Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium, in the northwest of the country.
The area of the whole city amounts to more than 13,840 hectares, including 1,075 hectares off the coast, at Zeebrugge. The historic city centre is a prominent World Heritage Site of UNESCO. It is oval and about 430 hectares in size. The citys total population is 117,073 ,
Along with a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam and Stockholm, it is sometimes referred to as The Venice of the North. Bruges has a significant economic importance thanks to its port and was once one of the worlds chief commercial cities. Bruges is well known as the seat of the College of Europe, an elite university institute for European studies regarded as "the EUs very own Oxbridge."
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