Lace Centre & Museum (Kantcentrum)
Situated in old Bruges— a city renowned for its lace—the Lace Center (Kantcentrum is a small museum dedicated to the history and techniques of lacemaking. True to its theme, the center is housed in a 19th-century building that was one of Bruges’ original lace schools.
Tucked into Bruges’ cobbled St. Anna quarter, the Lace Center is arranged over two floors. Visitors begin in a ground-floor room that charts the history of lacemaking from its 16th-century origins to the evolution of different strands of the craft across different geographies, including Bruges. Displays of antique and contemporary lace; multimedia installations, personal testimonies, and touchscreens that reveal the differences between hand-made, bobbin, needle, and machine lace bring the subject to vivid life.
Having explored here, visitors are invited upstairs to watch bobbin lacemaking demonstrations on the second floor. Demonstrations show various types of lace being made, such as Chantilly, Torchon, and Lille side lace, all performed by highly skilled lacemakers. Most visitors then conclude a visit by browsing the Lace Center’s gift shop.
Things to know before you go
- The Lace Museum will appeal to anyone interested in lace, sewing, traditional arts and crafts; and Bruges’ lacemaking history and culture.
- Plan about an hour to explore and watch the demonstrations.
- The museum is wheelchair- and stroller-accessible.
How to get there
The Lace Center sits on Balstraat, just a 10-minute stroll from the Burg in Bruges’ old quarter. To walk to the museum from here, follow Hoogstraat, cross the bridge, and turn left into Molenmeers, which leads you to Balstraat. If you’re driving, paid parking is available at Langstraat, a 10-minute’ walk from Balstraat. Public transport options include the #6 or #16 bus from Bruges train station which stops at Coupure—again, about 10 minutes on foot from Balstraat.
When to get there
The Lace Center is open 9:30am-5pm from Monday to Saturday, and closed Sundays and public holidays. The museum is never overly busy, but to make the most of a visit, plan to explore between 2pm and 5pm, when the upstairs demonstrations take place.
Combine the Lace Center with a Visit to the Folk Museum
Many visitors choose to team the Lace Center with a visit to the nearby Folk Museum (Volkskundemuseum): the Center sells combined tickets that include access to both attractions. Just a few steps away from the Lace Center, the Folk Museum provides a fascinating insight into bygone Bruges, with reconstructions of a schoolroom, shops, and tavern, and displays of authentic costumes and children’s games.
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- Jerusalem Church (Jeruzalemkerk)
- Choco-Story, the Chocolate Museum
- Basilica of the Holy Blood (Heilig-Bloedbasiliek)
- Burg Square
- Friet Museum
- Bruges City Hall (Stadhuis van Brugge)
- Historium Brugge
- Bruges Beer Museum (Brugs Biermuseum)
- Historic Centre of Bruges (Historisch Centrum van Brugge)
- Belfry of Bruges (Belfort van Brugge)
- Canals of Bruges (Brugse Reien)
- Church of Our Lady (Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk)
- Old St. John Site (Site Oud Sint-Jan)