BurgSquare

Burg Square is the Administrative Center of Bruges. It is bordered on three sides by the
Landhuis van het Brugse Vrije (Mansion of Bruges), the Civil Registry and Gothic Town Hall,
and the Basilica of the Holy Blood, which was the chapel of the Count of Flanders. The fourth
side was occupied by the Sint-Donatius Cathedral, destroyed during the French Revolution.

The Bruges display images have been created directly from the images that are available for purchase
(with a few exceptions), so the title bar text is smaller than title bars which are normally seen on this website.

Click an image to open a larger version.
Use your back button to return to this page.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Bruges Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

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There are 6 Galleries in the Photoshelter Bruges Collection (Direct Links):

Bruges: Burg Square
Market Square and Bell Tower
Onze-Lieve-Vrouw and Gruuthuse
Canal Scenes and Street Scenes
Bruges: Houses and Buildings
Statues and Sculptures

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Bruges_Town_Hall_2105


Bruges Town Hall 2105
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The upper facades of the Old Civil Registry (1534) and the Gothic Town Hall (Stadhuis, 1376).

The Town Hall has 49 niches containing statues of the Counts of Flanders from Boudewijn (Baldwin
the Iron Arm), the first Count of Flanders through succeeding notable rulers (and biblical figures). The
original statues were destroyed during the French Revolution, but were replaced in the 19th century.
One of the first non-secular Gothic buildings of its nature, it was imitated by Brussels, Antwerp, and
several other Flemish cities. The Civil Registry is crowned by statues Justice, Moses and Aaron.
These statues are replacements of the originals, which were also destroyed in the aftermath
of the French Revolution. The Old Civil Registry was the Peace Court between 1883-1984.

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Bishop’s Palace Burg Square 2124
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At the entrance to the square opposite the town hall is the Baroque facade of the Deanery, the former House of Deans of Sint-Donatius. Sint-Donatius Cathedral, built by the third Count of Flanders (Arnulf I) in 900, was razed to the ground in the aftermath of the French Revolution. After things finally settled down, a Bishop was again assigned to Bruges, and this building became a part of the Bishop’s Palace.

At right is a detail crop which shows the Baroque Caryatids, Coat of Arms, and other sculptures that adorn the balcony window. Burg Square is a composite of many different styles: Gothic (Town Hall), Renaissance (Civil Registry), Gothic and Gothic Revival (Basilica of the Holy Blood), and Neo-Classical on the facade of the former Court of Justice, a part of the Mansion of Bruges (Landhuis van het Brugse Vrije).

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Bishop’s Palace Detail 2100c
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Bruges Civil Registry Town Hall 2108
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The Renaissance facade of the Old Civil Registry and
one of the octagonal turrets on the Stadhuis (Town Hall).

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Civil Registry 2653
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Detail of the Old Civil Registry (Oude Burgerlijke Griffie)
and the left side of the Town Hall (Stadhuis), with their
reproductions of Renaissance and Gothic statues.

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Bruges Town Hall Dawn 2267
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The Gothic Stadhuis (Town Hall, 1376-1421), taken in the first light of dawn.

One of the oldest Town Halls in the Low Countries and one of the first secular Gothic buildings,
the Stadhuis was built on the site of the fortified castle of Count Baldwin I (Boudewijn), which he
built to protect the area against rampaging Normans and Vikings in the late 9th century (c. 870).

The gabled roof houses several dormer windows and is faced with a crenellated parapet and
octagonal towers with conical peaks. The statues on the facade are reproductions of the originals
which were destroyed in the aftermath of the French Revolution (parts are in the Municipal Museum).

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Bruges Civil Registry Town Hall Dawn 2277
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The archway the man is entering leads to Blinde Ezelstraat
(Blind Donkey Street), which is displayed further below.

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Bruges Town Hall Civil Registry Dawn 2276
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The gilded statues on the Old Civil Registry represent
Moses, Justice, and Aaron, also shown further below.

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Gothic Statuary Town Hall 2111
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Gothic statuary and Coats of Arms on the Stadhuis facade.

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Gothic Statuary Town Hall 2608
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A low-angle oblique displaying much of the facade.

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Gothic Statuary Town Hall 2613
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Detail of two of the biblical figures on the Stadhuis.

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Gothic Statuary Town Hall 2638
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These two statues represent two Counts of Flanders.
The Stadhuis statues represent notable rulers of Flanders
(Counts and Dukes) and some important biblical figures.

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Gothic Statuary Town Hall 2637 M
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An M-sized detail crop showing two of the Counts of Flanders on the Stadhuis facade.

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Civil Registry Dawn 1201
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The Old Civil Registry at dawn with a bicyclist
entering the square from Blind Donkey Street.

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Civil Registry Night 1233
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Another difficult hand-held night shot, this one required
5/8 second at f/8 with a 45mm lens for those interested.

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Civil Registry Night 1231 M
1500 x 1290 (571 KB)

A large detail crop of the statuary atop the Old Civil Registry (Oude Burgerlijke Griffie).

Those photographers among you will recognize how difficult a 1/2 second hand-held
shot is to get at all, and that it is even more difficult to achieve sharp, detailed results.

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Bruges Town Hall Civil Registry Night 1225
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Two shots taken on different nights of the Town Hall and
the Old Civil Registry. This is another 1/2 second shot.

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Bruges Town Hall Civil Registry Night 2237
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A mood shot, taken with people in the square. This one
was taken at 1/45 sec., f/2 so the people would be sharp.

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Bruges Town Hall Civil Registry Night 1216
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This image shows the entire south side of the square (3/4 sec. at f/8).

Below are detailed images of the gilded bronze statues on the Old Civil Registry.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Bruges Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 6 Galleries in the Photoshelter Bruges Collection (Direct Links):

Bruges: Burg Square
Market Square and Bell Tower
Onze-Lieve-Vrouw and Gruuthuse
Canal Scenes and Street Scenes
Bruges: Houses and Buildings
Statues and Sculptures

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Aaron_Civil_Registry_2650


Aaron Civil Registry 2650
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The gilded statues of Aaron and allegorical attendants
which represent two of the four Cardinal Virtues.

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Aaron Civil Registry Detail 2652c
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A large detail crop of the gilded bronze statue of Aaron,
which stands atop the bridge over Blind Donkey Street.

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Justice Civil Registry 2388
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At the top of the Old Civil Registry is the statue of Justice,
flanked by the Lion of Flanders and the Bear of Bruges.

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Justice Civil Registry 2388 M
1000 x 1600 (310 KB)

An M-sized detail crop of the Statue of Justice and
the Bear of Bruges, which stand atop the Civil Registry.

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Moses Civil Registry 2386
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Moses Civil Registry 2386c
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On the left side of the Old Civil Registry is the gilded
bronze statue of Moses and his allegorical attendants.
The image above is a detail crop from image 2386 (left).

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Town Hall Blinde-Ezelbrug 2374
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The rear of the Town Hall extension. These two buildings enclose Blinde Ezelstraat
(Blind Donkey Street), the original entrance to the Castle of Count Baldwin I. The bridge is
Blinde Ezelbrug (Blind Donkey Bridge) crossing the Groenerei to Steenhouwersdijk from the
Stadhuis to Huidenvettersplein (Tanner’s Square), at the end of the Vismarkt (Fish Market).

Blinde-Ezelbrug is said to be the location of one of the very first bridges built in the area.
To defend the Blinde-Ezelbrug, a town was built, and Bruges grew around the original town.

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Blinde Ezelstraat 2899
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Blinde-Ezelstraat (Blind Donkey Street), the site of the original castle of Baldwin I Iron Arm (Boudewijn), the first Count of Flanders (c. 830-879). Boudewijn Iron Arm met, spent time with, then eloped with Judith, daughter of Charles the Bald, the Carolingian King of West Francia. Charles had not given permission and tried to capture Baldwin, but they evaded his net and escaped to Rome to plead with Pope Nicholas I.

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Blinde Ezelstraat 2378
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 Charles had the couple excommunicated by his Bishop when he couldn’t catch them. Baldwin’s plea was successful and Charles was forced to accept their desire to marry. Charles granted the county of Flanders to Baldwin, creating a buffer between France and Germany. Baldwin was instrumental in the continuing wars with the Vikings, and he expanded his territories to Ghent and Courtrai. Baldwin I died in 879.

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Boudewijn Civil Registry 2904
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Atop the bridge at the end of Blinde-Ezelstraat which
connects the Old Civil Registry to Town Hall is the gilded
bronze statue of Count Boudewijn (Baldwin I, the Iron Arm).

Boudewijn_Civil_Registry_2382


Boudewijn Civil Registry 2382
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Boudewijn is represented as King Solomon, with allegorical statues of Prosperity (left) and Peace. These statues replaced those destroyed in the aftermath of the French Revolution.

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Boudewijn Civil Registry 2914
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Detail of the gilded bronze statue of Count Boudewijn (Baldwin I, the Iron Arm), the first Count of Flanders
(represented as King Solomon) with allegories of Prosperity (left) and Peace, at the end of Blinde-Ezelstraat.

Boudewijn_CivilRegistry_2384M


Boudewijn Civil Registry 2384 M
1000 x 1600 (530 KB)

Boudewijn_CivilRegistry_2913M


Boudewijn Civil Registry 2913 M
1200 x 1600 (493 KB)

Two large, M-sized detail crops of the gilded bronze
statues of Count Boudewijn (Baldwin I, the Iron Arm) and
allegorical attendants atop the bridge over the archway
at the end of Blinde-Ezelstraat (Blind Donkey Street).

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Painting Town Hall Bruges 2620
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One of the Allegorical paintings on the ground floor in the Stadhuis (Town Hall) in Bruges.

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Tamyris Tapestry Town Hall 2630
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Tamyris, Queen of Scythia, Mourns the Death of her Son (16th century tapestry in the Stadhuis).

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Bruges Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 6 Galleries in the Photoshelter Bruges Collection (Direct Links):

Bruges: Burg Square
Market Square and Bell Tower
Onze-Lieve-Vrouw and Gruuthuse
Canal Scenes and Street Scenes
Bruges: Houses and Buildings
Statues and Sculptures

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Burg Square at Dawn 2271
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Burg Square at dawn, with the Basilica of the Holy Blood in the corner at left.

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Basilica of the Holy Blood Dawn 1203
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The Basilica of the Holy Blood (granted Basilica status in 1923) was originally built in 1134-1157 as the residential chapel of the Count of Flanders, Thierry of Alsace, who brought the Relic of the Precious Blood back to Bruges from the Holy Land at the end of the Second Crusade (1148). The highly venerated Relic of the Precious Blood has been carried through the streets in an annual procession since 1303.

Basilica_of_the_Holy_Blood_Sunrise_2396


Basilica of the Holy Blood Sunrise 2396
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Built in the 12th c. as a private chapel next to the residence of the Counts of Flanders (the Oud Steen, in the space which is now occupied by the Town Hall), the lower chapel is still in the original Romanesque style. It was dedicated to St. Basil in the anticipation of transfer of St. Basil’s relics from Sint-Donatius.

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Basilica of the Holy Blood 2117
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The Relic of the Precious Blood is in the upper chapel, which was rebuilt in Gothic style in the 16th century, then again rebuilt in the 19th century in the Gothic Revival style.

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Basilica of the Holy Blood 2119
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The upper chapel was renamed the Chapel of the Holy Blood in the 13th century, and it is still called that by Brugeans, although the formal name reflects the status as a Basilica.

During the French Revolution, the revolutionaries in their fury destroyed anything related to religion.
The Chapel of St. Basil was reduced to nothing but its outer walls. Restoration was begun in 1819,
and by 1824 the lower part was finished. The restoration continued throughout the 1800s and early
 20th century. In 1923 the Chapel of the Holy Blood was elevated to the status of a minor Basilica.

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Basilica of the Holy Blood 2643
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The ornate facade of the Basilica of the Holy Blood in the south corner of Burg Square
with its gilded bronze statues and medallions of rulers of the province of Flanders. These
statues are reproductions of originals which were destroyed during the French Revolution.

The lower statues are of the Dukes and Duchesses of Flanders. From left, they are:

Archduchess Isabelle of Burgundy and Archduke of Austria Albert VII (in the medallion);
Archduchess Mary of Burgundy surrounded by medallions depicting the Archduke of Austria
Maximilian III (on the left) and Duchess of Burgundy Margaret of York (wife of Charles the Bold);
Thierry of Alsace, (with sword and a round shield), with his wife Sibylla of Anjou in the medallion;
and on the far right, also with sword and shield, Count Philip of Alsace, son of Thierry of Alsace.

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Basilica of the Holy Blood 2610
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The Gothic Revival facade was rebuilt in the 1890s.

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Basilica of the Holy Blood at Night 1220
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An extremely difficult one second hand-held night shot of
the Basilica of the Holy Blood and the Town Hall Tower.

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Basilica of the Holy Blood at Night 1214
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An insanely difficult 1.6 second hand-held shot. I was
stunned when I found out that I had achieved a sharp result.

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Basilica of the Holy Blood at Night 1215 M
1000 x 1600 (615 KB)

A large crop allowing examination of detail. Hand-held
images longer than one second are normally impossible.

Basilica_of_the_Holy_Blood_Detail_2399


Basilica of the Holy Blood Detail 2399
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The lower left facade and statues (described above).
I have provided two different versions of this scene (right).

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Basilica of the Holy Blood Detail 2401
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This scene is available both in VLG as seen above with a simple title bar, and in XL with a detailed title as in 2399 (left).

Basilica_of_theHoly_Blood_Statuary_2403


Basilica of the Holy Blood Statuary 2403
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The Archduchess Mary of Burgundy flanked by two medallions which depict the Archduke of Austria Maximilian III (at left) and the Duchess of Burgundy Margaret of York at right (Margaret of York was the wife of Charles the Bold).

Basilica_of_the_Holy_Blood_Statuary_2406


Basilica of the Holy Blood Statuary 2406
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Thierry of Alsace, builder of the Chapel of the Holy Blood, with his wife Sibylla of Anjou in the medallion. Count Thierry (Diederik van den Elzas in Flemish) participated in four of the Middle East Crusade campaigns in the 12th century. On his first trip to the Holy Land in 1139, he met Sibylla of Anjou, daughter of King Fulk of Jerusalem, and they were married. Sibylla of Anjou was an able ruler of Flanders when Thierry was away on later Crusades and is well-remembered.

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Images in this section are in a number of different Galleries on the Photoshelter website.
The Banner below leads to the Bruges Collection page where a Gallery can be selected.

PhotoshelterGallerySection


There are 6 Galleries in the Photoshelter Bruges Collection (Direct Links):

Bruges: Burg Square
Market Square and Bell Tower
Onze-Lieve-Vrouw and Gruuthuse
Canal Scenes and Street Scenes
Bruges: Houses and Buildings
Statues and Sculptures

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Bruges


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