sights / Squares & plazas

Markt information

Bruges , Belgium
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Bruges' nerve centre is the historic Markt, a large open square flanked by medieval-style buildings and bustling with horse-drawn carriages, open-air restaurants and camera-clicking tourists. Standing tall at its centre is a monument to Pieter De Coninck and Jan Breydel, the leaders of the Brugse Metten, and lording over everything is the fabulous belfry.

Most of the gabled guildhalls edging the Markt are not original. Notable at Markt 16 is Craenenburg café; in this building the Hapsburg heir Maximilian of Austria was imprisoned by the leaders of the city in 1488 after attempting to restrict their privileges. When Maximilian later became emperor, he took revenge by directing trade to Antwerp.

The Markt's eastern side is dominated by the Provinciaal Hof, a neogothic building home to the post office and a handy ATM.