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Bruges Overview


Bruges is the capital and largest city of West Flanders in the Flemish part of Belgium in the northwest of the country. It is a UNESCO world heritage site with a population of over 117,000. The metropolitan area covers over 238 sqare miles and has over 255,000 inhabitants. It is a canal based city and is sometimes referred to as “The Venice of the North”. Bruges' economic importance can be attributed in part to its port and at one time it was considered the chief commercial city of the world. It is thought that the name of the city may originate from the Old Dutch for bridge. The very earliest human habitation can be traced to the Pre-Roman Gaul era and the first fortifications were constructed after the conquest of Menapii by Julius Ceasar. The first city charter was established in 1128 alongside the construction of new walls and canals.

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