|EHDN 2006 - Location - Sightseeing
of the Belfry is no less than 83 metres high. On your way to the top, you will
discover the Treasury Room, an impressive clock mechanism and a carillon of 47
different bells. After completing the 366 stairs, your efforts will be
rewarded with a breathtaking view over Bruges and its surrounding countryside.
Gothic Chamber in the Town Hall
Bruges Town Hall dates from 1376 and is one of the oldest in the Low
Countries. The Gothic Chamber with its magnificent 19th century frescos
and its polychrome vault is a work of art in its own right. The painted
figures illustrate the city’s glorious past. However, the Town Hall is
also the place from which Bruges has been governed for more than 700
years. The reorganisation scheduled for 2005 will provide an
opportunity to tell the story of the Town Council and its relations
with both ‘ higher authorities’ and the local people.
Welcome Church of Our Lady
(built 13th-15th century), with a 122 m high tower, contains an extremely rich art collection. Top of the
bill is of course the white marble Madonna with Child by Michelangelo. In the choir
gallery are the mausoleums of Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold, as well as a
number of remarkable polychromed tombs (13th-14th century).
Because of its canals Bruges is often called 'The
Venice of the North
'. The water situation in both cities was, however,
very different. Venice was founded on islands in a lagoon of the Adriatic
Bruges lies deeper inland ; at least now, because in the five centuries B.C
the Flemish coastline must have been flooded several times by the North Sea.
When the waters retreated they left behind different sea-arms via which
ships could reach the area where now Bruges is situated
. Bruges was
probably already visited by the Vikings. The Flemish name 'Brugge' is
probably derived from the Latin word 'Rogia' (which was the Latin name of
' the river which flowed through Bruges), and the
Scandinavian word 'Bryggia
', which meant 'mooring place'.