Delving into Bruges – her Canals

The canals of Bruges linked the city to the North Sea and led to her economical prosperity in the Middle Ages.    Nowadays,  most visitors to this ‘Venice of the North’  enjoy a cruise at some stage during their trip.   Its easily done – there are landing stages dotted along the route – and the half hour trip allows you to appreciate the beauty of the city from another angle.  Of course,  the canals can also be enjoyed on foot.

You’ll notice plenty of swans on your travels.  In the middle ages,  townsfolk revolted against emperor Maximilian of Austria and held him in a tower on the main square.   He watched as his friend Pieter Lanchals (means long neck) was executed in the square below.  He gave the townspeople what they requested and was released.  He fled back to Austria but returned with an army.   Among the penalties imposed was a decree that the city should keep swans (long necks) in its lakes and canals at its own expense for all time.


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11 thoughts on “Delving into Bruges – her Canals

  1. We think the canal cruise is the best way to enjoy Bruges … although it’s a bit unnerving passing under those low bridges!

    1. They’re incredibly low aren’t they!! Its definitely worth doing – even for those who hate doing the obviously touristy things.

  2. Bruges lies within day trip proximity for us from Paris. Thus we rarely have taken the time to see this city from this canal perspective.

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