The Belfry Tower in the marketplace in Bruges is considered to be one of the most notable and distinctive symbols of the city. The tower (83m/272ft high) and the cloth hall date from 1240 and took close to two centuries to actually complete. However, this is not the first Belfry tower. The first one was wiped out by fire in 1280. The fire also took out some portions of the cloth hall as well. The belfry tower was THE place to store important documents of the city and they shared space with hung bells. The bells, each with its own distinct sound and function, served to warn of danger, get people's attention for announcements and told the city the time. Interesting note: this tower has a slight lean towards the southeast.
These days the belfry tower plays beautiful carillon music from the 47 bells. You enter the tower from the inner courtyard and if you wish to see the full panorama of the city, you can climb the 366 stairs to the top. On your way there, you will get a peek at the old Treasure Room where the city's documents were kept. These are behind wrought iron grills and can be seen on the second floor.
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