Bruges’ Top 10 Art Galleries You Should Visit

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Top Art Galleries in Bruges

Best-known for its rosta of Flemish Primitive painters such Jan van Eyck, Hans Memling and Hugo van der Goes, Bruges is a hive of activity for modern art, as Gina Baksa discovered. Escape the medieval tryptychs with a visit to one of these 10 modern art galleries in the centre of Bruges.

Absolute Art Gallery

Dijver 4 | +32 32 50 49 10 12 | absoluteartgallery.com | 11am to 6pm; Thurs to Mon

A beautiful minimalist space with regular exhibitions featuring some of the gallery’s 32 artists, including Julian Opie, Marc Lagrange, and local artist Christine Comyn. Latest exhibition is Nick Gentry’s Memoryscapes, on until 26 April. A Central St Martin’s graduate, Gentry creates portraits combining obsolete media formats such as cassettes, floppy discs, VHS tapes and Polaroids as a metaphor for the way humankind interacts with technology.

Galerij Koen Broes

Simon Stevinplein 12 | broes.be |+ 32 50 33 37 74 | Tues to Sat: 10am to 12; 1.30-6pm

Specialises in graphic art on paper from contemporary artists, owners Koen and Carine Broes recognise the inherent craftsmanship behind each technique. You’ll find everything from aquatinting, to lithography via gouache and drypoint. Their focus is not on big names: “We prefer to seek out artists who are not yet demi-gods, but who make no concessions in terms of technical quality and radiance” Framing service available as well as advice on collecting. Works can be shown in your own home.

Callebert Design

callebert.be | Wollestraat 25 | +32 50 33 50 61 | Daily: 10am to 12noon; 2pm to 6pm (except Mondays 2pm to 6pm; Sundays 3pm to 6pm)

More retail space than art gallery, Callebert began life in Bruges in 1948 selling luxury tableware and gifts. Today, its premises are a sophisticated Aladdin’s Cave of home design (think tableware, ceramics, homeware, furniture, clothing, gifts and more) in a central Bruges location. Their own art gallery, Art O Nivo is situated on the first floor. A perfect store to buy gifts; some products are also available to purchase via their online shop.

Art O Nivo

Wollestraat 25, 1st floor | +32 51 24 33 88 | artonivo.be

Mon to Sat; 2 to 6pm. Closed Sundays. At the back of Callebert Design.

Glass, sculptures, ceramics, textiles, photography, graphics and architecture:

The website needs updating but still worth a look. A new café and terrace is planned for opening in July this year.

44 Gallery

44gallery.be | +32 489 552 663 | Genthof 44 | Sat and Sun 2pm to 6pm

Current exhibition: 18 April to 10 May.

Located north of the Markt, 44 Gallery’s (run by Luc Rabaey and Veerle De Sutter) latest exhibition is a Herman van den Boom retrospective featuring a selection of the photographer’s work taken in the USA in the Seventies. With limited edition prints for sale, the gallery also represents the likes of Julie Van Der Vaart and Titus Simoens.

Museum Gallery Xpo Salvador Dali

Belfort, Markt 7 | +32 50 33 83 44 | dali-interart.be | Daily 10am-6pm

A permanent exhibition (rotating) curated by dealers Interart, containing graphic art and some sculptures from the moustachioed one’s eclectic oeuvre. The large gallery/showroom space at the centrally located Belfry was once a medieval hall now transformed into a Dali-fest with gold, mother-of-pearl and pink colours, designed by the amusingly monikered Barron Saint Mythelfinger.  Some original prints are for sale, ask at reception.

Jacquemine art Gallery (+ luxury guesthouse)

Hoogstraat 34 | +32 478 37 56 96 | jacquemine.be

Combining an art gallery and a listed guesthouse, well-travelled couple Pavel and Annie welcome you into their beautiful home (named after the first-recorded owner Jacnquemine De Graevbe 1532) and his studio. Pavel’s abstract art, the ‘exploration of non-physical realities’ will appeal to those who enjoy fantasy and dream landscapes of the imagination. The elegant, 13th-century house offers two ensuite luxury guestrooms with views over a delightful garden across to the Groenerei canal.

Art 14

Dijver 14 | art-14.com | Thurs to Sun 2pm to 6.30pm

Until 10 May: Solo exhibition with the French painter Etien Gros. An intriguing concept installation with polyurethane 3-D torsos, X-rays and digital photography. Situated between the Church of Our Lady and the Groeningemuseum, Art 14 represents 12 artists including Milan Chabera, Jesus Curia, Lieven Demunter, Fons Bemelmans and Jacek Hazuka.

Svein Konigen Studio Gallery

Korte Vuldersstraat 17 | koningen.net | +32 486 46 94 86 | Visits by appointment

Norwegian by birth, abstract expressionist artist Konigen grew up in Amsterdam and Australia and has been living and painting successfully in Bruges for the past 10 years. Re-locating to London this summer – “I need new inspiration” – he is currently offering discounts on some of his paintings.

I never really know exactly what form the finished painting will take,” he says about his own creative process. “I simply allow my instinct to guide my hands and draw inspiration from the creative process. My passions, the place I live in, the surrounding environment and my music are all external factors that influence my work.”

Konigen is re-locating to London this summer so call him

Art Gallery Groeninge: Paul Van Hecke

Nieuwe Gentweg 27 | +32 50 34 18 36 | paul-van-hecke-art.be

Bruges-born Van Hecke’s travels in the Himalayas and exposure to Eastern philosophy as a young man had a life-changing effect, resulting in the style of painting he favours today. Meditative, healing and transformative, his art reflects the human connection with spirit and our heartfelt desire to live with an awakened consciousness.

 

Link for some image ideas:

http://www.koningen.net/wilderness-flowers/1826126

http://www.koningen.net/

pick one and I will ask him for a jpeg so it stretches across the page enough.

Explore Bruges on foot, canal, bike and Vespa

By | A Local's Guide to Bruges, Things to do in Bruges | No Comments

Bruges is one of the best cities in Europe to discover/explore on foot; its cobbled streets leading you on a beguiling Medieval time warp into secret alleyways and thoroughfares offering treasures both gastronomic and historic. Pick up a map from one of Bruges’s three tourist offices in the Concert Hall/Concertgebouw, Historium (Market Square) and in the railway station or join a popular walking tour and savour the history lesson as you perambulate.   

Alternatively, experience Bruges from a different aspect:

Bruges photography tours

The city is a photographer’s Mecca, as professional snapper and entrepreneur Andy McSweeney knows only too well. A native of Montreal, he’s been in Bruges for 14 years and has even married a local gal. So he knows his way around.

He has tours almost every day: early morning to catch the best light, lunchtime essentials, a hidden Bruges around 4pm and a spot of night photography in Bruges after dark. Andy’s passion for sharing his love of photography means this Photo Tour Brugge is a must whether you’re a pro, or just picked up your first disposable camera. Find out more at his website: www.phototourbrugge.com

  info@phototourbrugge.com |+32 486 175 275   | www.facebook.com/PhotoTourBrugge/

Cycling in Bruges

Flat landscapes make cycling a joy – whatever the weather – so take the weight off your feet and try some pedal power while you’re in Bruges. Either hire a bike for the day and do your own thing, or join a bike tour.  Quasimodo’s Bruges By Bike tour offers visitors a two-and-a-half hour ‘laid back’ wheelie around the backstreets and main streets of the city, exploring the waterways, monuments and city sights, the Belfry tower, the Lake of Love, the windmills, the canals…. Plus a stop at a local hostelry for a snifter of the best beer on the planet. Helmets and rain jackets and even a T-shirt are provided.

www.quasimundo.com | Predikherenstraat 28 | info@quasimundo.eu +32 50 330 775

If you’ve had your fill of cobbled streets and Gothic spires, then hire a bike for a tour of the tranquil polders outside the city limits. The flat landscape is an easy cycle and canal-side routes are beautiful and the perfect picnic stop in spring and summer. Green Bike Tours Tel: 050 612 667.  arlando@telenet.be

‘t Zand, Concertgebouw. English, Dutch and French spoken. Booking is required. Daily, by appointment only. Ask at the tourist information for details.

Bruges canal tours

Escape the tourist melee on the Burg and the Markt and hop on a boat for a relaxing canal tour of Bruges. The 30-minute ride follows the ancient fortifications and is an effortless way to see Bruges from a calmer perspective.

Prepare to queue in peak season. Boats leave from the quays behind the Stadhuis (City Hall), Belfry and the Church of Our Lady.     

Bruges bus tours

Perfect if you’re travelling with friends or family who can’t walk very far,  the minibus tour lasts 50 minutes and takes guests to all Bruges’s main sights.

Commentary is in several languages. Look out for the bright yellow buses. If you have more time, you can also join the minibus tour to the delightful village of Damme. Stop off there for lunch and return by barge.
The bright yellow buses depart every thirty minutes from the Markt – the square in front of the Belfry. More information at www.citytour.be/

Departures every 30 min.
Jan – Mar 10h till sunset, Apr 10h tot 18u, May – Sept 10h till 19h, Oct – Dec 10h till sunset
Bus stop: Markt, The market square in front of the Belfry. 
Tickets on the bus
Group reservations possible: info@citytour.be 

 

Bruges horse-drawn carriage rides

Earn brownie points and treat your loved one to a romantic 30-minute carriage ride along Bruges’s enchanting cobbled streets. There’s a brief stop at the medieval houses of the Beguinage, and the coachman will keep you well informed about the sights along the way. Rides leave from the carriage station on the Markt or from the Burg on Wednesdays before noon. If you’d rather not wait in line, then book a carriage to collect you from your hotel or restaurant.

www.visitbruges.be/en/bruges-by-horse-drawn-carriage-2

Vespa Tours Brugge

Escape from the city and enjoy a little Dolce Vita Belgium-style with a guided tour on a bright orange Vespa through scenic woodland and picturesque villages like Damme – once Bruges’s outer harbour. English, Dutch and French spoke and if you want to zip off alone you have the option to hire a scooter for the whole day. Book your seat now as they are very popular.

t’Zand 2 | +32 497 64 86 48 | Mobile: +38 497 648 648 | vespatours-brugge.be

Bruges Ballooning

Surely one of the best ways to see Bruges is from the air. Looking down over 1000 years of history you’ll be in very safe hands with Bruges Ballooning who have more than 20 years’ experience and even more reassuring: ‘zero accidents’. Clearly this is one activity that’s weather dependent, but if you’re lucky enough to get airborne, you could be gliding over city spires, polders and even see the Belgium coast with a Champagne and strawberry celebration on arrival at your destination.

bruges-ballooning.com | +32.475.972.887 | info@bruges-ballooning.com

Walking tours in Bruges

 

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