5 unusual small museums worth a visit in Bruges
1) Holy Blood Museum
The neo-Gothic Holy Blood Museum (Museum van het Heilig Bloed) has been dramatically redesigned to show off the glittering church treasures. The highlight is a gold and silver shrine made in 1617 by Bruges goldsmith Jan Crabbe to hold the Holy Blood relic. You can also see a 15th-century crown worn by Mary of Burgundy.
2) Folklore Museum
The nostalgic folklore museum (Volksmuseum) occupies a row of eight whitewashed almshouses built in the 17th century as homes for retired shoemakers. The tiny rooms now contain reconstructed interiors including a schoolroom, pharmacy, grocery store, puppet theatre and an authentic Flemish bar.
Situated in an 18th-century house built over the Dijver canal, the small Arentshuis museum contains a collection of drawings and paintings by Frank Brangwyn, the son of a 19th-century British architect who settled in Bruges. Brangwyn gave 400 of his works to the city ‘as a memorial of my love for your great city’.
It’s one of the world’s oddest museums, located in a Gothic building that has been standing since 1399. Where merchants from Genoa once traded, Belgian entrepreneur Eddy Van Belle has created a quirky, cartoonish museum dedicated to the humble Belgian fried potato. Van Belle is also the owner of the chocolate museum as well as the Lumina Domestica museum dedicated to his private collection of old lamps.
5) The Smallest Museum
It’s just a window filled with a collection of objects. But the Smallest Museum is one of the oddest spots in Bruges. The owner displays a few items from his eccentric collection of rare Belgian vinyl records, Coca-Cola merchandising, Expo 58 souvenirs and Second World War relics. He occasionally allows visitors inside to see all the other stuff he has gathered over the years.
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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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