Burg Square sits on the former site of a castle, which was originally built to protect the area from invading Vikings and Normans (and remained the seat of the Counts of Flanders for more than 500 years). The castle is now gone, but the charming public square that replaced it, the Burg, has been the heart of Bruges ever since.
A popular stop on Bruges tours, the Burg features a collection of historic buildings that together represent almost every era in Bruges’ history. The most impressive include the late medieval town hall (Stadhuis), the Renaissance-style old civil registry, and the neoclassical court of justice. The Burg is also home to the 12th-century Basilica of the Holy Blood.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Burg Square is a must-visit for all visitors to Bruges.
- With plenty of cafés and restaurants right on the square, the Burg is a good place to stop for lunch or a coffee break.
- The square features flat cobblestones and is easily accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
Burg Square sits in the historic center of Bruges, a 3-minute stroll from Markt Square via Breidelstraat, a short street lined with souvenir shops and restaurants. It’s about a 20-minute walk or a 10-minute bus ride from the main railway station.
When to Get There
Burg Square is a year-round attraction, and it's not really important when you visit. There's a fresh produce market here on Wednesdays that runs from morning to early afternoon. Other events are staged here throughout the year, including the Procession of the Holy Blood (on Ascension Day); Winter Sparks, a January festival that features live performances in the evenings; and the Bruges Beer Festival, which features tastings of classic and new Belgian beers in January or February.
The Procession of the Holy Blood
Held annually on Ascension Day (40 days after Easter), the Procession of the Holy Blood is a large religious procession that's been taking place since medieval times. This UNESCO World Heritage-listed event involves a procession in which clergy carry a cloth believed to be stained with the blood of Jesus, and though it's very much a religious event, the entire city participates.