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  BRUGES: The Gruuthuse Museum


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Burg 11
8000 Brugge

Tel. 050/44.86.86- fax 050/44.86.00



(Picture courtesy of the Stedelijke Musea Brugge)

This most diverse of all the Bruges Museums is situated in the 'House of Gruuthuse' which belonged in the late Middle-Ages to the family Van Brugghe-van der Aa, a.k.a the lords of 'Gruuthuse'. This family owned the monopoly of 'Gruut' selling. Gruut was a medieval mixture of spices used to make beer. The present antiques and art collections were started in 1865 by the 'Archeological Society' of Bruges. In 1955 the city of Bruges acquired and expanded the collection and the museum.

Sculptural art.
The collection consists of objects in different materials: wood (crucifixes, fragments of altarpieces), ivory, stone and marble (the Baroque memorial of the English king Charles II from 1659). The showpiece of this collection is the very realistic polychrome bust from 1520 of Emperor Charles V of Habsburg at the age of 20, probably made by Konrad Meit.

Furniture objects can be seen here in various styles and types. Some furniture dates from the Gothic period (trunks and cupboards). Most of the collection, however, dates from the 17th and 18th century and show beautifully carved wooden ornaments.

Silver ware.
Religious silver objects, as well as silver ware used for domestic purposes. An important collection of Corporation Silver ware from the 16th till the 19th century.

Metal ware.
The former kitchen (with the original 15th century fireplace and chimney of the 'Gruuthuse' family) can still be visited. All the metal objects of the museum which are not made of the precious metals silver and gold are exposed here: candelabers, pots, pans, lamps, kichten utensils, etc. Elsewhere in the museum is another collection of metal objects which were mainly made for religious purposes.

This extensive collection cannot be exposed entirely, due to lack of space. Earthen ware and ceramics from most of the important European production centers (Brussels, Delft, Northern-France, Germany ) are in the possession of the museum. Some objects come from the nearby town of Torhout, which was also famous for its ceramics.

The most attractive art objects here are the 17th century wall tapestries made in Bruges. The famous and prestigious lace collection of the museum has been transferred to the adjacent 'Brangwynn museum'.

To complete the 'Gruuthuse' treasury, one can also visit the 'numismatics' collection (only partially exposed) and the small musical instruments cabinet.

Dijver 17 - 8000 Brugge

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