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“Entertaining but noth worth the money” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Historium Brugge

Historium Brugge
Markt 1, Bruges 8000, Belgium
+3250270311
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Ranked #26 of 48 attractions in Bruges
Type: Museums
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Attraction Details
Owner description: Historium Brugge is an experience attraction and the perfect starting point from which to discover Bruges. The historically inspired and experience-oriented set-up of the attraction shows visitors how citizens of Bruges lived during the city's Golden Age. During a 35 minutes performance visitors travel back in time and walk through 7 themed rooms where they will be carried away by an exciting love story that illustrates life as it was back in 1435. In a fascinating way both young and old are teached about Bruges' rich history and cultural charm. After visiting the attraction visitors can learn more about the city's medieval past in the interactive exhibition where visitors will be provided with detailed explanations about historical images and artefacts that are a part of the attraction. An interactive quiz acts as an educational and fun-filled way of transferring knowledge.The total duration of a visit is up to about 1,5 hours.After having enjoyed the unique and magnificent view over the town square from the 2nd floor's panoramic terrace, you might as well taste some nice Belgian beers at Duvelorium (Grand Beer Café) with covered terrace for another marvellous panoramic view over the Markt. And why not go home with some delicious handmade chocolates from the Chocolaterie?Situated in an authentic historical building in the heart of the city, Historium Brugge is the perfect gateway for a unique visit to Bruges. Historium Brugge is open daily from 10AM - 6PM (tickets until 5PM), Friday from 10AM - 8PM (tickets until 7PM).Start your visit to Bruges here. Historium is your rendezvous with history.
Bruges, Belgium
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
27 attraction reviews
Reviews in 42 cities Reviews in 42 cities
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
“Entertaining but noth worth the money”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

The Historium has a perfect organisation, staff is very friendly. Clean an spacious entrance that gets you in thet right mood for a historical attraction.
It is a technical perfect movie-experience. It tells a love story in Bruges in the 15th century. It is wonderful for children, my 6 year old son loved it. But thy don’t learn anything about 15th century Bruges, no explanation at al during the movie. We didn’t experience the 5 sences, only smelled something like soap in the bath house and fell wind blowing in our face in one room.
We got a “hint” of what 15th century Bruges must have been like but didn’t learn anything.
In my opinion, the aftershow should be better a “before-show” so people know what beautiful buildings where recreated in the movie. After seeing the aftershow, I wanted to see the movie again to take a better look at these buildings (for example: st-donaaskerk and ter Beurze) but that's nog possible...
It was not what we expected and certainly not worth 11 euros.

Visited January 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReneTolenaars, Manager at Historium at Historium Brugge, responded to this review, January 25, 2013
Dear Visitor,

First of all I’d like to thank you for your recent visit at Historium and to take the time to share your experience here with other people on TripAdvisor.

I’m glad to read you liked the technology we use in order to create a unique experience for our visitors, and be assured your feedback about the kindness of our staff will serve as an encouragement to all of those who work here at Historium Brugge.

The goal of Historium is not to be a museum, but an experience attraction that gives its visitors a unique glimpse of the rich history of medieval Bruges. We will take your constructive feedback into account, as we continuously strive to improve our service.

I wish you all the best and send regards from Bruges,
René Tolenaars
Director of Sales & Marketing Communication at Historium Brugge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Bruges, Belgium
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
20 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Misleading By Virtue Of It's Name & Disappointing Generally...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

Should Be Called a “A Medieval Tale”

My wife and I live in Bruges and know through the local press, that this new attraction to Bruges, ‘The Historium’, which opened it’s doors to the public, last November – after 7 years in the planning / building and at a cost of 10 million euros !, is drawing a lot of bad reviews and indeed ours too will not be that positive.

We went to the Historium last week and were disappointed in so many different ways.
Basically it is not representative of historic Bruges in the Middle Ages, albeit Bruges ‘Golden Age’.

The first thing that irritated us, was that we had difficulty in operating the self service payment machine that visitors have to negotiate before anything else. It accepts cash or cards. However, the card reader and display is too low and we did not see it asking for the card to be inserted. On the second attempt we did manage it, and we are by no means ‘technophobics’. It was particularly annoying that the staff who were standing around chatting at the info’ desk did not offer any help. The next thing to negotiate is the ticket scanner to gain entry. The shows are all timed and the scanner seems to work in sync’ with this fact. We had the feeling already that it was all so impersonal. After self scanning our ticket for the show, you then have to wait for automatic doors to allow you entry. This door leads to a series of stairs, to the third floor and they are certainly not for the less fit . (There is apparently a lift for those with walking difficulties and disabled persons available….ask at the info’ desk)

At the top of these stairs, there are the racks of audio sets and headphones. No instructions in sight, nor of course any ‘human’ presence to assist. Having set the language to English, the display kept indicating ‘press any number’ ?.....There is certainly no explanation that the audio is triggered automatically, when you turn the corner heading nearer to another automatic locked door. Here, around the corner you then see some instructions and the audio begins and tells you, you must wait for the door to open. This door leads you to the first of 7 different rooms, constituting the Historium.

The story line of the film is weak and it is basically a tale of love between a young apprentice artist who goes to the harbour to escort a model back to the studio of Jan Van Eyck, a famous Flemish primitive in the employ of the Duke of Burgundy. The acting is also weak and I personally was very unimpressed with the actors pearly white teeth and pristine attire in a middle age Bruges.

The Historium boasts that you will experience all five senses during the show. Well you do get some lovely sweet smells from the ‘bath house’ scene and there is a little bit of wind blowing in another scene, but apart from that I certainly didn’t have my 5 senses stimulated. And would have preferred a real smell of Bruges in the middle ages, even if it was ‘nasty’.

After the last room you exit to find a ‘human’ presence to assist you in hanging up the audio and headphone sets?....then you follow a route which takes you to an after show exhibition which helps people understand more about what they have just seen in the movie. Surely this would be better positioned before the show…..O’h no, why not, because the show is all about timing and getting as many people through for each show.

At this point there is also access onto the outside terrace, which is called a ‘panoramic View’. Please be aware of the step down onto this terrace, it should be clearly painted and a notice advising visitors,
but there is neither.

The Bar/ Pub/ Grand Cafe is not ideally positioned as EVERYONE (including schoolchildren) have to walk through it at the end of the show. It would be better to route visitors through the gift shop - as is usual. Also surely this cafe should be called 'De Beurze' and be fitted out as an old style cafe as in the story. (We actually went to the oldest pub in town afterwards - Café Vlissinghe - and they have a green parrot on the bar!). Also found U2 music in the Historium Grand café quite out of place and indeed it offends some Nationalities by virtue of it’s political overtones - (although not us).

I went back to the info’ desk to ask a couple of questions, before writing this review, as I wasn’t sure about disabled access etc. I asked the guy, what is there in the show that satisfies our ‘sense of taste’. He very quickly pointed to the back of the ticket ,to the small print where it states each visitor receives one free chocolate. I asked was the chocolate industry flourishing in 1435 and he said “Oh yes, the Spanish Invaders brought the cocoa bean to Bruges”…….Strange as they didn’t invade for over another 100 years.

To summarise, the Techo’ stuff is good. The projectors are silent and the sound effects great. Some of the interior scenery was also good, but it’s all pretty sparse. I suppose kids will enjoy it.
Maybe it’s not quite what we were expecting, but in our opinion, it is not worth the 11 euro entry fee each. We also feel there should be no surcharge to use the WC (50 cents) and that also applies if you use the Grand café for a few drinks.

Really don't think Bruges, a city we love so much, needs an attraction that will certainly leave most visitors with one taste - ' A bad taste'.
Please don't make Bruges another theme park. The beauty of Bruges is the city itself.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReneTolenaars, Manager at Historium at Historium Brugge, responded to this review, January 22, 2013
Dear visitor,

Thank you for your recent visit at Historium. I’m sorry to hear Historium couldn’t meet your expectations. We thank you for your constructive remarks in your review and will take your feedback into account in order to improve our service.

Our staff is always ready to help visitors if they experience difficulties with the self service payment machines. However I sincerely regret to read this was apparently not the case when you visited our attraction, and this should not happen.

I can understand your feedback about the storyline of the movie and the acting performances of the actors. However as I stated stated earlier here on TripAdvisor, based on the positive feedback of people I speak to when they visited the attraction, I think this is based on personal taste.

I sincerely regret to read you left Historium with a dissapointed feeling. However I don’t want to generalize that. I speak constantly to our visitors and ask them about what they think about the attraction, their experience and feedback, and I can say most people react very positively.

Best regards,
René Tolenaars
Director of Sales & Marketing Communication at Historium Brugge
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hullbridge, United Kingdom
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Historium, Brugges”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2013

Brand spanking new and a cost of 11 euros for a single person, this is rather like an upmarket Belgian version of "Yorvick" in York.
"The Adoration of Mary" by van Eyck,who is the boy made good and is rather big business in Belguim!!!
Being new, everything was obviously clean and tidy. I like attractions l such as this, so I enjoyed it. It went "behind" the painting and and created a story about "The Adoration of Mary" to be seen in the Groiegne museum. I think it is fairly safe to say that the rosary maker in the story takes on Mr Ollivander's remarkable memory in "Harry Potter"; she has profound insight for what Jacob's rosary consisted of.
I thiink there are childrens' activity packs as well, (might be mistaken), there is the usual tourist foder provided,but very high quality, a model of a chocolate medieval crane, a beer bar in the basement and loos...and yes you have to pay for them as well!!!!!!!!!!!! You can actually step out on the parapet and get a birds eye view of Brugges, included in the price. I'm not sure about disabled access, but the staff are very attentive and helpful

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Waste of time and money!”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 2013

The show consists in a twenty minutes film, decomposed into seven sequences, presenting a love story with the medieval city of Brugge as background. Nothing more. I didn't learn anything about the history of Brugge, Jan Van Eyck or the Flemish painters. From a cultural point of view it is very poor and I am very disappointed by my visit.

Visited January 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReneTolenaars, Manager at Historium Brugge at Historium Brugge, responded to this review, January 14, 2013
Dear visitor,

Thank you for your recent visit at Historium.

I sincerely regret to read you didn’t enjoy Historium Brugge. During a moving love story we try to give our visitors a unique look on how it was to live in Bruges in the 15th century.
Kindly be informed that in the movie old historical buildings that even don’t exist anymore (for example the famous Waterhalle and beatiful St. Donaas Church) are brought back to life. Using cutting-edge technology we created a unique flight over the medieval city that shows Bruges completely like it was back in 1435 with 100% historically correctness. Keeping this in mind I think we can say that Historium Brugge offers both cultural and historical value for its visitors.

After visiting the attraction you can walk through the AfterShow where you can let all your impressions sink in and learn more about the history - facts and figures - of Bruges’ medieval past.

It's not our goal to be a museum, but a historically inspired attraction that is a good gateway for a unique visit to Bruges.

Kind regards,
René Tolenaars
Director of Sales & Marketing Communication at Historium Brugge
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brugge
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“Needs some work...”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

I'm from Bruges myself and will try to be objective here:

The location is great. No discussion. Next...

The organization is perfect. Time tables, cue-management, staff (well, the one girl),... Still, a happy camper here!

The technology used is brilliant. Apparently the foreign-language audio still needs some work as not everything is perfectly dubbed, but all in all, good! The lighting, the doors, the synchronization,... Still, wonderfull!

The details in the rooms, and in the movie are very good. Historically correct decorations, cloathing, buildings,... Really, a fine way to get a 'feel' of what 15th century bruges must have been like. A little...

Now, all this praising builds some expections, doesn't it!? Certainly taking in account all the advertising for the place. 5 senses!? No... A real life expercience!? Well, you get an idea... A dazzling love story!? This might be a matter of taste, but I have good taste, so no...

And that's the reason why you get this many bad reviews on this 'attraction'. I believe the price of 11€ is a correct price for such a costfull installation. But then it has to be perfect. The story has to be GREAT, the acting Mind-Blowing! The audio brilliant. The senses overwhelmed with scents, things to feel, see,... So, close, but no cigar...

The one thing I felt was really missing, was some explanation before or during the "show". I can imagine that a lot of the members that score this thing so badly didn't have a clue what the locations in the attraction were supposed to be. There's just the story, no historical info. And that's a real miss IMHO... It's all (or a lot) explained in the after-show, but that's too late to make the attraction better, isn't it...!

One has to take into account that the price also includes entrance to the terrace, with a great view. And also there's an after-show with a lot of explanation about the stuff you have seen in the attraction.

So, to conclude; They say this is a great way to get to know Bruges, to start your visit,... I say: if the weather is descent, go out! walk through the city. Don't mind the couple of buildings that are lost and recreated in the movie; enjoy the hundreds of buildings that are still there! Enjoy Bruges! And then, after a couple of days, or maybe on a second visit, or on a rainy day, after visiting a museum, when you have formed an idea of what Bruges is like now, and how it was before, THEN, you should go there! Really! You should!

ps: Ticket should include toilet too...
pps: I scored this a 4, yet it's still just a 3 but clearly growing into a 4! :-)

Visited December 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ReneTolenaars, Manager at Historium Brugge at Historium Brugge, responded to this review, January 14, 2013
Dear Thomas,

Thank you for taking the time to write a review about Historium Brugge on TripAdvisor.

I’m glad to read you enjoyed our cutting-edge technology and the fact that every element in Historium is 100% historically correct.

As you mention in your review, whether you like the story or not, it’s a matter of personal taste. We get a lot of positive feedback on the movie as well. It’s a good way to teach both young and old about Bruges’ rich history and cultural charm.

Thank you for sharing your constructive feedback with us as we strive continuously to increase our service.

Kind regards,
René Tolenaars
Director of Sales & Marketing Communication at Historium Brugge
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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