Full text: Beauties of continental architecture

Bruges, the second city in the province of Flanders, is advantageously 
situated in a plain, three leagues from Ostend, and eight leagues from Ghent, 
Courtray, Furnes, and Middelburg. Above three hundred years ago, when 
Bruges was in its splendor, merchants from all parts of the world resorted to it. 
The several nations had their own splendid palaces, with numerous magazines, 
consuls, &c. Some historians think that Bruges received its name from the 
numerous bridges, Brugghe being a bridge in Flemish; but it is more probable 
that it was so called from the Brugh-Stock, a bridge leading to a chapel 
dedicated to the Virgin. The public edifices, both civil and ecclesiastical, were 
extremely sumptuous, as may be judged by those which still remain, such as 
the Town Hall, the Cathedral, &c. 
The Town Hall is situated in a large square, called the Bourg. It is built 
in a light Gothic style. The first stone was laid in the year 1376, by Count 
Louis de Male. The numerous niches were formerly occupied by statues of 
the Counts and Countesses of Flanders. The other most remarkable buildings 
at Bruges are, the Exchange; the Lyceum, formerly the celebrated Convent of 
the Downs; and the Church of Notre Dame, in which the tombs of Charles the 
Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and of Mary, his daughter, are still preserved with 
great care. 
The Vignettes represent a very curious house, and a remarkably elegant 
attic window.

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