Belgium is comprised of ten provinces, and Bruges is the capital of the province
The history of the city reaches back several hundred years when it received its charter on July 27, 1128. As it developed, canals were built connecting it to the deeper branch of the North Sea, the Zwin. Important because of its tidal inlet known as the “Golden Inlet” and strategic location at the crossroads of the trade routes, Bruges used its wealth to construct new walls and additional canals. Castles too. Of the 470 castles in the Flanders region, nearly fifty are found near Bruges.
One hundred years later, Philip the Good (Duke of Burgundy) set up court in Bruges and attracted artists, bankers, and other prominent and influential people from all over Europe. By 1400, Bruges was home to 200,000 residents, and the city’s weavers and spinners were thought to be the best in the world.
In the 1500s, the “Golden Inlet” began silting up, and prosperity began to wane. The lace industry did well, and Charles II of England lived in the city during his exile in the 1650s, but Bruges continued to fade. Antwerp soon became Belgium’s economic leader. The population declined until the 1900s when Bruges began to attract wealthy British and French tourists.
Occupied but undamaged during both world wars, Bruges experienced a bit of a renaissance in the 1960s. Restoration of residential and commercial structures, monuments, and churches produced a flood of tourism, and the city was designated “European Capital of Culture” in 2002. Eight million tourists visit annually to enjoy the medieval architecture, miles of canals, and cobblestone streets.
What do you find most intriguing about this beautiful city’s history?
Twin sisters Rayne and Jessica Dalton have been swapping places their whole lives, so when Jessica dies on the eve of heading west to become a mail-order bride, Rayne decides to fill her sister’s shoes. The challenge will be faking Jessica’s faith in God. Can Rayne fool her prospective groom without losing her heart...or her soul?
Flynn Ward fled England to escape his parent’s attempts at marrying him off, but locating a woman to love in the Wyoming mountains is harder than finding a hackney in a rainstorm. Then the Westward Home & Hearts Agency offers him the perfect match. But when his prospective bride arrives, she’s nothing like she seemed in her letters. Is he destined to go through life alone?
Can two desperate people overcome their differences to find common ground...and love?
Purchase Link: https://amzn.to/3pGWKJE