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Bruges, Belgium. Author Richardfabi. No Copyright
Bruges, Belgium. Author Richardfabi

Bruges: the jewel city of Flanders

Bruges (Brugge) (approximately 120,000 inhabitants), capital of West Flanders, is located 13 km from the North Sea, it’s connected by some artificial channels with its port, Zeebrugge.

In the city are active textile, mechanical, electrical, shipbuilding, metallurgical, chemical, food, glass, wood, lace industries. Bruges specialties are lace, antiques, chocolate, praline, beer, the city is famous for the production of Bruges lace-works.

Small village over the river Zwyn in 1128 it became an autonomous municipality, in this period were also built walls and new channels, the city had a significant development, becoming an important centre for manufacturing wool and a commercial market for wool and fabric.

Bruges (Brugge) in the thirteenth century, was one of the commercial, economic and cultural capital of Europe, with direct trade with rich Italian cities, which opened the city to the Mediterranean and Eastern products.

Sint-Salvatorskathedraal, Bruges, Belgium. Author Tony Grist. No Copyright

Sint-Salvatorskathedraal, Bruges, Belgium. Author Tony Grist

Great impulse had also banking and commercial techniques, as once past to the Duke of Burgundy (1384), the city became an important artistic centre, it was here that in the fifteenth century was born the Flemish Primitive School painting, in this period, the Brugge population overcame the 40,000 inhabitants.

In the sixteenth century the city declined, for the competition of Antwerp and Ghent and also for the gradual silting of river Zwyn.

HOW TO GET TO BRUGES

CAR: Bruges  is located in the north-west of Belgium and is easily accessible from the rest of Europe via the motorway network. Bruges is only an hour’s drive from Brussels.

FLIGHTS: There are three airports that can be used to get to Bruges: the airports of Brussels, Brussels South-Charleroi and Ostend.

BUS: Eurolines make direct connections from many European cities to Brussels and Antwerp. From here there are many connections to Bruges.

FERRY: The port of Bruges, Zeebrugge (16 km from Bruges), is connected with Hull in the UK by daily ferries (P & O Ferries) the journey takes about 14 hours.

The port of Ostend is located just 25 km from Bruges, it is connected to Ramsgate in the UK by daily  ferry (only car transport) by Transeuropea Ferries.

TRAIN: Bruges is located on the railway line Brussels-London, the city is connected with direct trains from all major cities of Belgium and many European cities. The train station of Bruges is one of the stops on the Thalys train linking Paris to Brussels and Ostend.

GETTING AROUND: URBAN TRANSPORT OF BRUGES

Bruges has an excellent public transport network consisting of buses operated by De Lijn that connect the city center with the various districts of the city and with neighboring towns. The public transport network of Bruges is made up urban and regional lines. There are 18 bus lines, which connect all corners of the city, and 24 regional lines connecting Bruges with its suburbs and neighboring towns.

The central area of the city of Bruges is easily explored on foot. Another means of transport to explore the city is the bicycle, which can be easily rented at several points hire.

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