About Sravya R
Lives in Truro, United Kingdom
Since Mar 2015
18-24 year old female
As a language student, I absolutely love to travel. I adore the culture of European cities from Paris to Prague, from Florence to Barcelona. Luckily for me, I was born and still live in Cornwall, which hands down, has to be the best region in the UK (I may be biased). Also having relatives in India means that I have travelled with them extensively through the country, falling in love with the beautiful hill stations, the rolling tea plantations, the palaces, the temples, and the mad bustling cities. I'm not one for lazing on the beach, nor do yearn for extreme adventure sports. I just love to explore on foot, take train journeys, take an unexpected turning and discover something wonderful. It doesn't matter how many air miles you've racked up, how exotic or luxurious or far away the location is. Wherever it is, what is important is actually having a glorious experience with the people you love.
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Architectural Buildings, Observation Decks & Towers, Points of Interest & Landmarks
Architectural Buildings, Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
Churches & Cathedrals
Art Museums, History Museums
Bodies of Water
Historic Sites, Historic Walking Areas
Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
Sacred & Religious Sites
Art Museums, History Museums
All visitors will find themselves inevitably congregating in the impressive main square, The Markt, which was refurbished in the neo-Gothic style and was historically the medieval commercial center. The Provincial Hall was first built in 1787 and then reconstructed in the 19th century upon former water halls, where the merchant ships that traveled by canal would unload and store their cargo. The central statues depict Jan Breydel and Pieter de Coninck, who took part in leading the 'Battle of the Golden Spurs:' the victorious 1302 Flemish uprising against the French king.
The Belfry and Cloth Halls date back to the 13th century; however like many historic buildings in Bruges, they were destroyed by fire and rebuilt on several occasions.
The Basilica of the Holy Blood was first built in the 12th century, while its Steeghere façade was designed in the Gothic style in the late 16th century — behind which the reliquary of Christ's blood is said to be held.
The only one of his sculptures to cross the Italian border, Michelangelo’s statue 'Madonna and Child' is on display at the Onze Lieve Vrouw (Church of Our Lady) on Mariastraat, whose dominating presence on the Bruges skyline showcases many different architectural periods from the 13th to 15th century, with later Gothic touches. Other religious paintings from Flemish artists can be seen inside the church too, as well as the decorated tombs of famous Brugeans. This is certainly a visual feast!
Built right on the canal, this medieval hospital and chapel was one of the oldest in Europe, and is now a museum housing works painted by the 15th century Flemish master, Memling. It also provides a fascinating insight into the treatment of ailments during the hospital's history, with a variety of medical tools and records on display.
Minnewater Park attracts many visitors as it has a picturesque setting — surrounding a tranquil swan-filled lake (also known as the Lake of Love) — and plays host to a variety of open-air music concerts during the summer, such as the Cactus Festival.
Just behind the Minnewater Park is the atmospheric whitewashed front of the Beguinage, and a quiet convent garden with poplar trees. The community of nuns, or Beguines, lived and practiced here in the houses built mostly in the 17th century, although the Beguinage was first established by the Countess of Flanders in 1245.
The Jerusalem Church retains many of its original features (having sustained little damage), and the stained glass windows date back to 1482 and 1560. Although the entrance fee is a bit steep, the history of its proprietors, the 15th century Italian Adornes family, and the chapel's dark and somber atmosphere make it a definite point of interest.
If you fancy exploring Bruges slightly differently, then the city Art Route might be for you. Taking in the history and key sights, this bike ride along the canal (which makes up the outer ring of Bruges) will lead you to the city gateway and windmills — far away from the main tourist hustle and bustle. A great activity if you wish to see a little of the landscape, and fancy burning off some of the chocolate and beer you've invariably consumed!
A rather stunning, yet wonderfully simple former Jesuit church, built in the Baroque style; this hidden treasure is located close to the Markt. The music playing in the church definitely adds to the uplifting and spiritual atmosphere that the unusually luminous building creates.
If beer is your thing, then it is essential that you visit De Halve Maan brewery, which has been in business for centuries, and manufactures two beers local to Bruges: Straffe Hendrik and Brugse Zot. You'll be given an informative guided tour of the factory, where you can witness the production line and learn about the history of the brewing process, before tasting the final products in the pub restaurant.
There are some good art galleries in Bruges, the main one being the Groeninge Museum which hosts a fine collection of 15th and 16th century European art. Works of particular note here include those by the Flemish masters such as Memling, Hieronymus Bosch, and Jan van Eyck.