BRUGES (Brugge)

  Picture: Minnewater and Poertower  

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Going out in Bruges

Fixed events

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
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-John's hospital
Complete overview...

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

The Lake of Love (Minnewater)

The Minnewater consists of a lake and a park.  The lake is made in the 13th century as a reservoir that collected the water from the surrounding area with the goal to regulate the flow of the water in the center of the town via a sluice.  Around the lake there were primarely grass fields and bleaching meadows. 

The reservoir was put inside the town when, at the end of the 13th century, the second town wall was erected.  At that time, the first (wooden) Minnewaterbridge was built.  For protection, a round tower was built on each side of the brigde (end of the 14th century).  One of these two towers still exists and is called the Poertoren.  This tower was used for the storage of gunpowder, hence its name.  Through a lock-chamber small ships could reach the inner town from the Minnewater. 

Econonic activity started to develop around the lake in the 17th century when the canal Ghent - Bruges was dug.  There was among other things a quay for a barge (passenger transport) to Ghent.  The current stone brigde was built in 1739.  Halfway the 19th century, the Minnewater lost its port function due to the silting up of the reservoir.

In the 19th century, a number of new buildings in neogothic style are constructed around the lake such as the Minnewater hospital and the de la Faille castle.  Only in 1979, the Minnewaterpark itself is opened.

There are several theories about the origin of the name but in any way, it has nothing whatsoever to do with love.  Although the area is very nice, even romantic at certain periods of the year, the name "Lake of Love" or "Lac d' Amour" is only inspired from touristic point-of-view (sorry for spoiling the illusion).  The nickname is merely deducted from the Dutch verb (be)minnen which means to love.

Picture 1: The Poertoren and the Minnewaterbridge at night
Picture 2: The chapel in the Minnewaterpark
Picture 3: Poertoren and Minnewaterbridge

getting to Bruges
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