Bruges is a place that is bursting with historical points of interest – The Markt, the Church of Our Lady & the Beguinage are to name just a few… add in their array of delicious confectionary and range of beers (which certainly pack a punch), then you have yourself a city with quite the charm.
Some of us at Super Break HQ were recently lucky enough to take a break there with VISITFLANDERS, and apart from the obvious attractions, there’s so much more to Bruges that you wouldn’t initially think of.
The Bruges Triennale is an art installation that can be found right across the city and invites people to explore the future of Bruges. Held once every three years, the Triennale is here for its second time and this year, the theme is ‘Liquid City’ – representing Bruges in a literal sense due to the water that surrounds it and a metaphorical sense for how Bruges could be years from now… check out our top picks from the 2018 Triennale!
BRUG by Jaroslaw Kozakiewicz
This Polish installation is the first on the Triennale route and is located right next to the Vismarkt which is the 18th Century Fish Market – fish can still be bought here every morning from Wednesday to Saturday and in the summer, there are regular dance and music events too!
It’s a modern interpretation of the many bridges that can be found around the city and instead of bricks and stones, this bridge has been made with materials such as metal and canvas. Once you cross the bridge, you come to a dead-end… instead of continuing your journey, you’re invited to cross paths, talk to others and marvel at the Niobe statue.
Apparently the structure represents two people kissing, just like the Niobe statue!
Skyscraper (the Bruges Whale) by StudioKCA
The Skyscraper is definitely one of the most interesting installations to look at around Bruges… or as most people call it, the Bruges Whale – which makes a lot more sense! Jumping straight out of the canal, the whale adds a completely new dimension to the historic Jan van Eyck Square.
Made from plastic waste that’s been floating in our seas or washed up onto our beaches from around the world, the Bruges Whale is a seriously impressive installation! StudioKCA, with the help of Hawaii Wildlife Fund and the Surfrider Foundation have made an important message, reminding us all of the issues we face with pollution and our seas.
UrbanModeL by Wesley Meuris
Situated under the trees of Burg Square, Wesley Meuris wanted to design a space in the middle of the city that was tranquil, where people could reflect, look and encounter the present. Made out of glass and wood, the UrbanModeL has a range of English terms written across it that signify the ingredients for the perfect community…
The UrbanModeL doesn’t just offer a peaceful little haven in the middle of the city but it’s the ideal spot to watch the world go by and appreciate the beauty of the Burg Square.
Lanchals by John Powers
Towering over the canal at Minneboplein, Lanchals was created with inspiration from the history and folklore of Bruges. John Powers from the USA came across the legend of Pieter Lanchals who was an advisor of Archduke Maximilian of Austria in the 15th Century… In a famous uprising by the city residents, he was killed and the Archduke called for a war – afterwards, in order to remember the event, Bruges had to allow 52 swans into the city and onto the canals…
With swans as a major part of the city now, Powers wanted to recognise this with Lanchals – hence the swan-like shape.
selgascano pavilion by selgascano
Against the old Flemish style buildings with their traditional gable ends, the selgascano pavilion is an unexpected splash of colour that’s been dropped into the middle of the city. When you walk into the installation, the pink walls block you off from the outside world, making it the perfect place to take a few moments and relax. Floating in the middle of the canal, the contrast of colours between the pink walls, blue sky & canals makes the perfect picture opportunity.
You can even take a dip in the canals from the selgascano pavilion in the weekends of July & August!
INFINITI23 by Peter Van Driessche – Atelier4
The idea behind INFINITI23 follows Japanese modernism and post-war architecture – Peter Van Driessche designed this installation right next to Site Oud Sint-Jan (the old St. John hospital) to suggest a place where we can live closer together, in smaller spaces. Recognising the issue of rising water levels, INFINITI23 is a sustainable structure designed to last within these changing climates.
INFINITI23 stands tall above the old buildings of Bruges with St. Saviour’s Cathedral and the Church of Our Lady in the distance, reminding people that although Bruges is a historic city, it can be modern, innovative and exciting too.
There are a total of 15 installations across Bruges including the Minne Floating School, ACHERON 1 and The Floating Island – be sure to get yourself a map when visiting Bruges to make sure you don’t miss any!
You can pick up a map (and other information on Bruges!) from the Poortersloge where you’ll also find the popular URB EGG cafe… Other places you can find information are inside the Historium on Markt Square & the small office located on Station Square.
The Triennale 2018 ends on 16th September 2018. Head to the VISITFLANDERS website for more information ahead of your break in Bruges.