The Venice of the North
How many of you have heard of or visited the city of Bruges in Belgium? Not many people have, so I am here to introduce you to the most amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site that I have ever seen….
When you visit Bruges, it is impossible to go without seeing a beautiful canal. The canals run all around the city, so if you would like to see a city by boat, Bruges is the place to do this. The most photographed canal, and spot, in Bruges is called Rozenhoedkaai. It is beautiful at all times of the day and feels as though you have just stepped into a postcard. If you are lucky, you may spot some swans to add to the picturesque view!
The city is also full of little shops that sell famous Belgian chocolates, delicious Belgian waffles, and handmade lace. There are even maps around the city made entirely out of lace! They are very beautiful and I wish I knew how to make it.
In the Church of Our Lady, one can visit the only statue carved by Michelangelo outside of Italy. It’s called “Madonna and Child” and is an amazing carving. It was originally going to be brought to Siena in Italy, but was bought by a cloth merchant who donated to to this church. If I came into possession of a Michelangelo statue, after taking a billion pictures of and with it, I would probably donate it to our church as well.
Bruges is also full of fun little things as well. For example, there is a street called Blinde Ezelstraat, or the street of the Blind Donkey. It was called this after a donkey who drove a mill. To stop the animal from being depressed about the fact that its only purpose in life was to walk in a circle, they put a blindfold on it!
If you look enough in a square called Huidenvettersplein (Tanners Market), one can find a carving in a wall of a little man wrinkling his nose. Since the square smelled from the tanners and was close to a fish market, the place would have smelled pretty bad!
Outside of the Church of Our Lady, one can find a few iron crosses stuck in the lawn. But what are they there for? They are actually the steeples of churches! During World War 1, the steeples were taken off the churches around the city to disorient spies and they have never been put back.
I liked visiting Bruges because it was a beautiful city, but also an adventure as we were exploring somewhere we had never been to or heard about. In my opinion, if you ever decide to visit Belgium, visit Bruges. It will be your best vacation destination ever!