In case you didn’t see Part 1, this is a three-part series of historical sites I can’t wait to see when I go to Europe in September. I’ll do one post for each country we’ll visit, and today’s post is dedicated to the historical sites of Bruges, Belgium.
Bruges isn’t the only place we’ll see in Belgium, but it is where we’ll spend the most time (and the
only place in Belgium where we’ll spend the night–three nights, to be exact). While in the Netherlands I am most excited to see specific sites pertaining to World War II, Bruges is more an atmosphere city. Its heyday was the fifteenth century, and the Gothic architecture still standing more than reminds you of it. I am an absolute sucker for cobbled streets, tight, winding lanes, and old, close-together buildings, which I hear will stand me in good stead in Bruges. Walking over canal bridges, feasting our eyes on the Bell Tower, Burg Square, and even a little windmill just a short bike ride out of town sound perfect to me.
One other site I’m looking forward to in Belgium is one you won’t find in any guidebooks, but is important to my sweetie. See, from January to May 2002, he studied at L’Universite Catholique de Louvain (a French-speaking school), which split off from Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Flemish-speaking), an established institution dating back to 1425, in 1968. It’s one of the newest universities on the continent, and underscores the dark side of Belgian history: the tension between French and Flemish that is every bit as real as the racial tensions in the US. We probably won’t have time to do much other than stroll the campus and grab some lunch, but it will be a change of pace for the woman who bought a t-shirt in England just because it read “Oxford University: Est. 1295.”