Before 1280, the town hall was located in the belfry on Markt Square, but a fire destroyed the massive tower, the offices and the archives of the town. A safe and immediate location was needed. In the nearby square, Burg Square, there was the abandoned prison of the Count of Flanders and became a lifeline to resume the administrative activities of the city. The building was completely rebuilt from 1376 and over time it was enlarged and reviewed to meet the growing needs of the city. Major interior renovations took place at the turn of the 20th century and the addition of the Gothic Hall remains a must-see for its vaulted ceiling and large painted murals that tell the story of the city of Bruges.
The exterior of the building is incredible with its turrets and its Gothic windows but above all its many statues individually protected under stone canopies give an architectural depth of finesse and prestige. These are statues of certain nobles, religious figures, or knights. The original statues were damaged during the French occupation of 1792, so these are replicas. Coats of arms also adorn the facade and give it a colorful touch.
It is here, therefore, that the meetings of the administrators of the city have been held for more than half a millennium.
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