Today we got to know Bruges.

There were a number of open times to try the tower instrument and two of the mobile carillons. I walked through the main square at mid-day and heard all three going at once. What a noise!

The Bruge Carillon Tower
In the morning was a lecture and "debate". Carillon culture as intangible cultural heritage: how to deal with it? There wasn't much debate, but lots of great ideas. In 2013 Belgium introduced the Belgian carillon culture as a candidate for recognition by UNESCO. This recognition is the for the traditional cultural heritage of carillons in Belgium rather than the carillons themselves. Belgium has been a center of bell and carillon culture since the middle ages. After World War I, the culture was revived as carillons were restored and updated. The culture has spread to other countries, notably the United States. There are about 600 carillons in the world. That seems like a lot, but it's only one per ten million people. How does one help to support the carillons that exist and expand their activities? How do we create that cultural heritage in other parts of the world? Is that the job of the performer, the instrument owner or the community? The lecture/debate was at the Groeninge Museum. I didn't have time to explore the magnificent collection of Flemish art. There will be time tomorrow.
The Magnificent Bruges City Hall

The afternoon was a several hour city walk to learn more about the city. There is a lot of architecture and history packed into the center city.

The mayor invited us to a Belgian beer reception. The beer was from the city's last local brewery. We had more of the little sandwiches that have made an appearance each day at least once.

Tonight a "tattoo" of international marching bands, flag teams, folk dancers and carillon.