Provincial Palace

Welcome tot West Flanders

Provinciaal Hof

The restoration and renovation help to transform the Provincial Palace into an open house of the Province of West Flanders.

From Waterhalle to Provincial Palace

Throughout the centuries there have been three large buildings on this site. First there was the gothic warehouse the Waterhalle, then a monumental building complex and finally the current three-part neo-gothic complex.

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The Provincial Palace

Over the centuries, the eastern side of the Market Square has been embellished by three iconic buildings: the Waterhalle (a gothic warehouse) from the 13th century to the 18th century, a monumental neoclassical housing complex during the 18th and 19th century and, last of all, the current three-part neogothic complex (from 1878) with its impressive Provincial Palace at the centre. This was home to the county council until 1999, but the Provincial Palace is still of great importance to the province of West Flanders, Bruges and the people of Bruges today.

The Provincial Palace is currently undergoing a thorough restoration and renovation, transforming it into a walk-in location for the West Flanders provincial government where everyone is welcome. The building will become an imposing and surprising gateway to all the wonderful things which West Flanders has to offer. A visit here will help you to get to know West Flanders – the province which has Bruges as its capital - as well as informing you about the rich history of the building itself.

Palace of Wonder: Beyond imagination

The beating heart of the Provincial Palace is the building itself, from the front door, the staircase, the balcony room, the council chamber, right up to the attic. Up until now, the Provincial Palace has always been a closed building, only accessible to a select audience.

The Provincial Palace will be an Open House; as a visitor (conference participant, tourist, teacher, passer-by...) I get the feeling of being a special guest, of becoming part of the building. I can linger there, drink a coffee, and find information. But above all I can be amazed by the magic of the neo-Gothic and the playful contemporary interventions that catapult the building and all its functions into the present and the future.

West Flanders will shine its light on innovation, from science and economy, over art and sports, and beyond... 'beyond imagination'.

Palace of Things

A trail of display cases with everyday and iconic artefacts guides you through the entire building straight to the soul of the West-Fleming, to everything that turns West-Flanders into the place it is. A collection of objects is put together, and each tells us something about West Flanders and its inhabitants.

We keep our 'scientific' collection in one location: folklore, science, sports, comedy, art, the daily, real and unreal, art and kitsch....