So originally I had planned two days for Bruges, being such an iconic place. But in the end I decided to spend one day here, and had planned it around the weather, as I knew there was going to be a snow and a rain day day while I was here. But the forecast kept changing, and due to a scheduled tour to Ypres/Ieper on Saturday, I was stuck being choosing a snow day and a rain day. Since I knew that I would be spending most of my time outside, and I knew that the wind would be a factor, I decided a snow day would be better. So, true to form, just as I arrived in Bruges, the first few flakes started falling. By the time I got to the cemetery about 25 minutes later, there was a fine layer of snow over everything. Beautiful for photographs, but unfortunately with the wind blowing the wet stuff everywhere, not so great for my camera and lenses. So I needed up with just iPhone images here, which is fine, as that’s what goes on this blog!
Like many cemeteries in Belgium, the main one in Bruges also has a number of Commonwealth war graves, as well as a Belgian and French section. But the majority of the cemetery is just a regular cemetery. It was similar to all the others I’ve been to so far, but two things stood out for me – the number and variation of crosses here, and the sheer number of duplicates everywhere, whether they be relief plaques on the headstone, or some variation of a woman and a broken pillar. They were everywhere. Of course, with the snow, it made it difficult to make out inscriptions, but it was really lovely to walk through this cemetery with just the soft sounds of snow crunching under my boots, and the birds still singing, despite the weather.
Monuments: There aren’t many here, and those that are are mostly religious and/or duplicates of others that also appear in the cemetery. Some war graves here as well.
Grounds: It’s mostly laid our like a grid and is easy to walk around.
Visitors: A couple of people here, using the place for a walk.
Notes: None really, some interesting memorials, but really, Bruges is so amazing, spend some time in the city (I have to go back when it’s not freezing cold and snowing)
Cemetery: Central Cemetery Bruges-Assebroek
Notable Internments: commonwealth and Belgian war graves
Location: I walked here from the station in about 20 minutes. just take a right onto the main road as you leave the station and cross the river. Take another right when you get to the first major intersection after the bridge until you get to Brugs Kerkhofstraat, which will lead you directly to the cemetery. There are some buses that run down this way too.
Hours: 08:00-18:00, closed at 17:00 in winter months