Probably the most notable structure in Bruges is the Belfry. This prominent tower constructed first in the 13th Century and refurbished over the centuries has remained a sentinel over the city for over 700 years. The Belfry today allows visitors access, however the 300 or so odd steps up to the top require a bit of cardio fitness and the carilloneur or bell-ringer hits those 47 on the hour. The bells range from the very small to the extremely gigantic, in fact, the largest bell weighs over five tons.
Muziekclub 4AD as the name suggests is a club dedicated to music. Throughout the year, it hosts concerts featuring local, national and even international artists and bands. There is no restriction about the genres being played here, from pop to jazz, the events calender boasts off a vivid variety. Though, primarily, 4AD focuses on music, musicians, singers and song writers, it also ventures beyond that and hosts art exhibitions, drama, workshops, seminars and similar events pertaining to different forms of art. Given the nature of events held here and its pursuit for innovation, Muziekclub 4AD can rightly be touted as creative hub of the city.
A beguinage in the Middle Ages was known as a place of refuge for women in danger, those of ill-repute or simply lay-women who sought something other than a secular life. Through a clearing of poplar trees and daffodil-laden fields, the peculiar white houses of Bruges' Beguinage can be seen. This utterly serene beguinage dates back to the 13th century, a time when more and more women were committing themselves to a life of piety. The buildings dotting the tranquil expanse are newer as compared to the actual institution, and date back to the 19th century. Although the beguines no longer reside here, the beguinage is still home to several nuns of the Benedictine order. It diligently promotes silence in its environs, a reason why there is always an air of quietude in its surroundings.
This basilica as its namesake suggests, allegedly contains a relic of Christ, brought forth by Joseph of Arimithea. The cathedral itself is a mish-mash of Gothic and Romanesque styles and is composed of two chapels, the opulence of the basilica is quite impressive (as most Catholic churches usually are) and to see the relic, go to the upper chapel and there is a silver tabernacle that contains the rock-crystal vial with Jesus' blood.
A much newer cathedral than Our Beloved Lady right nearby, the Sint-Salvator Cathedral is an amalgam of architecture dating from as far back as the 9th Century up to the present day. Today, the church holds the largest congregation in Bruges and the tapestries by Jasper van der Borcht in 1731 are just one of the highlights while here.
Designed by the architect Gaston Eysselinck, this historic structure was built in the early 1950s and served as a post office in Ostend. It was in 1981 that it was declared a protected monument, even dubbed a masterpiece in Flemish architecture. With a splendid sculpture by Jozef Cantré at its entrance, the post office was revived and converted into a buzzing cultural center in 2013. Today the Cultuurcentrum De Grote Post, with its large concert halls, dance studios, an amphitheater and cafe, is leading a cultural revolution. Expect performances by some of the best talents in the country, be it theater, music or dance, at this majestic venue that has stood the test of time.
The Stadsschouwburg Brugge is regarded as one of the best halls in all of Europe. Constructed in 1869, the neo-classical building holds around 800 people comfortably and hosts both international and national acts. It is run under the cultural aegis of Cultuurcentrum Brugge, go to the local tourist office or the cultuurcentrum website for show times.
Cine Com screens the latest Hollywood films and the occasional art house film, the facility provides all of the concessions and the sound is up to par. The theater also holds some film festivals depending on the theme and season. Check out the local papers and tourist offices for the latest information and show times.
The Cultuurcentrum Brugge is the premier event promoter in the city, it runs over seven different event venues which provide all types of entertainment, from rock and jazz shows to lectures and workshops, Cultuurcentrum is the place to check if you seek diversion. The center is also an active benefactor to the city's youth due to its promotion and organization of events for schools throughout West-Flanders.
The Cine Liberty in an old establishment which is now utilized for various shows in Bruges. Different organizations rent the place for their shows and events. Some school plays are also recited in this arena. Movies of various genres are played on the screen from time to time. There are cushion type seating in the theater so one may feel comfortable. Refreshments can be bought at the from the nearby cafes and restaurants.
This is probably the most intimate spot in Bruges to catch a show, the Biekorf is another theater hall run by the Cultuurcentrum Brugge and the entertainment varies in this venue. From drama and grand theater to comedy and children's shows, the Biekorf always guarantees a good seat.
Hark back to the Golden Era of the city in Historium Brugge. Thematic sets and themed areas take you through a love story based on a historic painting of Jan van Eyck. Explore this magical excursion as you get to know the sights, culture and history of Bruges in the Middle Ages. Opt for an audio tour or a virtual reality (VR) experience. See the quays, Jan van Eyck’s Studio, The Toll House, alleys, guilds, bathhouse and stock exchange as they were in their original form. Check out the interactive exhibition to know the blueprint of the city or shop at their gift shop. Enjoy a chilled beer at Duvelorium. Don't miss their terrace for a breathtaking vista of the city. They have special packages for school kids and groups at discounted rates.