BRUGES (Brugge)
 

  Picture: view on the belfry tower from the Wollestraat


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Eating

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Going out in Bruges

Fixed events

Beguinage
Belfry and halls
Chapel of the Holy Blood
Court of the Princes
Dunes abbey
Guild houses of Bruges
Hospices of Bruges
Jerusalem church
Nation houses
Our Ladies church
Poortersloge
St-Anna's church
St-Donatian's cathedral
St-John's hospital
St-Saviour's cathedral
Town gates
Town hall
Windmills of Bruges
Complete overview...

Archeology museum
Brangwyn museum
Brewery museum
Chocolate museum
Diamant museum
Folklore museum
Frites museum
Groeninghe museum
Guido Gezelle museum
Halve Maan
Lace museum
Lamps museum
Memling museum
Museum of Fine Arts
Salvador Dali museum
St-Janshuismill
St-John's hospital
Complete overview...


Boterhuis
Boudewijn Seapark
Burg
Canals (Reien)
Coupure
De Garre
Grote Markt
Historium
Huidevettersplein
Jan Van Eyckplein
Lake of Love (Minnewater)
Rozenhoedkaai
Simon Stevinplein
't Zand
Complete overview...

 

The belfry and halls of Bruges

General.   The 83 meter high belfry or hallstower (halletoren) is Bruges' most well-known landmark and its most symbolic civil monument.  The tower's particular architecture makes it probably the most iconic in its kind.  Belfries are typical for the region that used to be Flanders.  They were an expression of the wealth, the independence and the strength of the medieval Flemish cities.  You could say that they were the answer of the civil powers to the church towers built by the religious leaders.  The city's treasury was in the tower, safeguarding the most important documents, being the town privileges.  There are only belfries in Belgium, the north of France and one in the Netherlands (Sluis).  These belfries (including the one in Bruges) are inscribed in the Unesco heritage list.

The tower houses a carillon and a giant clock.  From the top you have a great view on the historic center of Bruges and the surrounding area.

WARNING: there is a possibility to climb the belfry tower but you should be aware that some passages on the stairs are quite narrow.  Only a limited number of people is allowed in the tower at the same time.  Take into account that there might be a queue.

The halls were built for commercial purposes.  They served as a covered market and as a storage for stocking goods.  You will still find a few shops in the halls but they are now mainly used for exhibitions. 

Short historyIn its base, the complex dates back to the 13th century, the upper part of the tower however was only built at the end of the 15th century and used to have a peak until 1741 when a fire destroyed it.  The halls and the tower were restored after each incident (E.g. a big fire in 1280) and adapted to the changing needs.  You can notice several elements from different architectural styles.

Location: Markt 7

Picture 1: the belfry and eht halls seen from the Markt
Picture 2: the carillon of the tower


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