OLV_Gruuthuse

Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady) is one of the most notable landmarks in Bruges.
With its 122 meter (401 ft.) brick tower, the 2nd tallest in the world after St. Martin’s in Landshut,
it dominates the skyline of Bruges. Next to the church is the Gruuthuse, formerly the Palace of the
family who had the monopoly on Gruut (gruit), the herbal mixture which was used in medieval beer
prior to the conversion to hops-based beer from recipes brought from Bavaria in the 15th century.

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.

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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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Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_2009


Onze-Lieve-Vrouw 2009
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The tallest tower in Bruges, the 122.3 meter (401 foot) Gothic brickwork tower of the
Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady) was begun in 1250 and completed in 1440.
The tower was built to replace the original tower which collapsed in 1163. The first construction
phase (from 1250-1340) completed the structure to the turrets, which were added in the second
phase of construction (ending in 1440). The 54 meter (177 ft.) central spire was begun in 1444.
The corner turrets were removed in 1759, but rebuilt in 1871 by Louis Delacenserie. The lower
section is built with moefen, large bricks which are typical of early medieval brick buildings.

OLV replaced the Carolingian Chapel which dated from 875.
This original Romanesque church was destroyed by fire in 1116.

Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_2039


Onze-Lieve-Vrouw 2039
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The Gothic tower of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk and the
towers and dormers of the Gruuthuse (on the right).

Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_2045


Onze-Lieve-Vrouw 2045
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The main Choir at left (1282-1335) with its strut pillars and
flying buttresses was built in the French High Gothic style.

Rectory_Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_and_Garden_Gate_2033


Rectory Onze-Lieve-Vrouw and Garden Gate 2033
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Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerkhof-Zuid_2029


Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerkhof-Zuid 2029
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At left is the OLV garden gate archway and Rectory #2 at the end of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerkhof-Zuid (Church of Our Lady Court South). The Neo-Gothic building (built in 1911) with its dormer window and stepped gable stands at the end of the street shown above, which is populated with houses exhibiting Neo-Classical, Neo-Renaissance, Art-Nouveau and Baroque styles. Many of the buildings on this street were renovated or built in the early 20th century to replace earlier structures built on the site of the old church cemetery, but the 16th century shops at the end of the street (out of picture to the right) still stand, although they were rebuilt in the late 19th century.

At the opposite end of the street from the OLV garden gate is the south entrance to Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk (below).

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Madonna South Entrance Onze-Lieve-Vrouw 2023
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The Madonna and Child and ornate Gothic lunette sculpture over the South (primary) Entrance to Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk.

Madonna_and_Child_OLV_South_Entrance_2489


Madonna and Child OLV South Entrance 2489
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Detail of the Madonna and Child over the South Portal at the Mariastraat and Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerkhof-Zuid intersection.

Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_South_Entrance_Lunette_2482


Onze-Lieve-Vrouw South Entrance Lunette 2482
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The South Entrance’s Gothic Lunette, representing the figures of
Mary of Burgundy and Charles the Bold in repose in the lower arches
and the Virgin Mary and Child surrounded by attendants in the central tondo.

This is above the sculpture of the Madonna and Child which stands over the South Portal.

Madonna_and_Child_OLV_SouthEntrance_2490


Madonna and Child OLV South Entrance 2490
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Frontal detail of the South Entrance Madonna and Child.

Madonna_and_Child_OLV_SouthEntrance_2496


Madonna and Child OLV South Entrance 2496
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Side detail of the South Entrance Madonna and Child.

Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_Sunrise_2460


Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Sunrise 2460
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The Main Choir (at left, 1282-1335), the brickwork tower,
and the tower and dormers of the Gruuthuse at sunrise
from the garden behind the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk.

Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_Scheldt_Gothic_Turret_2813


Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Scheldt Gothic Turret 2813
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The Scheldt Gothic Turret on the west facade, a High Gothic Flying Buttress, and the Gothic Brickwork Tower. The blue Tournai Stone west facade is the oldest part of the church.

Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_Scheldt_Gothic_Turret_2501


Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Scheldt Gothic Turret 2501
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Detail of the Scheldt Gothic Turret, west facade (c. 1230-80).

Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_Garden_Archway_2821


Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Garden Archway 2821
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The North Entrance to the garden behind Onze-Lieve-Vrouw, under the archway bridging the gap between the Gruuthuse and Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk. This is just beyond the courtyard of the Gruuthuse between the Palace and Museum, shown in the section below which details the Gruuthuse.

Right is a detail shot of the archway and the garden beyond.

The North side of the Church and the Gruuthuse Courtyard are accessible from Guido Gezelleplein, opposite St. John’s Hospital (Sint-Janshospitaal, one of the oldest hospitals in Europe). Images of the Mariastraat facade, the oldest part of the hospital, and others are on the Houses and Buildings and Canals and Street Scenes pages.

Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_Garden_Archway_2827


Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Garden Archway 2827
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Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_Sunrise_2734


Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Sunrise 2734
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Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk and the Gruuthuse at sunrise from the gardens behind the church.

Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_Gruuthuse_Sunrise_2741


Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Gruuthuse Sunrise 2741
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Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk and the Gruuthuse
at sunrise from the gardens behind the church.

Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_Gruuthuse_Sunrise_2745


Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Gruuthuse Sunrise 2745
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I used the keystoning caused when a wide angle lens
is not parallel to the subject to create a dramatic effect.

Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_Sunrise_Vignette_2746


Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Sunrise Vignette 2746
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These three shots were taken with the camera on the floor of the Bonifacius Bridge Archway.
You would not believe the radical contortions which I had to go through to line up these shots.

Vignetted by the archway are the Main Choir with its strut pillars and flying buttresses,
the 122 meter Gothic Brickwork Tower, and the Gruuthuse Palace on the right.

Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_Sunrise_Vignette_2748


Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Sunrise Vignette 2748
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Another early morning vignette (different light and sky).

Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_Vignette_2831


Onze-Lieve-Vrouw Vignette 2831
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A mid-morning vignette, different day, clear blue sky.

Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_and_Gruuthuse_2836


Onze-Lieve-Vrouw and Gruuthuse 2836
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Two images taken from Bonifacius Bridge. The Main Choir
at left, the Brickwork Tower, and the Gruuthuse on the right.

Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_and_Gruuthuse_2841


Onze-Lieve-Vrouw and Gruuthuse 2841
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The sections below show detail of the Nuit Blanche (1450) at
the end of the Bonifacius Bridge and the Gruuthuse complex.

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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_Nuit_Blanche_Bonifacius_Bridge_2041


Bruges Nuit Blanche Bonifacius Bridge 2041
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The Nuit Blanche house and the Bonifacius Bridge over the Dijver Canal.

The Bonifacius Bridge (also known as the Lover’s Bridge due to the number of weddings
which are performed on the bridge) spans the Dijver Canal between the Gruuthuse garden
and Hof Arents Square. One story states that the bridge was built by Lodewijk van Gruuthuse,
Lord of Bruges, to ford the canal so that they would not have to walk around the canal when the
family went to church. Louis of Gruuthuse did build a bridge over the Dijver near the Arenthuis
in 1472 according to the Belgian Inventory of Cultural Heritage, which also states that the
Bonifacius bridge was built in Nov. 1911 by Architect J. Vierin of Bruges and named for
the reputed founder of the earliest church on the site of OLV (St. Boniface, 680-754).
It’s possible that J. Vierin built the Bonifacius Bridge to replace the earlier bridge...

The house at the end of the bridge is Nuit Blanche, a medieval house
originally built c. 1450, rebuilt in the 17th century, and now a guesthouse.
—  Nuit Blanche was far and away my favorite house in Bruges.  —

Archway_Bonifacius_Bridge_Nuit_Blanche_2049


Archway Bonifacius Bridge Nuit Blanche 2049
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Goeden_Gast_Inn_Relief_2469


Goeden Gast Inn Relief 2469
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In the brick wall above the archway at left is this relief, originally from an Inn on Schipstraat at Nieuwpoort. It says:

In't Schip met Roer en Mast, Logiest Voor Goeden Gast

In the Ship with Rudder and Mast, Lodging for a Good Guest

Image at left:

The sandstone brick wall at the end of the Bonifacius Bridge is pierced by a depressed Gothic Archway. I used the floor of this archway as a platform when creating the vignettes shown at the end of the section on Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk.

Bruges_Nuit_Blanche_Bonifacius_Bridge_2438


Bruges Nuit Blanche Bonifacius Bridge 2438
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Bruges_Nuit_Blanche_2441


Bruges Nuit Blanche 2441
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The old brick of the Bonifacius Bridge matches the house exceptionally well. I am sure that it was specially selected.

Bruges_Nuit_Blanche_2035


Bruges Nuit Blanche 2035
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Bruges_Nuit_Blanche_2037


Bruges Nuit Blanche 2037
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I was training a group of photographers while in Bruges, and Nuit Blanche became one of our favorite subjects.
The combination of architectural elements and the difficulty of achieving a perfect exposure made this scene popular.

Bruges_Nuit_Blanche_at_Dawn_2731


Bruges Nuit Blanche at Dawn 2731
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Nuit Blanche at dawn.

This and the next shot were extremely difficult exposures as there was not much light on the house,
but there was a lot of color in the sky. To keep the shutter speed up enough to achieve clean results
at the exposure necessary to maintain the color in the sky I had to open the aperture to f/4. The task
of making the decision on the exposure settings which would bring out the color in the brick yet still
hold the color in the sky required dancing a fine line between overexposure and underexposure.

Bruges_Nuit_Blanche_at_Dawn_2728


Bruges Nuit Blanche at Dawn 2728
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I suppose you can see what I mean regarding the sky color. 1/3 stop more and you start losing the sky, 1/3 stop less and the color in the bricks becomes dull. Shot 2731 was easier as there was more light on the house and softer light in the sky.

Bruges_Nuit_Blanche_Bonifacius_Bridge_2432


Bruges Nuit Blanche Bonifacius Bridge 2432
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This is a from a similar angle taken on a different day in the late afternoon, just a little before the following image. There is far more light on the house, and due to the cloud the character of the sky is less interesting, but what a beautiful house...

Bruges_Nuit_Blanche_Bonifacius_Bridge_2449


Bruges Nuit Blanche Bonifacius Bridge 2449
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The medieval Nuit Blanche house and the Bonifacius Bridge over the Dijver Canal.

Bruges_Nuit_Blanche_Side_Detail_2053


Bruges Nuit Blanche Side Detail 2053
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Two images showing side detail of Nuit Blanche including dormers and windows with medieval crown glass inserts. This style was typical before plate glass became economical.

Bruges_Nuit_Blanche_Side_Detail_2474


Bruges Nuit Blanche Side Detail 2474
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Crown glass was made by glassblowers, who spun the bowls to create the bulls-eye inserts and assembled them by hand.

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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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Gruuthuse_Towers_and_Paradise_Portal_OLV_2413


Gruuthuse Towers and Paradise Portal OLV 2413
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From the left, the red ivy covered Stair Tower (c. 1425) of the Gruuthuse
(Huis van de Heren van Gruuthuse, the House of the Lords of Gruuthuse),
in the center the 15th c. tower and pillared parapet of the Gruuthuse Palace
and the Paradise Portal of Onze-Lieve-Vrouw (in Brabant Gothic style, 1465).
On the far right are the enormous northwest base of the OLV brickwork tower
and one of the Gothic windows of Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk north side nave.

Paradise_Portal_OLV_and_Gruuthuse_Towers_2013


Paradise Portal OLV and Gruuthuse Towers 2013
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The Paradise Portal (1465), built in the late Brabant Gothic style, was attached to the Mariastraat portal to reduce traffic strain. It is built of white sandstone, with a decorative top list and triangular Winberg topped with a finial. Narrow buttresses support the corners, each section topped with a pinnacle.

Paradise_Portal_OLV_and_Gruuthuse_Towers_2019


Paradise Portal OLV and Gruuthuse Towers 2019
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A detail shot of the Gruuthuse Palace Towers and the upper structures of the Paradise Portal. As the need for the portal  tapered off by the early 19th century, the space was converted into a Baptismal Chapel in 1830. The Paradise Portal is considered to be one of the architectural wonders of Bruges.

Gruuthuse_Towers_and_Onze-Lieve-Vrouw_2848


Gruuthuse Towers and Onze-Lieve-Vrouw 2848
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The Gruuthuse Palace Towers and Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk Brickwork Tower
taken from the street beyond the Gruuthuse Palace complex (shown further below).

Gruuthuse_Palace_Towers_2464


Gruuthuse Palace Towers 2464
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The Gruuthuse Palace Towers from the garden behind Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk.

Gruuthuse_Museum_Tower_2017


Gruuthuse Museum Tower 2017
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The red ivy covered Stair Tower (c. 1425) and the
Gruuthuse Museum, shot from Guido Gezelleplein.

Gruuthuse_Museum_Tower_2062


Gruuthuse Museum Tower 2062
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The Stair Tower and dormer windows of the
Gruuthuse Museum shot from the Courtyard.

Gruuthuse_Museum_Courtyard_at_Sunrise_2830


Gruuthuse Museum Courtyard at Sunrise 2830
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The Courtyard of the Gruuthuse Museum at sunrise, with the red ivy covered Arentshuis at right.

Gruuthuse_Museum_Tower_at_Sunrise_2819


Gruuthuse Museum Tower at Sunrise 2819
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The Stair Tower at sunrise from the Courtyard entrance.

Gruuthuse_Museum_Courtyard_2428


Gruuthuse Museum Courtyard 2428
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The Octagonal Tower and Arentshuis in magnificent light.

Gruuthuse_Museum_Courtyard_2430


Gruuthuse Museum Courtyard 2430
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These two similar angles were taken on different days.
The image above was shot about an hour after sunrise.

Gruuthuse_Museum_Courtyard_at_Dawn_2722


Gruuthuse Museum Courtyard at Dawn 2722
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This image was shot at dawn, before the crowds filled the
Courtyard and just as the rising sun was painting the clouds.

Gruuthuse_Palace_at_Dawn_2713


Gruuthuse Palace at Dawn 2713
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The Gruuthuse Palace at dawn. This section of the
complex was built in the middle of the 15th century.

Gruuthuse_Palace_2422


Gruuthuse Palace 2422
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The Gruuthuse Palace in the afternoon. By 1596, the invention of Hops-based beer eliminated the monopoly on Gruut and caused the family’s fortunes to turn. The Gruuthuse complex was sold to Philip IV of Spain, who gave it away in 1623.

Gruuthuse_Towers_2416


Gruuthuse Towers 2416
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The Towers of the Gruuthuse Museum and Palace, seen from Guido Gezelleplein.

The King of Spain (Philip IV) gave the Gruuthuse complex to Wenceslas Cobergher,
a Flemish Renaissance architect, engineer and painter who was instrumental in the
development of Flemish Baroque architecture in the Low Countries. He was also
appointed to the rank of Superintendent of Public Pawn Shops in 1618, and
when the King gave him the Gruuthuse, he converted it into a pawn shop
and also used the property as headquarters for the Mountain of Mercy,
which he founded. It was renovated in the 19th century and converted
into the city archaeological museum, displaying lace, tapestries, etc.

Gruuthuse_Museum_Tower_2421


Gruuthuse Museum Tower 2421
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Detail of the Stair Tower and dormers of the Gruuthuse,
taken from the Guido Gezelleplein in magnificent light.

Gruuthuse_Museum_Tower_2420M


Gruuthuse Museum Tower 2420 M
1000 x 1600 (656 KB)

A large M-sized detail crop of the Stair Tower, also shot
in the golden rays of sunset from the Guido Gezelleplein.
The red ivy on the Tower flouresced brilliantly in the light.

Gruuthuse_Towers_2419


Gruuthuse Towers 2419
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The Gruuthuse Museum and Palace Towers in the golden rays of sunset from the Guido Gezelleplein.

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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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