This is the second part of my trip to Belgium. You can read the first part HERE
The next day, we woke up the next day in a pretty little Brugge hotel to the sound of bells in the local church.
Then, we went for a walk across the city. As expected, everything was beautiful in the daylight. All the buildings looked like they came from an old movie.
Brugge is located in the northwest of Belgium and is the capital city of the province of West Flanders. According to Wikipedia, it’s sometimes referred as The Venice of the North.
It’s a very big city, but we just had time to be in the center of it, which has most of its medieval architecture intact. Actually the tourist area in the center of the city has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000.
It’s really impressive how, when you walk across the streets, all you see are very antique buildings that still hold up after all these years. Many buildings are there from early as 13th century, and I learned that the early medieval habitation there started in the 9th and 10th century. That’s a very old witch!
One of my friends wanted to see an old Michelangelo sculpture in one of the many Catholic churches around, so we set our g.p.s and walked across the streets trying to find the so called “The Church Of Our Lady“.
That impressive church dates mainly from the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. Its tower is the tallest structure in the city and the second tallest brickwork tower in the world.
The Inside is equally impressive, as it has many antique and important artworks. You can also find the tombs of many important Brugeans resting there.
Inside there, we finally found what we were looking for: a white marble sculpture of the Madonna and Child, created by Michelangelo in 1504. It’s a very interesting piece of art because it features the Virgin Mary and Jesus differently from how was depicted by artists of the same era. Jesus stands in the Virgin’s legs almost unsupported, and as if he was about to step away from his mother. And the Virgin, as opposed to most of the sculptures, is featured looking down and away from her son.
It’s also interesting because is the only sculpture by Michelangelo that left Italy during his lifetime. It was bought from a family of wealthy cloth merchants in Bruges. After that it was removed several times from Belgium, the last time by German Nazis during World War II in 1944. It was discovered a year later in Austria and returned to Brugge, to the church where it sits now.
So after that history lesson, we left The Church Of Our Lady to get another history lesson. This one was on the brewery tour of one of the most exquisite beers I’ve ever tasted, the Brugse Zot. An ancient history and a complicated process later, which involved climbing up and down very scary, steep steps in the rain, and we had a sample of it. It was all good!
We were ready to get a late lunch with mussels, a nap, and a nice dinner at a restaurant. Then, a visit to a local pub.
Later that night, it was our final walk in the city, and the lights and views looked gorgeous. Once again, I wished we had more time to see more of this city, but it late at night and the next day we had the second part of our Belgium adventure: Brussels and a new Queen + Adam Lambert concert.