BELOW CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL
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A dusty patch of ground on the north side of Burg square was once the site of the great cathedral of Sint-Donaas. It was demolished in 1799 by French Republicans, leaving a sad empty space in the heart of Bruges. All that remainsare 11th-century foundations hidden in the basement of the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Ask at the reception desk and they will show you where to go.
The Prinsenhof was the scene of two extraordinary Burgundian banquets in the 15th century. The first in 1430 marked the wedding of Philip the Good and
Isabella of Portugal, the second 38 years later celebrated the wedding of Charles the Bold to Margaret of York. The palace was rebuilt in the 19th century in French neo-Gothic style, leaving almost nothing of the original.
Blinde Ezelstraat 1
Most people who walk down Blinde Ezelstraat miss the plaque on the wall with the inscription Dit was ’t Zuidpoort (This was the South Gate). It marks one of the gates into a castle that stood on Burg. But all that’s left is an iron bolthole embedded in the wall.
The great 13th-century Waterhalle has vanished without a trace. Constructed over a canal to allow flat-bottomed boats to unload, it was demolished in 1786, leaving just two unexplained stone columns in the little park Arentshof.
All the remains of the Crossbowmen’s guildhall is a solitary stone tower dating from 1508. It now forms part of a flamboyant neo-Gothic building decorated with turrets, gables and miniature castles.