The Historic Town of Brugge with its Gothic settlements is a classic example of a city that have for centuries seen the exchange of cultural values including the development of architecture, innovative artistic influences as well as commercial interests. In fact, the 19th century renovation of facades introduced the neo-gothic style that is special to Brugge. The history of the city is closely associated with the Flemish Primitive painting.
Excavations in the region show that the city of Brugge was occupied from the Iron Age and the Gallo-roman period. It was the military and administrative center and had commercial links with Scandinavia even in those early days. The name Brugge is first mentioned in a Carolingian coin that beared the name ‘Bruggia’. The residents of the city had put up defense fortifications that numbered 851 in total.
Check out the following synthesis for the history of Brugge:
- 1200 – Brugge fair is established with help of the British contacts. It is also during this time that the city developed the belfry in Grand’Place as well as developing as an important economic center in Europe.
- 1419 to 1467 – Under Philippe de le Bon, Brugge developed as a court center. Flemish Primitive School was also established during this time. Miniature paintings, humanism and Renaissance art became the center of attraction in the city.
- 15th century – Brugge entered stagnation. The Flemish regions were integrated into Habsburg Empire. Discovery of America displaced the economics in favor of the Atlantic instead of Mediterranean.
- 1600 to 1800 – This period saw the building of canal systems that re-connected the city of Brugge to its maritime past
- 1815 to 1830 – Brugge was part of United Kingdom of the Netherlands.
- 1830 – It became part of Belgium, a situation it still retains today.
- Late 19th century – English Aristocrats heavily influenced the place.
The Burg and the Grand'Place Squares are the major attractions. They have been the pride of Brugge for 1000 years.
If not for anything else, visit Brugge for its historical sentimental value.