The 5 most surprising fake buildings in Bruges

1) Bonifaciusbrug

Everyone knows the little hump-backed bridge called the Bonifaciusbrug. It is one of the most photographed spots in Bruges, with the canal gently lapping at the crumbling brick foundations. It looks ancient, but it was actually built in 1910 in a fake mediaeval style that incorporated some old gravestones.

Bonifaciusburg

Arentshof

2) Provinciaal Hof

Built on the site of the ancient Waterhalle, the Provinciaal Hof looks mediaeval, but it was built between 1887 and 1921. The flamboyant white stone building was designed by local architect Louis Delacenserie, who borrowed ideas from the 15th-century Gruuthuse and from the town hall on Burg.

front view Provinciaal Hof

Markt 3

3) Vlamingstraat 38

The house with the black wooden front at Vlamingstraat 38 looks as if it dates from the Middle Ages. But it is a copy of a building in Pieter Pourbus’ Portrait of Jacquemyne Buuck in the Groeningemuseum. The house was built by a local architect as recently as 1963.

house with a black façade and roof at Vlamingenstraat 38

Vlamingstraat 38

4) Rijksnormaalschool

One of the oddest buildings in Bruges, the Rijksnormaalschool stands on the site of the crossbowmen’s guildhall. Designed by Louis Delacenserie in the 1880s, it combines neo-Gothic brickwork with flamboyant wrought iron details. Originally a school, the gloomy, dilapidated building is now a university campus.

interior Rijksnormaalschool

Sint-Jorisstraat 69-71

5) Historium

The Historium occupies a grey stone building on Markt that looks as if it has been around for centuries. But it is no more authentic than the virtual reality experience inside. It was built in the 1920s in the elaborate Burgundian Gothic style of 15th-century Bruges.

front view Historium

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The 500 Hidden Secrets of Bruges reveals off-the-beaten-track places and interesting details for anyone who's keen to explore Bruges' best-kept secrets.

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