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A Day in Bruges

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Frietmuseum

This is the only true fry museum in the world as they claim, and considering how ubiquitous the fry is around the world, it is surprising there aren't more. In addition to chocolate and endive, this is probably the one foodstuff that Belgians cannot live without, and the museum reminds visitors why this is so. Here, you will find all your questions answered like, "Who invented fries?" or "Where does the potato come from?". In addition, they also give info on recipes and the history of the potato. The museum is also located in the beautiful Saaihalle right in the center of Bruges.

Bruges, Belgio
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Choco-Story

The Chocolate Museum is for all who love this beneficial, delicious confection, and even for those who don't. Choco Story tells of the botany surrounding cacao, information about the history, geography and some recipes used by artisans across Belgium are given. The building the museum is housed in is also a delight, the Huis de Croon dates from around 1480, additionally, the visitor can of course find a gift shop and join workshops on the preparation of chocolate.

Bruges, Belgio
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Belfry of Bruges

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.

Bruges, Belgio
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Basilica of the Holy Blood (Heilig-Bloedbasiliek)

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.

Bruges, Belgio
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Saint Salvator's Cathedral

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.

Bruges, Belgio
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Church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Kerk)

The massive Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Kerk is regarded as one of the largest religious structures in Bruges, and its steeple is the second largest brick spires in the world. It was first constructed in 1225 and subsequently modified throughout the 13th, 14th and 15th Centuries. It is primarily known for holding a work from the famed Michelangelo, the Madonna met Kind or 'Madonna with Child', given to the cathedral by the native Bruges businessman Jan Van Moeskroen who had procured the statue on a trip to Italy (Siena) sometime in the late 1400s.

Bruges, Belgio
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The Beguinage (Beginhof)

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.

Bruges, Belgio
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