Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day trip to Bruges, Belgium (Jul 12)

We decided to venture out to a town in Belgium that is considered to be one of the most unique and top tourist cities in Belgium. This amazingly well-preserved Gothic city is called Bruges and is only 1 hr NW of Brussels. One of Shannon's coworkers, Jonathan, was nice enough to give us a little tour of this charming city.
Besides taking in all of the beautiful canals within the city, we made time to visit the Town Hall and Basilica of the Holy Blood which are located in the Burg Square (historical birthplace of the city) and the Belfry and Government Palace which are situated in the Market Square (more modern heart of the city). We also stopped at the Church of our Lady which is a striking cathedral and houses the 'Madonna & Child' marble statue of Michelangelo's. Later in the day, we found time to hit a popular Chocolatier called Dumon...man, was it good! Whenever there's a new Chocolatier to try out, I'm there!

There is an interesting legend about the Basilica of the Holy Blood, which is famous for its relic of the blood of Christ. My tourist book says it goes something like this, “Several drops of Christ’s blood were preserved in a crystal phial in Jerusalem; and in 1150, the patriarch of Jerusalem gave the blood to a Flemish soldier, Derrick of Alsace (aka Thierry) as thanks for rescuing his city from the Muslims during the Second Crusade. Derrick returned to Bruges and donated it to the city. The old, dried blood suddenly turned to liquid, a miracle repeated every Friday for the next two centuries, and verified by thousands of pilgrims from around Europe who flocked here to adore it. The blood dried up for good in 1325”

Canals are everywhere, hence Bruges's nickname "The Venice of the North"

Notice the dog enjoying some fresh air on the canals watching the tourists go by!

Town Hall

Basilica of the Holy Blood

13th Century Belfry

Jonathan & Shannon infront of the Government Palace

In the Market Square - Elegant stepped facades

Recommended Chocolatier (very good) by "Rick Steve's Guide: Bruges"

Church of Our Lady in background (houses 'Madonna & Child' marble statue by Michelangelo)

Canal photo

Another canal!

Church of Our Lady

What can I say, I like canal photos!

Notice the date written on the building (several buildings have the date written on them to show when they were built)

1 comment:

The Tile Lady said...

Wonderful blog! You and your husband are living a dream! Glad you got to make it home to Nebraska for a visit. It's fun scrolling through the blogs and seeing what others post. Good luck to you both!