A Richly Decorated Room I Actually Like

The “Gothic Room” is part of the traditional Bruges city hall that has changed over the centuries but has remained in its current state for almost two hundred years.

I normally don’t like paintings, but I love murals. Properly-done murals. I like art that is part of the building itself, that blends with all the other elements to make a magnificent whole.

It’s all a matter of personal taste, I realize, but I think this is the most gorgeous room I’ve ever been in in my life.

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It was, however, very difficult to take good photos.

The gothic ceilings were made of wood, with a separate detailed ornament at each arch joint.

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Notice the individual leaf patterns.

The walls, from the floor to the third-story ceilings, went: wood paneling, mural, floral border, larger gold flourish border overset with thirty-odd important Bruges-ians (Bruggians?), then stained glass and coats of arms.

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There was just enough color, just enough gold, and just enough wood to make the room regal but not royal.

Does that make sense?

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This scene -- one of 14 -- depcits the harbor being blessed.

The scenes depicted in the murals were important to the history of Bruges, but they also contained many everyday-sorts of people in range of class and costume.

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My favorite!

Maggie says that people still come here to get married. It would make a gorgeous civil wedding, that’s for sure!

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Beneath this far wall is a very large marble fireplace.

There was even a small musician’s balcony for those special civil receptions of the local count (did you know that dukes have duchees and counts have counties? Wonders never cease.).

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A detail from the minstrels' balcony's supports

If you’re ever here, it’s totally worth the €2 ticket, which also covers the audioguide (and the “Renaissance Hall” — much smaller and really remarkable only for its massive wooden fireplace — next door)!

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