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Twijnstraat 17, 8000 Bruges


History of Twijnstraat 13

Vergulde Fontein

Long ago, in the 10th century, the area where Twijnstraat and Ridderstraat crossed lay on an elevated sandy ridge west of the river Reie, south of 'Het Wijk', the bustling port that connected to Langerei and the famous mouth of the Zwin. It was at this strategic location that an early trading quarter began to take shape and sowed the seeds of what would eventually become the bustling city of Bruges.

Over the centuries, Bruges flourished and transformed from a modest settlement into a bustling centre of trade and culture. Rich merchants, attracted by the city's prosperity, bought vast estates in this burgeoning metropolis. Ships full of exotic goods from distant lands docked in Bruges' ports and their precious cargo had to be safely stored before being sold on the Market Square.

Brugae Flandricarum urbium ornamenta, kopergravure, 1581

In the 14th century, a miracle was built under Bruges' cobbled streets - a cellar known as the Vergulde Fontein. This underground chamber, shielded from the heat of the sun, provided the perfect conditions for storing precious goods such as spices, food, textiles and rare treasures brought back by these seafaring ships.

However, it was not long before Bruges attracted even more visitors. In the 15th century, a guesthouse called 'De Drie Koningen' was built above the old Vergulde Fontein. Its purpose was to provide a hospitable refuge for merchants and boatmen who crossed the seas and sought peace in the city's embrace.

De Drie Koningen, with its Gothic architecture and charming courtyard, became a haven for weary travellers. The building witnessed countless stories of adventurers from distant lands, who shared their tales over hearty meals and warm fires.

The guesthouse's name, "De Drie Koningen", evoked a sense of wonder and adventure. Guests from all corners of the world gathered under the roof, each with their own customs and stories, just like the three wise men who travelled to Bethlehem.

As the years passed, De Drie Koningen remained a beacon of hospitality, a place where cultures mingled and friendships flourished. The ghosts of the past seemed to wander the hallowed halls, whispering stories of times gone by.

Today, the legacy of De Drie Koningen is a testament to the enduring spirit of Bruges. It is not just a historic building, but a living connection to the city's rich heritage, where the echoes of ancient merchants and travellers can still be heard and where the warmth of welcome remains as constant as the stars in the night sky. It is a place where the past and the present blend harmoniously, giving travellers a glimpse into the enduring spirit of Bruges and the enchanting stories of those who roamed its streets centuries ago.