The Windmills Aren't Just In Your Mind In Bruges
We knew there were canals in Bruges, of course. We knew there were old buildings. We knew there were chocolates, too. Something we weren’t aware of, though? Windmills.
It was as we were wandering round the east part of the old town that we suddenly found ourselves at the end of a street with a slight hill in front of us. And when we looked round, we saw a windmill. And, a little further on, another one.
For €2, we climbed the 34 steps into the first one. Turned out we were in the Sint-Janhuysmill, built in 1770. The mill mound, though, was first established in 1297. What’s more, there used to be no fewer than 29 mills in Bruges.
But history aside, what was spectacular about the mill was the view. From up on high, we could see not only the main canal acting as a moat around the city, but the entire skyline of the old town as well, all high pitched terracotta roofs and church spires (yes, the rumors are correct. Bruges has a lot of churches).
Canals and windmill to the right
It’s a little way out from the main, touristy part of town – about 15-20 minutes walk – but on the plus side, that means you’ll encounter virtually no other tourists on your way there. And that, in the Venice of the North, is a blessing.
The Sint-Janhuysmill is open 9.30-12.30 every morning and 1.30-5pm. Last entry is 30 minutes before closing time.