World Heritage #0996 – Brugge

Last updated Apr 3, 2022 | Published on May 25, 2017Belgium, North and Central Europe, World Heritage Sites

The historic centre of Brugge (or Bruges in English and French) is charming and picture postcard perfect. There is so much to see, discover, learn and enjoy from walking along the canals, visiting the famous squares or just relax in a park. 

The UNESCO World Heritage List includes more than a thousand properties with outstanding universal value. They are all part of the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

Official facts

  • Full name of site: Historic centre of Brugge
  • Country: Belgium
  • Date of Inscription: 2000
  • Category: Cultural site

UNESCO’s World Heritage Centre’s short description of site no. 996:

Brugge is an outstanding example of a medieval historic settlement, which has maintained its historic fabric as this has evolved over the centuries, and where original Gothic constructions form part of the town’s identity. As one of the commercial and cultural capitals of Europe, Brugge developed cultural links to different parts of the world. It is closely associated with the school of Flemish Primitive painting. (…) Brugge was in medieval times a commercial metropolis in the heart of Europe. The city reflects a considerable exchange of influences on the development of art and architecture, particularly in brick Gothic, which is characteristic of northern Europe and the Baltic. This architecture strongly determines the character of the historic centre of the city.

My visit

I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in the historic centre of Brugge. The atmosphere was so breathtaking and there was simply too much to see. Gratefully the city has evolved very slowly during the last 150 years or so. Recent changes have been made with great respect to the integrity of the heritage site. There are in fact two other heritage sites within the historic centre of Bruges, the Belfry and the Béguinage.

Read more about this visit.

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