Precisely how the Lake of Love (Minnewater) got its name seems to be a bit of a mystery. Although Minne does mean "love". In medieval times, the Lake of Love was located on the far side of Wijngaardplein, and was a part of Bruges's busy outer harbor. Sadly, the only remaining remnant of the once grand Lake of Love and all it encompassed, is the only the Gothic lock house (sluishuis) at the north end. The lock house now watches over a small stretch of water that inspires romance in the hearts of those who view it.
This is one location you will definitely enjoy a walking tour, and there are scenic waterside paths the follow the line of the old town moat. Acquaint yourself with old homes, guild headquarters, convents, churches and some jewels of architecture in this vibrant city. But don't ignore the call of the perpetual swans on the Lake of Love. It's a totally delightful (although a tad gory) legend of Maximilian of Austria being locked up in Brugge, and while imprisoned his advisor Pieter Lanchals (similar to the Dutch word long neck) was decapitated. When Maximilian was released he ordered the city to keep swans in the canals forever. It's a truly romantic spot for those wanting to renew their vows, or just to dream about their future.
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