Travel to 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 suburban vanilla. Bruges is an important milestone in the development of that idea.
There's plenty to see: here, a bay window where someone once kept an eye on canal traffic.
There's a lot of nice brickwork.
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.
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.
A pedestrian mall: Steenstraat.
The cobblestones are of post-war vintage, as are the wide sidewalks, part of a conscious decision--along with blocked and one-way streets--to discourage motorists and encourage pedestrians.
Through such planning devices, Bruges has become one of the major tourist attractions of Belgium.
Too many tourists have made one merchant a crab.
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