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Bruges, Belgium

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Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium, in the northwest of the country, and the sixth-largest city of the country by population.

The area of the whole city amounts to more than 13,840 hectares (138.4 km2; 53.44 sq miles), including 1,075 hectares off the coast, at Zeebrugge (from Brugge aan zee, meaning ‘Bruges by the Sea’). The historic city center is a prominent World Heritage Site of UNESCO. It is oval in shape and about 430 hectares in size. The city’s total population is 117,073 (1 January 2008), of whom around 20,000 live in the city center. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 616 km2 (238 sq mi) and has a total of 255,844 inhabitants as of 1 January 2008.

Along with a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam and St Petersburg, it is sometimes referred to as the Venice of the North. Bruges has significant economic importance, thanks to its port, and was once one of the world’s chief commercial cities. Bruges is a tourism destination within Belgium and is well known as the seat of the College of Europe, a university institute for European studies.

The earliest mention of the location’s name is Bruggas, Brvggas, or Brvccia in AD 840–875. Afterward, it appears as Bruciam and Bruociam (892); as Brutgis uico (late 9th century); as in portu Bruggensi (c. 1010); as Bruggis (1012); as Bricge in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (1037); as Brugensis (1046); as Brycge in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (1049–1052); as Brugias (1072); as Bruges (1080–1085); as Bruggas (c. 1084); as Brugis (1089); and as Brugge (1116).

The name probably derives from the Old Dutch for ‘bridge’: brugga. Also compare Middle Dutch brucge, brugge (or brugghe, brigghe, bregghe, brogghe), and modern Dutch bruggehoofd (‘bridgehead’) and brug (‘bridge’). The form brugghe would be a southern Dutch variant. The Dutch word and the English bridge both derive from Proto-Germanic *brugjō-. Wikipedia

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An image from Bruges, Belgium

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Don't Lose Hope
    Jul 20, 2022 @ 16:44:39

    I visited Bruge many years ago. A truly beautiful city!

    Like

    Reply

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