The history of Bruges, the city of the hotel Bonifacius, goes back to the 9th century. After numerous floods, the estuary between Bruges and sea had been created and this was the origin of the economical prosperity of Bruges in the Middle Ages. Bruges became a very important trade centre.
The Dukes of Burgundy, who had a discerning taste for splendour, made Bruges their main residence, lending the town additional international flair. Allured by the wealth, artists settled in Bruges to work; such as Jan Van Eyck. This resulted in ‘The School of the Flemish Primitive Painters’. A lot of these paintings are nowadays to be admired in the Groeninge Museum. After the 15th century, followed a lot of centuries where Bruges (Flanders) depended on Austria, France and Holland. The independence of Belgium in 1830 was a new impulse for economic development.
Fortunately Bruges remained unscathed during the two world wars.
Bruges was declared world heritage by the UNESCO in 2002.
The main source of income for Bruges is tourism.
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