the canal in Brugge. The giant sculpture is made of waste collected from the plastic crap that floats on the seas and oceans of the world. June 8, 2018

And, this quiet street, not far from the historic town center, is where we’ve called home for the past five nights while staying in Brugge. The blue door building with the crow-stepped gable has been our home. Tomorrow, we make our way to Amsterdam, Netherlands. June 8, 2018

 

 

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