Bruges is the capital and largest city in West Flanders. Its city center has been unchanged since the Middle Ages.
Bruges was officially chartered on July 27, 1128. It was a center of trade since the 11th century. Antwerp surpassed Bruges as the ecomomic capital when the Zwin channel started silting around 1500. Only in the 20th century has Bruges began to grow economically again. Tourism has also recently grown. Bruges was named European Capital of Culture in 2002.
Many medieval buildings have been kept intact in Bruges.
There are countless festivals, music and theater events, and cinema options available, along with a long list of museums.
The Belfort was built in the 13th century.
The Markt is located in a square lined with medieval houses, and it still holds a market every Saturday.
The Heilig Bloed Basiliek is Bruges' holiest church. It was rebuilt in the 1790s after it was destroyed by the French.