Externally the facade of the Stadhuis is decorated with 49 statues representing Royal and Biblical figures.
The original statues where destroyed in 1792 and replaced in 1862, however, the inferior masonry used meant that the statues had to be replaced again in the 20th century.
If you visit the Gothic Hall you are also given a guide to the statues telling you who is who and expanding on some in more detail.
We particularly liked “Baldwin with the Iron Arm” and the wonderfully named “Philip the Beautiful”.
If the Belfort stands guard over the Markt in Bruges then the The Stadhuis or Town Hall is sentinel of the Burg.
This magnificent Gothic building was built between 1376 and 1420 and renovated in the 19th and 20th centuries. On the first floor is the restored Gothic Hall, which can be visited for an entrance fee of 2.50 euros (price includes a very informative audio guide).
What strikes you first about the Gothic Hall is the vibrant colours with which it is decorated. The brown, gold, red and burgundy of the arched ceiling and the large, multi-coloured wall frescos. The latter were commissioned towards the end of the 19th century and show scenes from the history of Belgium and Bruges such as the defeat of the French at the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302. Where the ceiling arches meet are small keystones showing scenes from the New Testament and around the perimeter of the hall, where the arches touch the wall, are small frescos representing the months and seasons.
A small room leading off from the hall contains a number of historical artefacts including an interesting and detailed map of the city.
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