Bruges, Belgium then and now

I’ve been reading History of the World War by Francis March. Toward the end of the book, there is a photo of Belgian King Albert and Queen Elizabeth re-entering Bruges with their troops in October 1918.

I looked at it and thought the place looked familiar. Considering I’ve visited Brugge, I figured I might have photographed the same place. Sure enough, here it is about a year and a half ago. Look at the left portion of the photo I took.

I thought that was pretty cool!

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3 Responses to Bruges, Belgium then and now

  1. Brugges is the best preserved medieval city in europe. IMHO the prettiest cities in the world are Brugges and Venice. Both were merchant cities. Both have canals. Both had relatively rapid losses of trading power. Both precious open air museums of our history.
    What I find most interesting is how livable they are, and how they are completely contrary to 20th century urban planning theory, while perfectly representative of what we’ve learned by those urban planning failures. (See The Unheavenly City Revisited by Edward Banfield, and The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs.)
    if we built on the Brugges architectural plan with electric trollies we’d have the ideal living space. Quiet. Beautiful. Lots of social areas.
    The big difference in urban planning? Space. ie: less of it. Plenty of small parks for meeting, eating, celebrating and people-watching. But everything is walkable, and none of it feels ‘brutal’ in the architectural sense.

  2. brueckenbauer says:

    The event was very pleasing for Kind Albert, but much less pleasing for the inhabitants of Bruges/Brugge. Being Flemish, they had supported the halfway autonomy installed by the Germans. Now they didn’t only lose this autonomy, but all adherents of the Flemish movement were persecuted as traitors. Only after a long struggle did the Flemish arrive again at where they had been before October 1918.

  3. Bruges says:

    I visited Bruges earlier this year, it’s beautifully preserved and stunningly attractive. I went there in February are there were lots of tourists, I can’t imagine what it’s like in summer.

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