Bruges (Bruzh; Flem. Brugge, 'the bridges'), a city of Belgium, 8 miles from the sea, with which it is connected by the three canals from Ghent, Sluys, and Ostend, all much inferior to the direct ship-canal from Heyst (Zeebrugge), 26 feet wide (made 1896-1903). By rail it is 14 miles E. of Ostend, and 62 WNW. of Brussels. Among the most interesting buildings are Les Halles (1364), a cloth and flesh market, with the famous belfry, 353 feet high; the Gothic hotel-de-ville (1377), with a library of 100,000 volumes; the church of Notre Dame, with a spire 442 feet high, a statue of the Virgin (said to be by Michael Angelo), and monuments of Charles the Bold and his daughter Mary, wife of the Emperor Maximilian; the cathedral of St Sauveur, with an ugly brick exterior, but a fine interior, containing the stalls of the knights of the Golden Fleece; and St John's Hospital, with Hans Mending's masterpieces adorning the reliquary of St Ursula's arm. Bruges has manufactures of lace, woollens, linen, cotton, leather, soap, starch, and tobacco; and distilleries, sugar and salt refineries, and shipbuilding yards. Pop. (1901) 53,100, of whom very many are poverty-stricken. Dating from the 3d century, Bruges by 1200 was the central mart of the Hanseatic League, and by 1300 had become the metropolis of the world's commerce, its population then amounting to over 200,000. In 1488 the citizens rose in insurrection, and imprisoned the Archduke Maximilian, and with the harsh measures of repression which ensued commenced the commercial decline of Bruges. Many of the traders and manufacturers, driven forth from their own country by the religious persecutions of the following century, settled in England; in the 16th century, however, the tapestry of Bruges was still celebrated. Taken by the French in 1794, in 1815 the city became a part of the kingdom of the United Netherlands, and in 1830 of the Belgian monarchy. At Bruges lived John van Eyck (1428-41), Caxton (1446-76), and Memling (1477-94). See James Weale, Bruges et ses Environs (4th ed. 1887).