Or so our tour guide told us. Apparently, back in the day (after their golden age from 12th century to the 15th century), Bruges was super poor and had no money for modern infrastructure, and so everyone just drank a whole lot and nothing modern got built.
So they drank a whole, whole lot and then the people of Bruges got the nickname the Irish of the Netherlands. Well, because they weren’t building anything modern, the city retained its old charm, and because of a movie or two, got super, super popular.
Actually, it got super popular first off, because this writer (in the later 1800s) wrote about how awful Bruges was as a city. So then people started to visit it. From there there was a movie or two. (Maybe you’ve seen In Bruges? With Colin Farrell?)
Anyway, super awesome. Got some chocolate to celebrate from one of the few members of the Bruges chocolate guild (none of that super touristy stuff), because it was my birthday. Happy birthday to me!
The owner told me, when I bought a box, “These are not chocolates to eat, they are chocolates to enjoy.” She was 100% correct.