Belgium, Brugge (Bruges), August 19, 2012
Brugge is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium.
Very few traces of human activity in Brugge 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. Brugge received its city charter on July 27, 1128 and new walls and canals were built. In the 15th century, Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, set up court in Brugge, as well as Brussels and Lille, attracting a number of artists, bankers, and other prominent personalities from all over Europe.
Starting around 1500, the Zwin channel, which had given the city its prosperity, 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. Brugge became impoverished and gradually disappeared from the picture, with its population dwindling from 200,000 to 50,000 by the end of the 1800s.
In the last half of the 19th century, Brugge became one of the world's first tourist destinations attracting wealthy British and French tourists. Only in the second half of the 20th century has the city started to reclaim some of its past glory. International tourism has boomed, and new efforts have resulted in Brugge being designated 'European Capital of Culture' in 2002.
The photo shows probably the most popular place for taking pictures in Brugge
On a trip with
Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105L, ISO 200, F/11, panorama of 5 sets of 1/15, 1/10 and 1/4 sec.