Bruges is probably together with Ghent the most beautiful city in Belgium, also called the “Venice of the North”, it has a beautiful historical center, rich in valuable buildings of medieval origin and which was included in 2000 within the World Heritage Site of UNESCO.
Bruges was an important market town since the twelfth century, in particular, there were traded fabrics, wool and clothing. The city also boasts the founding of the first stock exchange in the world, founded in 1309. This was – between the twelfth and fifteenth centuries – the most prosperous period for Bruges, at the time the city was at the center of a vast trade network that stretched from the Mediterranean to the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. In the fifteenth century, due to the gradual silting of the canal that connected it to the sea, the city lost its commercial supremacy in favor of Antwerp.
Today, the historic center of Bruges is probably the most beautiful of Belgium, with beautiful canals, fine medieval architecture, made of palaces, houses of the wealthy merchant class, and interesting religious buildings. The Christmas market in Bruges is a classic event in the city during the weeks leading up to Christmas. In Bruges there is also an ice skating rink set in the picturesque scenery of the main square. In the city you can also admire the ice statues of the ice sculpture festival on ice.
BRUGES CHRISTMAS MARKETS
Dates of the Christmas Market 2018:
23 November 2018 – 1 January 2019
1) Bruges Christmas Market (Kerstmarkt Brugge). The Christmas Market in Bruges enlivens the medieval city of Bruges during Advent, the market takes place in the Market Square (Grote Markt) and Simon Stevinplein Square.
In the market square (Grote Markt) – with its distinctive bell tower all lit up – you’ll find chalets with Christmas items, gift items, handicrafts, and many stalls where you can enjoy a hot chocolate, mulled wine or a refreshing gin. In Simon Stevinplein are usually located merchants chalet selling clothes and Christmas decorations.
Opening: 23 November 2018 – 1 January 2019. Opening Hours: The Christmas market is open 7/7, during the week from Monday to Thursday the opening times are:11 am – 8 pm. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday it opens at 11 am until 10 pm. On 24 December, the market will be closed at 17. On 25 December, the market is only open in the afternoon.
2) Christmas market Windroos in Major Seminary (Kerstmarkt in het Grootseminarie – Potterierei 72, 8000 Bruges/Brugge). Charity Christmas market, selling craftsmanship, toys, books, textiles, Christmas decoration, floral arrangements.
Opening: 1 December – 2 December 2018. Opening Hours: from 10,00 to 18,00.