May 25, 2012

0221 BELGIUM (West Flanders) - City Hall - part of Historic Centre of Brugge (UNESCO WHS)

Located on northwest of Belgium and connected by canal with the North Sea, Bruges was founded in the 9th century, and in the 13th century became a leading member of the Hanseatic League, and one of the commercial and cultural capitals of Europe. From 1384 to 1500 the town enjoyed its Golden Age under the Dukes of Burgundy. Bruges is a city with two squares: the Market square (the largest one, the commercial heart of medieval city), and Burg square (the heart of the administrative Bruges). The Burg square is a showcase of different European architectural styles.

One of the most beautiful buildings of Bruges, located on Burg square, can be seen in my postcard: the gothic town hall, built between 1376 and 1421. It was one of the first monumental town halls in the Low Countries, later imitated in Brussels, Ghent and not only. In the front facade, highly detailed with images of Biblical and historical figures, are six gothic windows. On the frontside are also displayed the town weapons of the cities and villages that were under administrative rule from Bruges. In the entrance hall a large staircase leads to the so-called Gothic Hall (1386-1401). This hall was decorated in 1895, with neo-gothic wall paintings that illustrate the most important events in the history of Bruges. The neo-gothic huge chimney is a later addition.

As "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", the historic centre of Bruges is, since 2000, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

About the stamp I wrote here.

Sender: Dieter / LazySurfing (postcrossing)
Sent from Gent (Belgium), on 26.04.2012
Photo: Christophe Potigny

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