Discover Bruges

Bruges and Unesco

From the moment you step outside The Secret Garden, you will experience the charm of Bruges with its numerous canals and historic buildings with a rich and intriguing history. The numerous sights are the ideal starting point for exploring Bruges on foot, by horse and carriage and/or from a romantic boat trip on the canals. Worthy of UNESCO.

Besides a secret garden, The Secret Garden has a particularly rich and intriguing history with the 'Huys van Beversluys' and the God's House 'Huyze De Pelicaen'.

This stately and listed city palace with its high opulent ceilings was built in 1692 by the van Beversluys - van Westveldt family and is today - via the courtyard garden and the buildings on the Groenerei - part of The Secret Garden. 

The city grifter of the city of Bruges, in particular Mr Frans van Beversluys & his wife Maria-Magdalena van Westveldt had great prestige in the city of Bruges. In 1714, the childless van Beversluys family had 'Huyze De Pelicaen' - adjacent to the current courtyard garden - built 7 almshouses for 7 Bruges-born widows who were over 50 and had insufficient financial means to appropriate a residence.  For this privilege, they were expected to pray a lot for Francis & Mary Magdalene. This House of God still houses the original chapel and continues to house people who could use some form of support.

The legend of the 'Katte Van Beversluys'

According to the legend, Maria-Magdalena van Westveldt's beloved cat (in Dutch: 'katte') - who had been widowed in 1717 - ran away one day, adorned with the widow's equally beloved jewellery. She would have vowed to donate the jewels to the church if both the cat and the jewels were returned safe and whole. And so it happened.... She had her fortunate pearls and several diamonds worked by goldsmith Jan Beaucourt into a monstrance, measuring 64 cm high and weighing 3 kg. This work of art is considered the most valuable of all Belgian monstrances. She donated this monstrance 'De Katte van Beversluys' in 1725 to the Church of Our Lady in Bruges, which can still be viewed there.

Culinary Bruges

De 'Groenerei' - a place traditionally immortalised in paintings, postcards and biscuit tins - is the ideal base for culinary discoveries within the medieval city gates, surrounded by water.

A selection of gourmet restaurants are within walking distance from The Secret Garden.

Here are a few tasters: from historically situated brasseries to more contemporary restaurants, from grandmother's cuisine to pure high-class gastronomy.