After an 11 year nagging campaign, I finally made it to Bruges last weekend. It’s a lovely city to wander around, small and so perfectly preserved you feel as if you’ve stumbled into a fairy tale.
I loved the canals and the painted houses with their distinctively stepped gables but one of the things that struck me most were the carvings on street corners and above doorways.
We’ve lost all the medieval ‘street furniture’ in York, where the buildings have been renovated and repaired and refaced over the centuries, but in Bruges many of the images that would have been familiar to the people of medieval York are still there, set into the brickwork.
In the middle ages, the carvings would have been painted, too, so the medieval street would have seemed much more colourful than we often imagine it to be.
Here are some of the my other favourites, snapped as I drifted happily along the streets: