Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland, the third most populous city in the United Kingdom, as of the 2017 estimated city population of 621,020. Part of Lanarkshire, the city now forms the Glasgow City council area, one of the 32 council areas of Scotland. Glasgow is situated on the River Clyde in the country's West Central Lowlands. Inhabitants of the city are referred to as "Glaswegians" or "Weegies", it is the fourth most visited city in the UK. Glasgow is known for the Glasgow patter, a distinct dialect of the Scots language, noted for being difficult to understand by those from outside the city. Glasgow grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become the largest seaport in Scotland, tenth largest by tonnage in Britain. Expanding from the medieval bishopric and royal burgh, the establishment of the University of Glasgow in the fifteenth century, it became a major centre of the Scottish Enlightenment in the eighteenth century. From the eighteenth century onwards, the city grew as one of Great Britain's main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America and the West Indies.
With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the population and economy of Glasgow and the surrounding region expanded to become one of the world's pre-eminent centres of chemicals and engineering. Glasgow was the "Second City of the British Empire" for much of the Victorian era and Edwardian period, although many cities argue the title was theirs. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Glasgow's population grew reaching a peak of 1,127,825 people in 1938. Comprehensive urban renewal projects in the 1960s, resulting in large-scale relocation of people to designated new towns; the wider metropolitan area is home to over 1,800,000 people, equating to around 33% of Scotland's population. The city has one of the highest densities of any locality in Scotland at 4,023/km2. Glasgow hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the first European Championships in 2018; the origin of the name'Glasgow' is disputed. It is common to derive the toponym from the older Cumbric glas cau or a Middle Gaelic cognate, which would have meant green basin or green valley.
The settlement had an earlier Cumbric name, Cathures. It is recorded that the King of Strathclyde, Rhydderch Hael, welcomed Saint Kentigern, procured his consecration as bishop about 540. For some thirteen years Kentigern laboured in the region, building his church at the Molendinar Burn where Glasgow Cathedral now stands, making many converts. A large community became known as Glasgu; the area around Glasgow has hosted communities for millennia, with the River Clyde providing a natural location for fishing. The Romans built outposts in the area and, to keep Roman Britannia separate from the Celtic and Pictish Caledonia, constructed the Antonine Wall. Items from the wall like altars from Roman forts like Balmuildy can be found at the Hunterian Museum today. Glasgow itself was reputed to have been founded by the Christian missionary Saint Mungo in the 6th century, he established a church on the Molendinar Burn, where the present Glasgow Cathedral stands, in the following years Glasgow became a religious centre.
Glasgow grew over the following centuries. The Glasgow Fair began in the year 1190; the first bridge over the River Clyde at Glasgow was recorded from around 1285, giving its name to the Briggait area of the city, forming the main North-South route over the river via Glasgow Cross. The founding of the University of Glasgow in 1451 and elevation of the bishopric to become the Archdiocese of Glasgow in 1492 increased the town's religious and educational status and landed wealth, its early trade was in agriculture and fishing, with cured salmon and herring being exported to Europe and the Mediterranean. Following the European Protestant Reformation and with the encouragement of the Convention of Royal Burghs, the 14 incorporated trade crafts federated as the Trades House in 1605 to match the power and influence in the town council of the earlier Merchants' Guilds who established their Merchants House in the same year. Glasgow was subsequently raised to the status of Royal Burgh in 1611. Glasgow's substantial fortunes came from international trade and invention, starting in the 17th century with sugar, followed by tobacco, cotton and linen, products of the Atlantic triangular slave trade.
Daniel Defoe visited the city in the early 18th century and famously opined in his book A tour thro' the whole island of Great Britain, that Glasgow was "the cleanest and beautifullest, best built city in Britain, London excepted". At that time the city's population was about 12,000, the city was yet to undergo the massive expansionary changes to its economy and urban fabric, brought about by the Scottish Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution. After the Acts of Union in 1707, Scotland gained further access to the vast markets of the new British Empire, Glasgow became p
Saint Petersburg is Russia's second-largest city after Moscow, with 5 million inhabitants in 2012, part of the Saint Petersburg agglomeration with a population of 6.2 million. An important Russian port on the Baltic Sea, it has a status of a federal subject. Situated on the Neva River, at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea, it was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on 27 May 1703. During the periods 1713–1728 and 1732–1918, Saint Petersburg was the capital of Imperial Russia. In 1918, the central government bodies moved to Moscow, about 625 km to the south-east. Saint Petersburg is one of the most modern cities of Russia, as well as its cultural capital; the Historic Centre of Saint Petersburg and Related Groups of Monuments constitute a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint Petersburg is home to the Hermitage, one of the largest art museums in the world. Many foreign consulates, international corporations and businesses have offices in Saint Petersburg. An admirer of everything German, Peter the Great named the city, Sankt-Peterburg.
On 1 September 1914, after the outbreak of World War I, the Imperial government renamed the city Petrograd, meaning "Peter's city", in order to expunge the German name Sankt and Burg. On 26 January 1924, shortly after the death of Vladimir Lenin, it was renamed to Leningrad, meaning "Lenin's City". On 6 September 1991, Sankt-Peterburg, was returned. Today, in English the city is known as "Saint Petersburg". Local residents refer to the city by its shortened nickname, Piter; the city's traditional nicknames among Russians are the Window to Europe. Swedish colonists built Nyenskans, a fortress at the mouth of the Neva River in 1611, in what was called Ingermanland, inhabited by Finnic tribe of Ingrians; the small town of Nyen grew up around it. At the end of the 17th century, Peter the Great, interested in seafaring and maritime affairs, wanted Russia to gain a seaport in order to trade with the rest of Europe, he needed a better seaport than the country's main one at the time, on the White Sea in the far north and closed to shipping during the winter.
On 12 May 1703, during the Great Northern War, Peter the Great captured Nyenskans and soon replaced the fortress. On 27 May 1703, closer to the estuary 5 km inland from the gulf), on Zayachy Island, he laid down the Peter and Paul Fortress, which became the first brick and stone building of the new city; the city was built by conscripted peasants from all over Russia. Tens of thousands of serfs died building the city; the city became the centre of the Saint Petersburg Governorate. Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in 1712, 9 years before the Treaty of Nystad of 1721 ended the war. During its first few years, the city developed around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress. However, Saint Petersburg soon started to be built out according to a plan. By 1716 the Swiss Italian Domenico Trezzini had elaborated a project whereby the city centre would be located on Vasilyevsky Island and shaped by a rectangular grid of canals; the project is evident in the layout of the streets.
In 1716, Peter the Great appointed Frenchman Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond as the chief architect of Saint Petersburg. The style of Petrine Baroque, developed by Trezzini and other architects and exemplified by such buildings as the Menshikov Palace, Kunstkamera and Paul Cathedral, Twelve Collegia, became prominent in the city architecture of the early 18th century. In 1724 the Academy of Sciences and Academic Gymnasium were established in Saint Petersburg by Peter the Great. In 1725, Peter died at the age of fifty-two, his endeavours to modernize Russia had met with opposition from the Russian nobility—resulting in several attempts on his life and a treason case involving his son. In 1728, Peter II of Russia moved his seat back to Moscow, but four years in 1732, under Empress Anna of Russia, Saint Petersburg was again designated as the capital of the Russian Empire. It remained the seat of the Romanov dynasty and the Imperial Court of the Russian Tsars, as well as the seat of the Russian government, for another 186 years until the communist revolution of 1917.
In 1736–1737 the city suffered from catastrophic fires. To rebuild the damaged boroughs, a committee under Burkhard Christoph von Münnich commissioned a new plan in 1737; the city was divided into five boroughs, the city centre was moved to the Admiralty borough, situated on the east bank between the Neva and Fontanka. It developed along three radial streets, which meet at the Admiralty building and are now one street known as Nevsky Prospekt, Gorokhovaya Street and Voznesensky Prospekt. Baroque architecture became dominant in the city during the first sixty years, culminating in the Elizabethan Baroque, represented most notably by Italian Bartolomeo Rastrelli with such buildings as the Winter Palace. In the 1760s, Baroque architecture was succeeded by neoclassical architecture. Established in 1762, the Commission of Stone Buildings of Moscow and Saint Petersburg ruled that no structure in the
Kalisz is a city in central Poland with 101,625 inhabitants making it the second-largest city in the Greater Poland Voivodeship. It is the capital city of the Kalisz Region. Situated on the Prosna river in the southeastern part of the Greater Poland Voivodeship, the city forms a conurbation with the nearby towns of Ostrów Wielkopolski and Nowe Skalmierzyce. Kalisz is an important regional commercial centre with many notable factories; the city is a centre for traditional folk art. The town was the site of the former'Calisia' piano factory, until it went out of business in 2007; the name Kalisz is thought to stem from the Slavic term "kal", meaning marsh. There are many artifacts from Roman times in the area of Kalisz, indicating that the settlement had once been a stop of the Roman caravans heading for the Baltic Sea along the trade route of the Amber Trail. Calisia had been mentioned by Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD, although the connection is doubted by some historians who claim that the location mentioned by Ptolemy was situated in the territory of the Diduni in Magna Germania.
Archaeological excavations have uncovered early mediaeval settlement from the Piast dynasty period, c. 9th-12th centuries. Modern Kalisz was most founded in the 9th century as a provincial capital castellany and a minor fort. In 1106 Bolesław III Wrymouth made it a part of his feudal domain. Between 1253 and 1260 the town was incorporated according to the German town law called the Środa Śląska Law, a local variation of the Magdeburg Law, soon started to grow. One of the richest towns of Greater Poland, during the feudal fragmentation of Poland it formed a separate duchy ruled by a local branch of the Piast dynasty. After Poland was reunited, the town became a notable centre of weaving and wood products, as well as one of the cultural centres of Greater Poland. There are records of Khalyzian settlements from 1139. In 1282 the city laws were confirmed by Przemysł II of Poland, in 1314 it was made the capital of the Kalisz Voivodeship by king Władysław I the Elbow-high. Located in the centre of Poland, Kalisz was a notable centre of trade.
Because of its strategic location, King Casimir III the Great signed a peace treaty with the Teutonic Order there in 1343. As a royal town, the city managed to defend many of its initial privileges, in 1426 a new town hall was built; the Polish king Mieszko III the Old was buried in Kalisz. In 1574 the Jesuits came to Kalisz and in 1584 opened a Jesuit College, which became one of the most notable centres of education in Poland; the economic development of the area was aided by a large number of Protestant Czech Brothers, who settled in and around Kalisz after being expelled from Bohemia in 1620. In 1792, a fire destroyed much of the city centre; the following year, in the second partition of Poland, the Kingdom of Prussia absorbed the city, called "Kalisch" in German. In 1801, Wojciech Bogusławski set up one of the first permanent theatre troupes in Kalisz. In 1807, Kalisz became a provincial capital within the Duchy of Warsaw. During Napoleon's invasion of Russia, following Yorck's Convention of Tauroggen of 1812, von Stein's Treaty of Kalisz was signed between Russia and Prussia in 1813, confirming that Prussia now was on the side of the Allies.
After the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte, Kalisz became a provincial capital of Congress Poland and the capital of a province of the Russian Empire. Prussia and Russia held joint military exercises near the town in 1835; the proximity to the Prussian border accelerated economic development of the city and Kalisz started to attract many settlers, not only from other regions of Poland and other provinces of the Russian Empire, but from German states. In 1902, a new railway linked Kalisz to Warsaw and Łódź. With the outbreak of World War I, the proximity of the border proved disastrous for Kalisz. Between 2 and 22 August, Kalisz was shelled and burned to the ground by German forces under Major Hermann Preusker though Russian troops had retreated from the city without defending it and German troops – many of them ethnic Poles – had been welcomed peaceably. Eight hundred men were arrested and several of them slaughtered, while the city was set on fire and the remaining inhabitants were expelled. Out of 68,000 citizens in 1914, only 5,000 remained in Kalisz a year later.
By the end of the Great War, much of the city centre had been more or less rebuilt and many of the former inhabitants had been allowed to return. After the war Kalisz became part of the newly independent Poland; the reconstruction continued and in 1925 a new city hall was opened. In 1939 the population of Kalisz was 89,000. After the German invasion of Poland in 1939, the proximity of the border once again proved disastrous. Kalisz was captured by the Wehrmacht instantly and without much fighting, the city was annexed by Germany. By the end of World War II 30,000 local Jews had been murdered. An additional 20,000 local Catholics were either murdered or expelled to the German-occupied territories or to Germany as slave workers. In 1945 the population of the city was 43,000 – half the pre-war figure. In 1975, after Edward Gierek's reform of the administrative division of Poland, Kalisz again became the capital of a province – Kalisz Voivodeship.
Haapsalu is a seaside resort town located on the west coast of Estonia. It is the administrative centre of Lääne County, on 1 January 2017 it had a population of 10,236. Haapsalu has been well known for centuries for its warm seawater, curative mud and peaceful atmosphere. Salt mud spas frequented by the Russian Romanov family still operate. Narrow streets with early 20th century wooden houses lead to the sea. Haapsalu has been called the "Venice of the Baltics", although this positioning has been criticized as exaggerating; the name "Haapsalu" is from Estonian haab'aspen' and salu'grove.' The town dates back to 1279, when it was chartered and became the centre of the Bishopric of Ösel-Wiek, which it remained for the next 300 years. Buildings from those early days remain today, including an episcopal castle which has the largest single-nave cathedral in the Baltic states, Haapsalu Castle. Haapsalu and the surrounding area was the center for the Estonian Swedes from the 13th century until the evacuation of all ethnic Swedes from Estonia in 1944.
For many years, locals have claimed. A military doctor, Carl Abraham Hunnius, founded the first mud cure resort in 1825. News of the curative mud reached the aristocracy of Saint Petersburg, the capital of the Russian Empire. Since Haapsalu has been a popular summer destination where people from all around the world come for medical treatment. Today, there are three mud cure establishments in Haapsalu varying in location. In the 19th century, Haapsalu became famous for a delicate craft made by local women; the Land of Ilon Wikland, a recreation centre for children, is set to open in a few years within the town. This world-famous book illustrator has been involved with Haapsalu since her childhood; the August Blues Festival is held every August in Haapsalu. Since 2005 the town hosts Haapsalu Horror and Fantasy Film Festival, an annual film festival dedicated to genre films. In 2017, the pastors of Haapsalu made an open statement calling to end the city's financing of the festival, claiming the horror and violence depicted in the screened films were not fit to represent the resort town image.
The same year the festival was held to a record-breaking attendance. Haapsalu is site of a fencing school founded by Estonian fencer Endel Nelis, used as the setting of the Finnish-Estonian film The Fencer. Haapsalu is twinned with: Haapsalu shawl Haapsalu linnastaadion August Blues Festival Official website Town heraldry Haapsalu castle Haapsalu pictures and article
Annecy is the largest city of Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France. It lies on the northern tip of Lake Annecy, 35 kilometers south of Geneva. Nicknamed the "Pearl of French Alps" in Raoul Blanchard's monograph describing its location between lake and mountains, the city controls the northern entrance to the lake gorge. Due to a lack of available building land between the lake and the protected Semnoz mountain, its population remained stagnant, around 50,000 inhabitants, since 1950. However, the 2017 merger with several ex-communes extended the city population to 124,401 inhabitants, 203,078 for its urban area, 6th regional position below Annemasse, which counts 292,000 inhabitants in the northern department. Switching from counts of Geneva's dwelling in the 13th century, to counts of Savoy's in the 14th century, the city became Savoy's capital in 1434 during the Genevois-Nemours prerogative until 1659, its role increased in 1536, during the Calvinist Reformation in Geneva, while the bishop took refuge in Annecy.
Saint Francis de Sales gave Annecy its advanced Catholic citadel role known as Counter-Reformation. The annexation of Savoy merged the city to France in 1860. Sometimes called "Venice of the Alps", this idyllic and touristic representation comes from the three canals and the Thiou river lying through the old city and whose initial role was to protect the city and to empower its handicrafts; the city experienced an industrial development in the 19th century with silk manufacturing. Some of its industrial legacy remains today with the headquarters of NTN-SNR bearings, Salomon and Dassault Aviation. Since the end of the 19th century, Annecy developed tourism around its lake summer facilities, winter resorts proximity and cultural attraction with its castle renovation and fine art museum opening in 1956 and the Animated Film Festival since 1960, hosted in Bonlieu's cultural Center; the municipal environmental policy managed to keep 40.3% of green spaces and the city and was awarded the "Golden Flower" in 2015, given to the nine most-flowered French cities.
Its educational area is growing since the University of Savoy establishment in 1973. The Fier forms part of the commune's northwestern border; the surrounding mountains are Mont Veyrier, Semnoz and Parmelan. Le vieil Annecy, was a settlement from the time of the Romans. Annecy was the court of the counts of Genevois from the 10th century, it passed to the counts of Savoy in 1401. In 1444, it became the regional capital of the provinces of Genevois and Beaufortain. With the advance of Calvinism, Annecy became a center for the Counter-Reformation, the old Bishopric of Geneva being transferred to it in 1535. Francis of Sales was born in Sales, France in 1567 and served as bishop of Annecy from 1602 to 1622. During the French Revolution, the Savoy region was conquered by France. Annecy became attached to the department of Mont Blanc; the Catholic diocese was suppressed in 1801. After the Bourbon Restoration in 1815, Annecy was returned to the King of Sardinia and the Catholic diocese restored in 1822.
When Savoy was annexed to France in 1860 with the Treaty of Turin, it became the capital of the new department of Haute-Savoie. Annecy was the site of the second round of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade talks in 1949. In 2012, a multiple murder occurred in the Annecy area; the new municipality was established on 1 January 2017 by merger with the former communes of Annecy-le-Vieux, Cran-Gevrier, Meythet and Seynod. Annecy is part of 4 cantons and it is the Prefecture of Haute-Savoie. Since 2017, Annecy is formed of six delegate cities: Annecy, Annecy-le-Vieux, Cran-Gevrier, Meythet and Seynod; the local government is formed of the City council, composed of 202 members. Each commune delegate has a number of members depending upon its population; the Mayor is Jean-Luc Rigaut since 2007. The intercommunality of Annecy, Grand Annecy Agglomération, includes 34 municipalities. Annecy has hosted the Annecy International Animated Film Festival since 1960 and the Rencontres Internationales d'Annecy Cinéma & Architecture since 1999.
On 23 July 2009, Annecy played host to Stage 18 of the Tour de France, as the start/finish point for an individual time trial around Lake Annecy. It will be the start town for stage 10 of the 2018 Tour de France on 17 July 2018. Annecy lost to Pyeongchang. If they had been chosen, Annecy would have been the fourth French city to host the Winter Olympic Games, after Chamonix and Albertville. Ligue 1 former team Évian Thonon Gaillard F. C. played. The club was founded in 2007, they grew up to reach Ligue 1, stayed for three years in the division, thanks to their emblematic trainer Pascal Dupraz; the Annecy basin is one of the world's leading locations for the sport of paragliding, an activity of some economic importance to the region. The area hosts major competitions, most a leg of the Paragliding World Cup in 2012. Due to its proximity with the lake and the mountains, Annecy is popular for watersports and wintersports. Le Semnoz, a small ski resort is 35 minutes away from Annecy. Other bigger ski resorts, La Clusaz and Le Grand Bornand, are only 40 minutes away.
Annecy is very popular among trail runners and many races are organized year round, such as the World Trail Running Champions
Grand Canal (Venice)
The Grand Canal is a channel in Venice, Italy. It forms one of the major water-traffic corridors in the city. One end of the canal leads into the lagoon near the Santa Lucia railway station and the other end leads into the basin at San Marco, it is 3.8 km long, 30 to 90 m wide, with an average depth of 5 metres. The banks of the Grand Canal are lined with more than 170 buildings, most of which date from the 13th to the 18th century, demonstrate the welfare and art created by the Republic of Venice; the noble Venetian families faced huge expenses to show off their richness in suitable palazzos. Amongst the many are the Palazzi Barbaro, Ca' Rezzonico, Ca' d'Oro, Palazzo Dario, Ca' Foscari, Palazzo Barbarigo and to Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, housing the Peggy Guggenheim Collection; the churches along the canal include the basilica of Santa Maria della Salute. Centuries-old traditions, such as the Historical Regatta, are perpetuated every year along the Canal; because most of the city's traffic goes along the Canal rather than across it, only one bridge crossed the canal until the 19th century, the Rialto Bridge.
There are three more bridges, the Ponte degli Scalzi, the Ponte dell'Accademia, the controversial Ponte della Costituzione from 2008, designed by Santiago Calatrava, connecting the train station to Piazzale Roma, one of the few places in Venice where buses and cars can enter. As was usual in the past, people can still take a ferry ride across the canal at several points by standing up on the deck of a simple gondola called a traghetto, although this service is less common than a decade ago. Most of the palaces emerge from water without pavement. One can only tour past the fronts of the buildings on the grand canal by boat; the Grand Canal follows the course of an ancient river flowing into the lagoon. Adriatic Veneti groups lived beside the formerly-named "Rio Businiacus" before the Roman age, they relied on fishing and commerce. Under the rule of the Roman empire and of the Byzantine empire the lagoon became populated and important, in the early 9th century the doge moved his seat from Malamocco to the safer "Rivoaltus".
Increasing trade followed the doge and found in the deep Grand Canal a safe and ship accessible canal-port. Drainage reveals that the city became more compact over time: at that time the Canal was wider and flowed between small, tide-subjected islands connected by wooden bridges. Along the Canal, the number of "fondaco" houses increased, buildings combining the warehouse and the merchant's residence. A portico facilitates the ships' unloading. From the portico a corridor flanked by storerooms reaches a posterior courtyard. On the first floor a loggia as large as the portico illuminates the hall into which open the merchant's rooms; the façade is thereby divided into two more solid sides. A low mezzanine with offices divides the two floors; the fondaco house had lateral defensive towers, as in the Fondaco dei Turchi. With the German warehouse, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, it reflects the high number of foreign merchants working in Venice, where the republic supplied them with storerooms and lodging and controlled their trading activity.
More public buildings were built along the Canal at Rialto: palaces for commercial and financial Benches and a mint. In 1181 Nicolò Barattieri constructed a pontoon bridge connecting Rialto to Mercerie area, replaced by a wooden bridge with shops on it. Warehouses for flour and salt were more peripheral. From the Byzantine empire, goods arrived together with sculptures, friezes and capitals to decorate the fondaco houses of patrician families; the Byzantine art merged with previous elements resulting in a Venetian-Byzantine style. Along the Grand Canal, these elements are well preserved in Ca' Farsetti, Ca' Loredan and Ca' da Mosto, all dating back to the 12th or 13th century. During this period Rialto had an intense building development, determining the conformation of the Canal and surrounding areas; as a matter of fact, in Venice building materials are precious and foundations are kept: in the subsequent restorations, existing elements will be used again, mixing the Venetian-Byzantine and the new styles.
Polychromy, three-partitioned façades, diffuse openings, rooms disposition formed a particular architectural taste that continued in the future. The Fourth Crusade, with the loot obtained from the sack of Constantinople, other historical situations, gave Venice an Eastern influence until the late 14th century. Venetian Gothic architecture found favor quite late, as a splendid flamboyant Gothic beginning with the southern façade of the Doge's Palace; the verticality and the illumination characterizing the Gothic style are found in the porticos and loggias of fondaco houses: columns get thinner, elongated arches are replaced by pointed or ogee or lobed ones. Porticos rise intertwining and drawing open marbles in quatrefoils or similar figures. Façades were plastered in brilliant col
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 in about 430 hectares in size; the city's total population is 117,073. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 616 km2 and has a total of 255,844 inhabitants as of 1 January 2008. Along with a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam, it is sometimes referred to as the Venice of the North. Bruges has a significant economic importance, thanks to its port, was once one of the world's chief commercial cities. Bruges is well known as the seat of the College of Europe, a university institute for European studies; the place is first mentioned in records as Bruggas, Brvccia in 840–875 as Bruciam, Brutgis uico, in portu Bruggensi, Bricge, Brycge, Bruges, Bruggas and Brugge.
The name derives from the Old Dutch for "bridge": brugga. Compare Middle Dutch brucge and modern Dutch bruggehoofd and brug; the form brugghe would be a southern Dutch variant. The Dutch word and the English "bridge" both derive from Proto-Germanic *brugjō-. Bruges was a location of coastal settlement during prehistory; this Bronze Age and Iron Age settlement is unrelated to medieval city development. In the Bruges area, the first fortifications were built after Julius Caesar's conquest of the Menapii in the first century BC, to protect the coastal area against pirates; the Franks took over the whole region from the Gallo-Romans around the 4th century and administered it as the Pagus Flandrensis. The Viking incursions of the ninth century prompted Count Baldwin I of Flanders to reinforce the Roman fortifications. Early medieval habitation starts in the 9th and 10th century on the Burgh terrain with a fortified settlement and church Bruges became important due to the tidal inlet, important to local commerce, This inlet was known as the "Golden Inlet".
Bruges received its city charter on 27 July 1128, new walls and canals were built. In 1089 Bruges became the capital of the County of Flanders. Since about 1050, gradual silting had caused the city to lose its direct access to the sea. A storm in 1134, however, re-established this access, through the creation of a natural channel at the Zwin; the new sea arm stretched all the way to Damme, a city that became the commercial outpost for Bruges. Bruges had a strategic location at the crossroads of the northern Hanseatic League trade and the southern trade routes. Bruges was included in the circuit of the Flemish and French cloth fairs at the beginning of the 13th century, but when the old system of fairs broke down the entrepreneurs of Bruges innovated, they developed, or borrowed from Italy, new forms of merchant capitalism, whereby several merchants would share the risks and profits and pool their knowledge of markets. They employed new forms of economic exchange, including letters of credit; the city eagerly welcomed foreign traders, most notably the Portuguese traders selling pepper and other spices.
With the reawakening of town life in the twelfth century, a wool market, a woollens weaving industry, the market for cloth all profited from the shelter of city walls, where surpluses could be safely accumulated under the patronage of the counts of Flanders. The city's entrepreneurs reached out to make economic colonies of England and Scotland's wool-producing districts. English contacts brought Normandy grain and Gascon wines. Hanseatic ships filled the harbor, which had to be expanded beyond Damme to Sluys to accommodate the new cog-ships. In 1277, the first merchant fleet from Genoa appeared in the port of Bruges, first of the merchant colony that made Bruges the main link to the trade of the Mediterranean; this development opened not only the trade in spices from the Levant, but advanced commercial and financial techniques and a flood of capital that soon took over the banking of Bruges. The Bourse opened in 1309 and developed into the most sophisticated money market of the Low Countries in the 14th century.
By the time Venetian galleys first appeared. Numerous foreign merchants were welcomed in Bruges, such as the Castilian wool merchants who first arrived in the 13th century. After the Castilian wool monopoly ended, the Basques, many hailing from Bilbao, thrived as merchants and established their own commercial consulate in Bruges by the mid-15th century; the foreign merchants expanded the city's trading zones. They maintained separate communities governed by their own laws until the economic collapse after 1700; such wealth gave rise to social upheavals, which were for the most part harshly contained by the militia. In 1302, after the Bruges Matins, the population joined forces with the Count of Flanders against the French, culminating in