1.a city in northwestern Belgium that is connected by canal to the North Sea; in the 13th century it was a leading member of the Hanseatic League; the old city (known as the City of Bridges) is a popular tourist attraction
definition of Wikipedia
9472 Bruges • Arrondissement of Bruges • Belfry of Bruges • Bruges (disambiguation) • Bruges Group • Bruges Matins • Bruges Matins (football) • Bruges Matins (history) • Bruges belfry • Bruges city hall • Bruges, Gironde • Bruges, Pyrénées-Atlantiques • Bruges-Capbis-Mifaget • Bruges-la-Morte • Church of Our Lady (Bruges) • Colleges of St Omer, Bruges and Liège • FC Bruges • Galbert of Bruges • Groupe de Bruges • In Bruges • Jácome de Bruges • L'Astrologue de Bruges • Lewis de Bruges • List of people from Bruges • Madonna of Bruges • Markt (Bruges) • Ostend-Bruges International Airport • Port of Bruges-Zeebrugge • Pride of Bruges • Rudolf of Bruges • The English Theatre of Bruges • The Kermesse in Bruges • Treaty of Bruges • Treaty of Bruges (1375) • Walter of Bruges • William Bruges
ville du monde (fr)[Classe...]
ville d'Europe. (fr)[ClasseParExt.]
État membre de la Communauté Européenne (fr)[Classe...]
Descripteurs EUROVOC (fr)[Thème]
(cathedral), (bishop), (council)[termes liés]
|• Mayor||Patrick Moenaert (CD&V)|
|• Governing party/ies||CD&V, N-VA, SP.A-Spirit, VLD|
|• Total||138.40 km2 (53.44 sq mi)|
|Population (1 January 2011)|
|• Density||840/km2 (2,200/sq mi)|
|• Foreigners||3.52% (1 January 2007)|
|Postal codes||8000, 8200, 8310, 8380|
Bruges ( // in English; Dutch: Brugge, [ˈbrʏʝə], French: Bruges, [ˈbʁyːʒ], German: Brügge, [ˈbrʏɡə]) is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is located in the northwest of the country.
The historic city centre is a prominent World Heritage Site of UNESCO. It is oval-shaped and about 430 hectares in size. The area of the whole city amounts to more than 13,840 hectares, including 1,075 hectares off the coast, at Zeebrugge (meaning "Brugge aan Zee" or "Bruges on Sea"). The city's total population is 117,073 (1 January 2008), of which around 20,000 live in the historic centre. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 616 km² and has a total of 255,844 inhabitants as of 1 January 2008.
The place-name Bruges is first mentioned as Bruggas, Brvggas, Brvccia in 840 - 875, then Bruciam, Bruociam in 892, Brutgis uico end 9th century, in portu Bruggensi around 1010, Bruggis in 1012, Bricge in 1037 (Anglo-Saxon chronicle), Brugensis in 1046, Brycge 1049 - 1052 (ASC), Brugias in 1072, Bruges in 1080 - 1085, Bruggas around 1084, Brugis in 1089, Brugge in 1116.
Probably from Old Dutch, cf. Middle Dutch brucge, brugge (or brugghe, brigghe, bregghe, brogghe). cf. Dutch bruggehoofd "beachhead", Dutch Brug "bridge"). The Dutch word brug(ghe) would be variant form from the south.
Ultimately from Proto-Germanic brugjō- "bridge", "harbour bridge", "veenbrug" (cf. English bridge)
Very few traces of human activity in Bruges date from the Pre-Roman Gaul era. The first fortifications were built after Julius Caesar's conquest of the Menapii in the first century BC, to protect the coastal area against pirates. The Franks took over the whole region from the Gallo-Romans around the 4th century and administered it as the Pagus Flandrensis. The Viking incursions of the ninth century prompted Baldwin I, Count of Flanders to reinforce the Roman fortifications; trade soon resumed with England and Scandinavia.
Bruges got its city charter on July 27, 1128 and new walls and canals were built. Since about 1050, gradual silting had caused the city to lose its direct access to the sea. A storm in 1134, however, re-established this access, through the creation of a natural channel at the Zwin. The new sea arm stretched all the way to Damme, a city that became the commercial outpost for Bruges.
With the reawakening of town life in the twelfth century, a wool market, a woollens weaving industry, and the market for cloth all profited from the shelter of city walls, where surpluses could be safely accumulated under the patronage of the counts of Flanders. Bruges was already included in the circuit of the Flemish cloth fairs at the beginning of the 13th century. The city's entrepreneurs reached out to make economic colonies of England and Scotland's wool-producing districts. English contacts brought Normandy grain and Gascon wines. Hanseatic ships filled the harbor, which had to be expanded beyond Damme to Sluys to accommodate the new cog-ships. In 1277, the first merchant fleet from Genoa appeared in the port of Bruges, first of the merchant colony that made Bruges the main link to the trade of the Mediterranean. This development opened not only the trade in spices from the Levant, but also advanced commercial and financial techniques and a flood of capital that soon took over the banking of Bruges. The Bourse opened in 1309 (most likely the first stock exchange in the world) and developed into the most sophisticated money market of the Low Countries in the 14th century. By the time Venetian galleys first appeared, in 1314, they were latecomers.
Such wealth gave rise to social upheavals, which were for the most part harshly contained. In 1302, however, after the Bruges Matins (the nocturnal massacre of the French garrison in Bruges by the members of the local Flemish militia on 18 May 1302), the population joined forces with the Count of Flanders against the French, culminating in the victory at the Battle of the Golden Spurs, fought near Kortrijk on July 11. The statue of Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck, the leaders of the uprising, can still be seen on the Big Market square.
At the end of the 14th century, Bruges became one of the Four Members, along with Franc of Bruges, Ghent and Ypres. Together they formed a parliament, however they frequently quarrelled amongst themselves.
In the 15th century, Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, set up court in Bruges, as well as Brussels and Lille, attracting a number of artists, bankers, and other prominent personalities from all over Europe. The weavers and spinners of Bruges were thought to be the best in the world, and the population of Bruges grew to 200,000 inhabitants at this time.
The new Flemish-school, oil-painting techniques gained world renown. The first book in English ever printed was published in Bruges by William Caxton. This is also the time when Edward IV and Richard III of England spent time in exile here.
Starting around 1500, the Zwin channel, which had given the city its prosperity, also started silting. The city soon fell behind Antwerp as the economic flagship of the Low Countries. During the 17th century, the lace industry took off, and various efforts to bring back the glorious past were made. During the 1650s, the city was the base for Charles II of England and his court in exile. The maritime infrastructure was modernized, and new connections with the sea were built, but without much success. Bruges became impoverished and gradually disappeared from the picture, with its population dwindling from 200,000 to 50,000 by the end of the 1800s.
The symbolist novelist George Rodenbach even made the sleepy city into a character in his novel Bruges-la-Morte, meaning "Bruges-the-dead", which was adapted into Erich Wolfgang Korngold's opera, Die tote Stadt (The Dead City). In the last half of the 19th century, Bruges became one of the world's first tourist destinations attracting wealthy British and French tourists.[clarification needed] Only in the second half of the 20th century has the city started to reclaim some of its past glory. The port of Zeebrugge was built in 1907. The Germans used it for their U-boats in World War I. It was greatly expanded in the 1970s and early 1980s and has become one of Europe's most important and modern ports. International tourism has boomed, and new efforts have resulted in Bruges being designated 'European Capital of Culture' in 2002.
The municipality comprises:
|Historic Centre of Bruges *|
|Criteria||ii, iv, vi|
|Region **||Europe and North America|
|Inscription||2000 (24th Session)|
|* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List
** Region as classified by UNESCO
Many of its medieval buildings are notable, including the Church of Our Lady, whose brick spire reaches 122.3 m (401.25 ft), making it one of the world's highest brick towers/buildings. The sculpture Madonna and Child, which can be seen in the transept, is believed to be Michelangelo's only sculpture to have left Italy within his lifetime.
Bruges' most famous landmark is its 13th-century belfry, housing a municipal carillon comprising 48 bells. The city still employs a full-time carillonneur, who gives free concerts on a regular basis.
Other famous buildings in Bruges include:
Bruges also has a very fine collection of medieval and early modern art, including the world-famous collection of Flemish Primitives. Various masters, such as Hans Memling and Jan van Eyck, lived and worked in Bruges.
Bridge at Bruges, (ca. 1919)
by Louis Dewis.
View of the Steenstraat with the St. Salvator's Cathedral in the background.
Part of the Markt (market square).
The Bonne-Chière windmill.
Bruges has motorway connections to all directions:
Driving within the 'egg', the historical centre enclosed by the main circle of canals in Bruges, is discouraged by traffic management schemes, including a network of one way streets. The system encourages the use of set routes leading to central car parks and direct exit routes. The car parks are convenient for the central commercial and tourist areas; they are inexpensive.
Bruges' main railway station is the focus of lines to the Belgian coast. It also provides at least hourly trains to all other major cities in Belgium, as well as to Lille, France. Further there are several regional and local trains.
Bus links to the centre are frequent, though the railway station is just a 10 minute walk from the main shopping streets and a 20 minute walk from the Market Square.
The national Brussels Airport, one hour away by train or car, offers the best connections. The nearest airport is the Ostend-Bruges International Airport in Ostend (around 25 km from the city centre of Bruges), but it offers limited passenger transport and connections.
Bruges has an extensive web of bus lines, operated by De Lijn, providing access to the city centre and the suburbs (city lines, Dutch: stadslijnen) and to many towns and villages in the region around the city (regional lines, Dutch: streeklijnen).
Although a few streets are restricted, no part of Bruges is car free.
Cars are required to yield to pedestrians and cyclists. Plans have long been under way to ban cars altogether from the historic center of Bruges or to restrict traffic much more than it currently is, but these plans have yet to come to fruition. In 2005, signs were changed for the convenience of cyclists, allowing two-way cycle traffic on more streets, however car traffic has not decreased. Recent cycle fatalities have increased pressure to close bridges and further calm inner Bruges, but laws have not yet passed. Due to heavily populated suburbs, bus traffic is high on the narrow streets. This makes cycling even trickier.
Nevertheless, in common with many cities in the region, there are thousands of cyclists in the city of Bruges.
The port of Bruges is Zeebrugge (Bruges-on-Sea). It is the most modern and second biggest port of Belgium and one of the most important in Europe. On 6 March 1987, the British ferry MS Herald of Free Enterprise capsised after leaving the port, killing 187 people, the worst disaster involving a British civilian vessel since 1919.
Bruges is traditionally the starting town for the annual Ronde van Vlaanderen cycle race, held in April and one of the biggest sporting events in Belgium.
Bruges is also a football town, represented by two teams at the top level (Belgian First Division): Club Brugge K.V. and Cercle Brugge K.S.V., both playing in the Jan Breydel Stadium (30,000 seats) in Sint-Andries. There are plans for a new stadium with about 45,000 seats in the south of the city, near the junction of the E40 and the E403.
Bruges is an important centre for education in West Flanders. Next to the several common primary and secondary schools, there are a few colleges, like the KHBO (Katholieke Hogeschool Brugge-Oostende) or the HOWEST (Hogeschool West-Vlaanderen). Furthermore, the city is home to the College of Europe, a prestigious institution of postgraduate studies in European Economics, Law and Politics, and of the United Nations University Institute on Comparative Regional Integration Studies (UNU-CRIS), a Research and Training Institute of the United Nations University specialising in the comparative study of regional integration.
On principle, Bruges has to date never entered into close collaboration with twin cities. Without denying the usefulness of this schemes for towns with fewer international contacts, the main reason is that Bruges would find it difficult to choose between cities and thinks that it has enough work already with its many international contacts. Also, it was thought[who?] in Bruges that twinning was too often an occasion for city authorities and representatives to travel on public expense.
This principle resulted, in the 1950s, in Bruges refusing a jumelage with Nice and other towns, signed by a Belgian ambassador without previous consultation. In the 1970s, a Belgian consul in Oldenburg made the mayor of Bruges sign a declaration of friendship which he tried to present, in vain, as a jumelage.
The twinning between some of the former communes, merged with Bruges in 1971, were discontinued.
This does not mean that Bruges would not be interested in cooperation with others, as well in the short term as in the long run, for particular projects. Here follow a few examples.
The following people were born in Bruges:
In the 15th century, the city became the magnet for a number of prominent personalities:
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Brugge|
Dictionary and translator for handheld
New : sensagent is now available on your handheld
A windows (pop-into) of information (full-content of Sensagent) triggered by double-clicking any word on your webpage. Give contextual explanation and translation from your sites !
With a SensagentBox, visitors to your site can access reliable information on over 5 million pages provided by Sensagent.com. Choose the design that fits your site.
Improve your site content
Add new content to your site from Sensagent by XML.
Crawl products or adds
Get XML access to reach the best products.
Index images and define metadata
Get XML access to fix the meaning of your metadata.
Please, email us to describe your idea.
Lettris is a curious tetris-clone game where all the bricks have the same square shape but different content. Each square carries a letter. To make squares disappear and save space for other squares you have to assemble English words (left, right, up, down) from the falling squares.
Boggle gives you 3 minutes to find as many words (3 letters or more) as you can in a grid of 16 letters. You can also try the grid of 16 letters. Letters must be adjacent and longer words score better. See if you can get into the grid Hall of Fame !
Change the target language to find translations.
Tips: browse the semantic fields (see From ideas to words) in two languages to learn more.