This Bruges walking tour is for perfect for art lovers. You explore the Groeninge Museum, featuring Dutch Masters and also the Church of Our Lady where you'll see Michelangelo's Madonna. You also explore the most charming corners of Bruges.
After meeting your Bruges guide at your hotel, you start your tour with a visit to the Groeninge Museum. The museum is small enough to explore in an hour but large enough to hold some of the greatest Dutch works from the 14th to 20th centuries, including works by Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling, Gerard David and more.
Next you visit the charming Beguinage, or begijnhof in Dutch. Beguinage are courtyards surrounded by small homes, typically surrounding by a wall and secluded from the local town by one or more gates. In the case of Bruges, the beguinage is also cut off from the town by canals and bridges. Pious catholic women who lived and dressed like nuns (though they did not take formal vows) lived in these small quarters. This tradition started in the 13th century. Poor and elderly beguines were housed by wealthy benefactors. The homes you see today are from the 17th century and the area is one of the most charming and tranquil in Bruges.
Very close by your guide will show you the Lake of Love. At one point, Bruges was a port city and the Reie River emptied into the harbor of Bruges at this location. Later the river was dammed and canals brought water further into the town. Today the lake is surrounding by a park and the water is graced by the symbol of Bruges, white swans. On the lake your guide will also show you and talk about the history of the Gothic Lock Keeper's House
Next is a short stop in the Church of Our Lady which is the tallest structure in Bruges and the second tallest brick structure in the world. A highlight is Michelangelo's Madonna which was sculpted in 1504 and was intended for the cathedral of Siena. However, two rich Brugean merchants purchased it and brought it here.
Later in your walking tour you explore the iconic Market Square which has been used as a market place since the year 958 AD. The square is filled with Gothic Revival buildings, a 250 foot tall bell tower, the famous Burg, rows of stepped facades and outdoor caf̩s serving Belgian specialties and beer. Your guide will provide detailed explanations about this beautiful square and its historic buildings. The square was pedestrianized in 1996 and has since become one of the most beautiful squares in all of Europe.
If there is extra time, you guide will be happy to take you to sample Belgium chocolates, see a lace making demonstration or enjoy a Belgian beer tasting. If you are staying in Bruges for more than a few hours, we recommend that you take a canal boat cruise, climb the steps to the top of the Belfry for views over the Market Square, splurge for a horse carriage ride, and of course, relax in one of the many caf̩s to enjoy typical Dutch meal.
Mobility: NO wheelchairs
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can also be customized to fit your needs. If you have a larger group, we can offer you a private Bruges tour
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