Bruges in Springtime

September 18, 2014

Bruges is attractive in any season, but some places are particularly interesting to visit in springtime….

When we say ‘spring’, we think of budding life blooming, as if nature wakes up again. There are plenty of places to experience this in the centre of Bruges. For starters, you will notice it while walking on the ramparts: the fresh colours of flowers are everywhere, crisp, fresh air, the first rays of sunshine. Wonderful. Also the gardens that embellish the city deserve attention. The garden of the Beguinage, just to mention one, is definitely worth a walk to enjoy the silence.

Just outside the walls of the Beguinage, the Bruges swans have their territory, a beautiful scene on and by the water where you certainly will come to a standstill. In the spring, these graceful waterfowl show off their little ones. You ‘ll be able to witness this fairytale setting with a boat trip on the canals or on a guided tour – the so-called summer walk. During this tour, a guide will show you the main attractions of the inner city and treat you to a wealth of historical and cultural facts about Bruges as World Heritage City.

A prime location in the city centre is no doubt the Belfry – an 83m-high tower that overlooks the market square. On a bright spring day this tower offers a breathtaking view of Bruges. With a little luck, it is even possible to see the coast! The 366 steps leading to the top are definitely worth the experience. To take a breather you can listen to a carillon concert at the base of the tower. Every Wednesday , Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. the carillon bells indeed give the best of themselves.

If you would like to learn more about Bruges, you can visit one or more of the city museums. Today, you can even catch a couple of interesting exhibitions – 100% Craftwork. Masterworks from the Gruuthuse collection focuses on the various materials and crafts which are at the basis of Bruges’ status as a centre for the manufacture and export of high-quality craftwork, both in the past and the present. The Folklore Museum has an exhibition on lace: Snapshot 9: Lace in the past and present through the lens of Karin Borghouts, a fascinating photo exhibition on the various aspects of the rich lace tradition. The Arentshuis puts the spotlight on the painter Dan Van Severen, an abstract painter. His work is characterized by simple geometric patterns. All this craftsmanship is still alive today. The folklore market along Dijver and on the Fish Market illustrates this clearly. It is a nice area to look around during the weekend and on public holidays (from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

If you would like to take a rest after all the springtime sights and sounds, you can select one of Bruges’ many attractive city parks, which are at their best in spring. The Koning Albertpark for example, between the station and ‘t Zand, or the Koningin Astridpark, also known as the botanical garden, with a pond, a fountain and a colourful kiosk. A little more on the outskirts, you will find four mills, also against a green and soothing background. They lie on a slope, which will enable you to enjoy a nice view. The city parks, the ramparts, and the scenery of the mills are all perfect locations to relax while exploring the busy city centre.

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