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Historic Centre of Brugge

Historic Centre of Brugge

Brugge is an outstanding example of a medieval historic settlement, which has maintained its historic fabric as this has evolved over the centuries, and where original Gothic constructions form part of the town's identity. As one of the commercial and cultural capitals of Europe, Brugge developed cultural links to different parts of the world. It is closely associated with the school of Flemish Primitive painting.

Le centre historique de Bruges

Bruges est un exemple exceptionnel d'habitat médiéval ayant bien conservé son tissu urbain historique tel qu'il a évolué avec les siècles et où le bâti gothique d'origine fait partie de l'identité de la ville. Bruges, l'une des capitales commerciales et culturelles européennes, a tissé des liens culturels avec différentes parties du monde. On associe cette cité à l'Ecole de peinture des Primitifs flamands.

وسط بروج التاريخي

تعطي مدينة بروج مثلاً إستثنائياً عن نمط السكن السائد في القرون الوسطى والذي حافظ جيداً على نسيجه الحضري التاريخي في تطوره عبر القرون بحيث أصبح البناء القوطي الأصلي جزءاً لا يتجزأ من هوية المدينة. وقد أرست بروج، التي تُعتبر إحدى العواصم التجارية والثقافية في أوروبا، علاقات ثقافية مع مناطق مختلفة من العالم. وغالباً ما تُربط هذه المدينة بمدرسة الرسم للفنانين الفلمنديين البدائيين.

source: UNESCO/ERI

布鲁日历史中心

布鲁日是中世纪人类聚落的杰出典范,虽历经数世纪沧桑,仍保留着大量历史建筑。在那里,早期哥特式建筑已经成为城市特征的一部分。作为欧洲商业与文化首都之一,布鲁日不断发展与世界各地的文化交流,同时,与佛兰芒原始绘画流派(Flemish Primitive painting)有着密切关系。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Исторический центр города Брюгге

Брюгге – это яркий пример средневекового поселения, которое хорошо сохранило свою многовековую историческую застройку, в которой подлинные готические строения представляют важнейшую часть своеобразия города. Как одна из торговых и культурных столиц Европы, Брюгге развивал культурные связи с различными районами мира. Город был тесно связан с формированием фламандской школы живописи.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Centro histórico de Brujas

La ciudad de Brujas es un ejemplo excepcional de asentamiento humano medieval que ha conservado su tejido urbano histórico tal como ha ido evolucionando a lo largo de los siglos. Sus construcciones góticas primigenias forman parte de la identidad de esta capital comercial y cultural de la antigua Europa, que estableció vínculos culturales con distintas partes del mundo. El nombre de Brujas está estrechamente unido a la escuela de pintura de los primitivos flamencos.

source: UNESCO/ERI

ブリュージュ歴史地区

source: NFUAJ

Historisch centrum van Brugge

Brugge is een mooi voorbeeld van een middeleeuwse nederzetting die zijn historische vorm heeft behouden in de loop van de eeuwen, waarbij de oorspronkelijke, gotische constructies deel uitmaken van de identiteit van de stad. De historische binnenstad laat zien waardoor de architectuur beïnvloed werd. Zoals de baksteengotiek en innovatieve, artistieke invloeden van middeleeuwse schilderkunst zoals de Vlaamse Primitieven. Brugge geldt als de geboorteplaats van deze schilderschool waarvan kunstenaars als Jan van Eyck en Hans Memling deel uitmaken. Mede hierom werd Brugge een van de commerciële en culturele hoofdsteden van Europa met culturele banden over de hele wereld.

Source: unesco.nl

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Historic centre of Brugge. © OUR PLACE
Justification for Inscription

Criterion (ii): The Historic Town of Brugge is testimony, over a long period, of a considerable exchange of influences on the development of architecture, particularly in brick Gothic, as well as favouring innovative artistic influences in the development of medieval painting, being the birthplace of the school of the Flemish Primitives.

Criterion (iv): The Historic Town of Brugge is an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble, illustrating significant stages in the commercial and cultural fields in medieval Europe, of which the public, social, and religious institutions are a living testimony.

Criterion (vi): The town of Brugge has been the birthplace of the Flemish Primitives and a centre of patronage and development of painting in the Middle Ages with artists such as Jan van Eyck and Hans Memling.

Long Description

The Historic Town of Brugge is testimony, over a long period, of a considerable exchange of influences on the development of architecture, particularly in brick Gothic, as well as favouring innovative artistic influences. It is an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble, illustrating significant stages in the commercial and cultural fields in medieval Europe, of which the public, social and religious institutions are a living testimony. Brugge has conserved spatial and structural organizations that characterize its different phases of development, and the historic centre has continued covering exactly the same area as the perimeter of the old settlement. Still an active, living city, it has nevertheless preserved the architectural and urban structures that document the different phases of its development: as part of this continuity, the late 19th-century renovation of facades introduced a neo-Gothic style that is special for Brugge.

Archaeological excavations have shown evidence of human presence in the area of Brugge from the Iron Age and the Gallo-Roman period. It was the military and administrative centre of the region, and commercial links with Scandinavia started at the same time. The name of Brugge is first mentioned in the 9th century and is documented in Carolingian coins bearing the name Bruggia. At this time it was part of a defence system against the Normans, and the first fortification existed in 851 at the site of the present-day Bourg. The settlement developed gradually and it became a harbour and commercial centre with European connections.

The Brugge fair was established in 1200 and contacts with Britain were the first to develop, particularly related to wool. The growing prosperity of the city was reflected in the construction of public buildings, such as the imposing belfry in the Grand'Place, and Brugge was quickly established as an economic capital of Europe. Under Philippe le Bon (1419-67) Brugge became a centre of court life, as well as that of Flemish art, involving Jan van Eyck, who contributed to the development of the Flemish Primitive school of painting as well as exercising an influence on European art in general. At the same time it became the centre for miniature painting, and also for printing. Owing to the presence of Italians it soon became a centre of humanism and the Renaissance.

From the late 15th century, Brugge gradually entered a period of stagnation. The Flemish regions were integrated into the Habsburg Empire, and the discovery of America displaced economic interests from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. However, from 1600 to 1800, as a result of the construction of canal systems, Brugge re-established its maritime connection, albeit only at a modest level. From 1815 to 1830 Brugge was part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and since 1830 it has been part of Belgium. During the 19th century, a colony of English aristocrats influenced the cultural life of the city and contributed to a renewed interest in the artistic heritage of Brugge and the restoration of historic buildings.

The most important of the squares are the Burg and the Grand'Place. For some 1,000 years the Burg square has remained the symbol of the alliance of religious and civic authorities, as well as the seat of several public institutions, including the dispensing of justice. The Grand'Place, on the other hand, is the site of the halls, the belfry and the Waterhalle, symbolizing municipal autonomy.

The architecture of Brugge, from the Middle Ages until modern times, is principally characterized by brick Gothic, and particularly by a style of construction known as travée brugeoise . This type of construction was well established in the early 16th century and, with some later variations, it was maintained until the 17th century. It also became the main inspiration for 19th-century restorations.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC
Historical Description

Archaeological excavations have shown evidence of human presence in the area of Brugge from the Iron Age and the Gallo-Roman period. In the 8th century, Brugge was described as Municipium Frandrense, the headquarters of the Pagus Frandrensis and the residence of the Merovingian counts. It was the military and administrative centre of the region, and commercial links with Scandinavia started at the same time. The name of Brugge is first mentioned in the 9th century and is documented in Carolingian coins bearing the name Bruggia. In this period, it was part of a defence system against the Normans, and the first fortification existed in 851 at the site of the present-day Bourg. The settlement developed gradually and it became a harbour and commercial centre with European connections. The first city walls were built in 1127: the traces of these can still be read in the inner canals of the city centre. A sea canal was dug up to Brugge to facilitate navigation, thus consolidating its maritime role, which lasted until the 15th century, with Damme, Hoeke, and Monnikenrede as transition sites.

From 1200 to 1400 Brugge was the economic capital of Europe north of the Alps. The Brugge fair was established in 1200 and contacts with Britain were the first to develop, particularly related to wool. This was followed by other regions - northern Europe, the German countries, and the Mediterranean. The growing prosperity of the city was reflected in the construction of public buildings, such as the imposing belfry in the Grand-Place, and Brugge was quickly established as an economic capital of Europe. The palace of the van der Buerse family became the monetary centre, giving its name to the concept of the Bourse (stock exchange). Following its growth the town developed a series of social institutions from the 14th century onwards, including the Saint-Jean Hospital and the typical small God's Houses (Hôtels-Dieu) and hospices. The Gothic town hall of 1376 remains the oldest in the Low Countries.

From 1384 to 1500 Brugge enjoyed its Golden Age under the Dukes of Burgundy. Under Philippe le Bon (1419-67) in particular, Brugge became a centre of court life, as well as as that of Flemish art, involving Jan van Eyck, who contributed to the development of the Flemish Primitive school of painting as well as exercising an influence on European art in general. Other painters include Petrus Christus, Hans Memling, Gerard David, and many who have remained anonymous. At the same time Brugge became the centre for miniature painting, and also for printing soon after Gutenberg: it was responsible for the first books in French and English. Owing to the presence of Italians Brugge soon became a centre of Humanism and the Renaissance. Building activity continued and Brugge was provided by a series of noble palaces and religious ensembles of great prestige.

From the late 15th century, Brugge gradually entered a period of stagnation. The Flemish regions were integrated into the Habsburg Empire, and the discovery of America displaced economic interests from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. Brugge continued dealing with the textile industry and retained its Spanish connections, but its role in maritime trade was soon replaced by that of Antwerp. Nevertheless, it remained active in the international monetary market and continued as a centre of Humanism; Erasmus called it "the new Athens" and Thomas More wrote his Utopia there. Architecturally the medieval Gothic remained the common reference and was merged into a characteristic Brugge style.

From 1600 to 1800, as a result of the construction of canal systems, Brugge re-established its maritime connection, but only at a modest level. Building activities continued, however, and a ban of 1616 on the use of wood in building facades led to renovations in more substantial materials. The population of Brugge remained relatively small all through this period and the need to extend beyond the medieval city walls only arose much later. The influence of the Counter- Reformation was strong in Brugge, resulting in a series of religious ensembles. At the end of the 18th century the Habsburg Emperor Joseph II ordered the demolition of "useless" convents, and others were destroyed as a result of the French Revolution, including the cathedral of Saint- Donatien.

From 1815 to 1830 Brugge was part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and since 1830 it has been part of Belgium. The railway reached to Brugge in 1834, causing some changes in the urban fabric. Starting in 1854, the municipal administration prepared plans for urban transformations in the spirit of Haussmann, but only one of these was implemented, in the area of the new theatre, where the medieval fabric was destroyed. During the 19th century, a colony of English aristocrats influenced the cultural life of the city and contributed to a renewed interest in the artistic heritage of Brugge and the restoration of historic buildings, including the founding of the Société d'Emulation pour l'histoire et les antiquités de la Flandre Occidentale. Some of the restorations were fairly substantial, resulting in the building of copies of lost historic buildings. At the same time, tourism found a new interest in the old town. Some damage was incurred during the two World Wars, but as a whole, however, the historic town survived well. From 1968 policies focused on the conservation of the historic town, resulting in the establishment of the Service de la Conservation et de la Rénovation urbaine and the first urban structure plan.

Source: Advisory Body Evaluation