Brugse Vrije

sights / Architecture

Brugse Vrije information

Bruges , Belgium
Address
Street Burg 11a
Opening hours
9.30am-noon & 1.30-4.30pm
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Lonely Planet review

Most eye-catching with its early baroque gabling, gilt highlights and golden statuettes. It was once the palace of the ‘Liberty of Bruges’, the large autonomous territory and administrative body that ruled from Bruges (1121–1794). Much of the building is still used for city offices, but you can visit the former aldermen’s room, the Renaissancezaal, to admire its remarkable 1531 carved chimneypiece. Above a black marble fireplace and alabaster frieze, an incredibly detailed oak carving depicts a sword-waving Emperor Charles V. Charles is flanked by his grandfathers, Ferdinand of Aragon and Maximilian of Austria, both of whom sport extremely flattering codpieces.