Bruges (Brugge) is the historic
capital of West Flanders, Flanders being one of the three regions of
The municipality comprises the city of Bruges proper and the towns of
Assebroek, Dudzele, Koolkerke, Lissewege, Sint-Andries, Sint-Jozef, Sint-Kruis,
Sint-Michiels, Sint-Pieters, Zeebrugge, and Zwankendamme. On January 1,
2005, Bruges had a total population of 117,327. The total area is 138.40
km˛ which gives a population density of 847.72 inhabitants per km˛.
Bruges is one of Belgium's chief tourist attractions, and was European
Capital of Culture in 2002, together with Salamanca. In 1911 the
Encyclopaedia Britannica observed that "its medieval appearance is
better preserved, as a whole, than in the case of any other Belgian city.".