366 steps to the top

Bruges bell tower

The medieval bell tower was added to the Market square around 1240, when Bruges was prospering as an important center of Flemish cloth industry.   

The Belfry formerly housed a treasury and the municipal archives and served as an observation post for spotting fires and other danger.

Its distinctive octagonal lantern can be seen from pretty much all over town.

A narrow, steep staircase of 366 steps leads to the top of the 83 metre high Belfry tower and is open to the public

There are several stopping points along the way up if you need a rest.

You will discover the old treasury room,   

After a devastating fire in 1280 the tower was largely rebuilt.  The city archives, however, were forever lost to the flames.

     an impressive clock mechanism, 

and a carillon.                                

The Bruges carillon spreads a warm, vibrant, wonderful music across the  city.                           


You can see all the mechanical workings of the bells.

If you are here when the bells start playing you are lucky, even thought it is incredibly loud, it is absolutely beautiful!

In 2014 Unesco has recognised Belgian carillon culture as an intangible cultural heritage.

Tip: try to be there shortly after the 9.30 opening time to avoid a long queue.   

Finally you'll be rewarded with a 360° view that stretch across the entire city and surroundings.

P.S. The Belfry tower is the central feature of the 2008 film In Bruges.

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