History of Bruges
The name 'Bruges' was first found on 9th century coins. Then, the name was spelt ‘Bryghia’, a Celtic word which means ‘quay’, as an estuary, ‘Het Zwin’, was created by multiple floods.
The link with the sea was the beginning of the economical prosperity of Bruges in the Middle Ages. We could call the 15th century ‘The Golden Age’ of Bruges. The Dukes of Burgundy made Bruges one of their main residences, which attracted a large number of artists. This resulted in the contstruction of many beautiful buildings and the establishment of the Flemish School of Primitive Painting.
From the 16th until the 19th century, Bruges (Flanders) was occupied by the Spanish, the Austrians, the French and the Dutch. With the independence of Belgium in 1830, an economical and cultural revival gradually occurred.
Bruges became the European capital of culture in 2002 and was declared world heritage by the UNESCO.
Tourism is the main source of income for Bruges.
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