Lying in the heart of the city Bruges in the Market Square (Grote Markt), is where you’ll find the Historium. This is an extremely captivating experience, as this one hour long tour, led by an audio guide, will allow you to see how much Bruges has developed over the centuries. It is open daily from 10am to 6pm, except on the 1st of January. The audio guide is available in 10 different languages, and you will be getting a lot of new knowledge about Bruges through the interactive digital exhibition.
The Historium consists of three main floors that you can visit. The ticket price is 12.50 EUR (roughly 14 USD) for adults. Entering the Historium’s ground floor, you will be walking on a carpet based on the ‘Madonna with Canon Joris van der Paele (1436). This masterpiece is the work of Jan van Eyck, known for his genius in refined oil painting techniques and unprecedented naturalism, which led to a new direction in art that is now followed throughout Europe. During your experience in the Historium, you can also watch videos and read more about his digital studio in many different languages, such as English, French, Dutch, German, and Russian.
Through your visit at the interactive exhibition on the Historium’s 2nd floor, you will be answering several quiz questions to get to know more about the history of the city - how it was built and developed through the ages.
Since the 13th century, Bruges has been known for its Water Hall. The building was Bruges’ own unique wonder of the world. In 1435, the baths were also a common feature in Bruges. People did not only go there to bathe, but also to meet with each other. There was also music and food. Bathing was a common social activity, which was even considered a gift to a business contact back then.
You can send an e-postcard with a picture of Bruges to yourself and friends based on your preferences for free.
Walking through the interactive exhibition to the balcony on the second floor, you can get a paranoiac view of the Market Square (Grote Markt) through the naked eye, or a telescope for free. From here you can view the old buildings, Belfry tower, and the square with horses passing by every 15 minutes. This view from the Historium may satisfy visitors better than that from the Belfry tower, where you can only view the city through glass walls.
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After enjoying the exhibition, guests can try a glass of Belgian beer, or two, at the Duvelorium Grand Beer Cafe on the first floor. Here, you can try up to hundreds of different types of beer, one of which is probably the most famous and the oldest - Duvel beer. If you’d like to bring one home, there is a souvenir shop on the ground floor selling different typical Belgian beers and glasses, which are ideal presents, especially during the Christmas holidays.
Top places to visit in Bruges
What I also like about the Historium’s exhibition, is you can find a map of the top ten ‘picture perfect’ places to visit while in Bruges. Those are the Central Market (Grote Markt), the Burg Square, the Rozenhoedkaai, the Church of Our Lady, the Beguinage, the Groeninge Museum, the canals of Bruges, the Duvelorium Grand Beer Cafe, the Historium, and the Chocolaterie de Burg - the chocolate street (check Marleen Store!). This kind of recommendation is very useful for new travelers visiting Bruges.
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