Bruges: A View Along the Groene Rei
Once enjoying the proud status as the principal financial center in Europe, Bruges, Belgium was in medieval times, the prime commodity center for trading and distributing wool. Initially, the city was joined to the North Sea by a major canal to Zeebrugee, to be eventually followed by major waterways to Ostend and later, Ghent, thereby creating a countrywide network of navigable canals.
The city’s magnificent architecture enjoys perfect preservation as it is said that during WWII, the German military had specific directives, laid down by the Fuehrer himself, to bypass the city and thereby avoid any damage to the gems of its outstanding architectural legacy. It was also believed that, upon winning the war, he intended to make it the location for one of his main residences.