Stroll along the banks of the canals and discover numerous romantic bridges and squares. Or step on board of one of the little tourist boats and admire the city from the water.
Bruges is often called the" Venice of the North". The city originated on the banks of the river Reie. In the course of time a real town gradually develloped, which was connected through canals to the deeper branch of the North Sea, the Zwin.The Bruges' canals are referred to as "Reie", named after the river "Roya" wich used to flow into the Zwin estuary. For those who want stroll along the most beautiful, "forgotten" inner canals we advice a 2,8 km (1,7 miles) walk, starting at the "Zand Square" and finishing at the Bonifacius bridge near Church of our Lady. This is a very pleasant walk that takes you past the most beautiful, old streets and romantic bridges of the city. Take your time to relax and do not forget to take your camera. This walk leads you away from the busy shopping Streets and let you discover the authentic Bruges. Discover secret gardens, picturesque bridges and beautiful views. You will find the hiking by clicking the following link: The inner canals and old bridges You can print te map or send it to a phone. Enjoy!
The inner canals were once part of Bruges' old ramparts and city walls. The first city walls were built after the death of the Flemish Count Charles the Good. He was murdered in St. Donatian's Church in 1127. In the weeks after the assassination the citizens of Bruges built a rampart around the city, which followed the path of the inner canals of the city: the Dijver, Groenerei, St. Annarei, Goudenhandrei, Augustijnenrei, Smedenrei, and Kapucijnenrei. In a garden wall of the house in the Pieter Pourbusstraat is the only remnant of the first wall: a semicircular reinforcement tower, which is clearly visible from the Pottenmakersstraat. All photos © M. Willems for visit-bruges.be