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Category - Bruges 

Bruges city also is known as Brugge located in the Flanders Region, northwestern Belgium, about 10 miles south of Zeebrugge, it’s port on the North Sea. It was mentioned in the 7th century as the Municipium Bruges, originally a landing place on the Zwijn estuary, into which the Reie River flowed. Brugge’s intricate network of canals has led many to describe the city as the Venice of the North. After it was evangelized by St. Eloi, bishop of Noyon-Tournai, the first counts of Flanders built their castle there against Norman invaders. The city held a monopoly on English wool, by the 13th century was a leading emporium for the Hanseatic League, and, with the other “members from Flanders”, virtually governed the entire province. 

After maintaining its independence despite an attack by France in 1302, it reached its commercial zenith in the 14th century. At that time it was one of the largest and most important cities in northern Europe. As the Zwijn estuary silted up in the 15th century, the city began to decline as a trade center but remained brilliant and powerful as the court of the dukes of Burgundy and as the artistic center of the Flemish school of painting, until the religious and political struggles of the 16th century completed its eclipse.

Bruges has concentrated more castles than any other country in the world in its relatively small territory. More than 50 of Flanders’ 470 castles are located in this city and its surroundings. Thanks to its large number of canals and bridges (of which there are more than 80) Bruges is often referred to as Venice of the North. Tourists can explore the city by sailing along its canals. During the Middle Ages, due to its dense network of waterways, Burges was considered to be one of the major commercial centers of Europe.