Brugge: Amongst the Medieval Canals
Trip Start Aug 18, 2011
45Trip End Jul 02, 2012
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The next day, we toured the Church of Our Lady, the inside of the Town Hall, an art museum, Old St. John's Hospital (dates back to the 11th century), the Begijnhof, and the windmills to the east of the city. We saw Belgian school children celebrating '100 Days' until school finishes by lining up throughout a square and chanting.
The Memlingmuseum in the 11th century St. John's Hospital was well worth seeing. Not only did it have some nice artwork from Hans Memling, but also some neat Medieval hospital gadgets. They also hold the first half-body portrait of the Christ walking with the cross painted North of the Alps. Pretty amazing!
Traveling around Brugge really helped me to get a visual since of the historical transition of trading power in North Belgium (then the Low Countries) in the late Medieval period until the Dutch Revolt of the 1580's transfered trading power to Amsterdam and the the Netherlands (then the Dutch Republic). I say this because much of the architecture in Brugge is from the late Medieval period when it was at the height of its trading wealth, while Amsterdam has many buildings from the 1600's when it was experiencing it's own Golden Age while Flanders declined.
Overall, we really enjoyed our stay. Brugge is a stunning city with many late Medieval buildings, canals, and quaint squares.