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Notes on the Geography of Belgium: Bruges Revived

Cities around the world are coming to realize that there's money to be made in heritage, apparently because tourists just can't stand the world of the future, at least not all the time. Bruges is an important milestone in this trend.

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Belgium: Bruges Revived picture 1

There's plenty to see: here, a bay window where someone once kept an eye on canal traffic.

Belgium: Bruges Revived picture 2

There's a lot of nice brickwork.

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Another detail.

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One of many canal-side buildings.  The water is fairly clean, partly because gates block the flow of water between the city's internal canals and the more polluted surrounding ones.

Belgium: Bruges Revived picture 5

The Markt, one of the city's squares, was a market until August 27th, 1993.  For three years it was a parking lot, then the townspeople came to their senses and forced most cars to underground garages outside the historic core.

Belgium: Bruges Revived picture 6

A pedestrian mall: Steenstraat.

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The cobblestones are post-war, as are the wide sidewalks, part of a conscious decision--along with blocked and one-way streets--to discourage motorists.

Belgium: Bruges Revived picture 8

Through such devices, Bruges has become one of the major tourist attractions of Belgium.

Belgium: Bruges Revived picture 9

Too many tourists have made Jacques a crab.

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