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THE MINNEWATER - BRUGES

WELCOME TO BRUGES ATTRACTIONS SECTION. HERE YOU WILL SEE INFORMATION, HISTORY AND PICTURES OF THE MINNEWATER IN BRUGES, BEGLIUM.
 
The Minnewater - Bruges

For most visitors the Minnewater and its lovely park are the entrance to the beautiful city of Bruges. The Minnewater is a canalized lake. From the bridge (1740) one can already enjoy a nice panoramic view over the town. Because of the idyllic surroundings it is mostly referred to as 'the lake of Love', the Dutch word 'Minne' meaning 'love'.

Actually, the origins of the lake are less romantic. It was here that the coastal river 'Reie' entered the city. The river was later canalized and made to continue until the center of town. It is not sure where the name 'Minnewater' comes from. An explanation could be 'water van het gemeen', which could be translated as the 'common water'. The lake was used as a water reservoir, to keep the water of the canals at a constant level. Next to the lake is the Minnewater park, where sometimes in the summertime (rock) concerts are organized.

The Minnewater - Bruges
One of the symbols of Bruges is the swan. There are always plenty of them on the 'Minnewater'. There exists a nice legend about the swans of Bruges. In 1488 the people of Bruges had executed one of the town administrators belonging to the court of Maximilian of Austria, husband and successor of duchess Mary of Burgundy. The town administrator was called 'Pieter Lanchals', a name which means ' long neck'. The Lanchals family coat of arms featured a white swan. Legend has it that Maximilian punished Bruges by obliging the population to keep swans on their lakes and canals till eternity. Most of these legends and romantic interpretations come from the 19th century. Believe them or not : the beautiful 'Minnewater' deserves them.


     
     

 

BRUGES MONUMENTS

The Beguinage - Bruges
The Beguinage
Just behind the Minnewater lies the Beguinage 'De Wijngaard' (the Vineyard). It is one of those typical areas in Bruges where one can find more peace and quiet than in the sometimes busy and overcrowded streets of the town center. The Beguinage is a group of houses around a little garden covered with large poplar trees. It was here that during the last seven centuries lived the beguines of Bruges. Full Text
   
The Belfry and the Cloth Hall - Bruges
The Belfry and the Cloth Hall
The Market square is dominated by the cloth hall and the 83 meter high Belfry tower, one of the symbols of the city. The original cloth hall and tower date from 1240. The first tower, however, was destroyed by fire in 1280. At the time of the fire the four wings of the cloth hall already existed, as well as the two square segments of the belfry. The present octagonal lantern was added to the tower between 1482 en 1486. Full Text
   
The Canals and the old harbour - Bruges
The Canals and the Old Harbour
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 sea. 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. Full Text
   
The Godshuizen - Bruges
The Godshuizen
The visitors who take the time to walk through the beautiful city of Bruges will notice after a while that a certain type of houses can be seen quite often in the city. Those houses are mostly late medieval-looking and bear a name and a year on the outside wall. These houses are called 'Godshuizen'. Literally translated this would mean 'Houses of God'. Full Text
   
The Gruuthuse house and museum - Bruges
The Gruuthuse House and Museum
The Gruuthuse house and museum is situated behind the Our Lady's church. This impressive city mansion belonged to one of the richest families of the medieval city. It has now been transformed into the archeological city museum of Bruges.
The name already explains why the Gruuthuse family was so important. The old Flemish word 'gruut' means : peeled barley or wheat. Full Text
   
The Market - Bruges
The Market
The central location of the Market square indicates that this was the medieval heart of the city. At least, the commercial medieval heart, because the center of the city administration was found on the nearby 'Burg' square.
The market place (Grote Markt) is free from traffic since October 1996. It has been completely refurbished and is now one of the most attractive parts of the city.. Full Text
   
The Minnewater - Bruges
The Minnewater
For most visitors the Minnewater and its lovely park are the entrance to the beautiful city of Bruges. The Minnewater is a canalized lake. From the bridge (1740) one can already enjoy a nice panoramic view over the town. Because of the idyllic surroundings it is mostly referred to as 'the lake of Love', the Dutch word 'Minne' meaning 'love'. Full Text
   
The St. John's Hospital - Bruges
The St Johns Hhospital
In front of Our Lady's church stands the large complex of the medieval St. John's hospital, one of the oldest still existing hospitals in Europe. In 1978 it lost its function as hospital and harbors now the Memling museum, the hospital museum and the old pharmacy.
The oldest known document with rules for the hospital dates from 1188.. Full Text
   
The Town Hall and the Burg Square - Bruges
The Town Hall and the Burg Square
Bruges is a city with two town squares. The largest one is the Market, the commercial heart of medieval Bruges. The second square is called the 'Burg'. Here was, and still is, the heart of the administrative Bruges.
It was here that Count Baldwin I had a fortified castle built to protect the area against the ramping Normans and Vikings. Full Text
 
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