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The Jan van Eyckplein is a square in the centre of Bruges. The square, located at the beginning of the Spiegelrei, was built shortly after 1787, when the so-called New Year's or Sint-Jansbrug was demolished and a first part of the Kraanrei was vaulted.


Before the construction of the square, the New Year's Bridge was an extension of the Wijnzakstraat. This bridge was mentioned in 1282 and was initially made of wood. In 1389 it was rebuilt in white Brabant stone and decorated with two polychrome statues of the evangelist Saint John. It was rebuilt in 1444 as a three-tier arch bridge with stone parapet.

Originally there was no square to be seen, but the reie continued, with a bridge above it that bore the name Sint-Jansbrug, or also New Year's bridge, because a market for sweets and children's toys was held on the bridge around New Year. In 1787 the Reie was vaulted at that spot and the Sint-Jansbrug was demolished. This created a square that initially continued to bear the name Sint-Jansbrug.

In French times, the name 'Academieplaetse' gradually came into use, after the drawing and painting academy that was located in the Poortersloge. In 1844 the city council introduced the name 'Jan van Eyckplaats', as a tribute to the painter Jan van Eyck, who was given a marble statue there in 1856, after a design by Jan-Robert Calloigne. This statue was removed in 1871, after which it stood on the Burg for a century. The inauguration of the current statue on a high bluestone plinth from 1878, designed by Hendrik Pickery, was the reason for the restoration with a city grant of several houses on this square.

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Camera Model Canon EOS 5D
File Size 13,0MB
Shooting Date/Time
5/12/2015 14:13:54
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Shooting Mode
Manual Exposure
Tv(Shutter Speed)
Av(Aperture Value)
ISO Speed 100
EF85mm f/1.8 USM
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Additional Photos by John Maenhout (jhm) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 29194 W: 518 N: 49583] (211758)
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