Photographer's Note

Bruges [Brugge, Brügge, Brygge] received its city charter in 1128 and in 1240 the 83-metre-high belfry [belfort, beffroi] was added to the Market square, as a place to safely house the treasury and the municipal archive. And to serve as an observation post for spotting fires.

So it seems as a huge irony, that a fire in 1280 completely destroyed the archives and largely damaged the belfry. When rebuilt the octagonal upper stage was added, now capped with a wooden spire. This was struck by lightning in 1493 and reduced to ashes. A new spire fell victim to flames in 1741 and was never replaced, instead an openwork stone parapet was added to the rooftop.

That's how the belfry got its present look and it's actually leaning about a meter to the east. I managed to get a nice shot of it from Rozenhoedkaai during our evening walk around the old town - after a nice supper at the beautiful Markt [Market square].

In the last half of the 19th century, Bruges became one of the world's first tourist destinations.

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Additional Photos by Kaj Nordstrom (kajenn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 539 W: 240 N: 845] (2442)
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