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Diamond Museum
Bruges and surrounding
Museums, Galleries, Exhibitions
Museums, Galleries, Exhibitions

When you walk around fairy-tale Bruges, among numerous Chocolate boutiques in Katelijnestraat Street, you can notice quite a minimalist three-story building of the Diamond Museum. This is one of the most interesting and unusual attractions which you can visit in the city.

The appearance of the museum was not accidental, since Belgium takes one of the leading positions in the world diamond industry. There are around 1700 registered diamond companies in the country. Antwerp houses the biggest diamond exchanges, and Bruges is considered the motherland of diamond processing. In 1400, it was the place where the technique of polishing diamonds with the help of a rotating disc was first used.

This painstaking craft has a centuries-old history, thanks to which an entire museum appeared. It was opened in 1999 in honor of that hard craft. There you will not see a big exhibition of diamonds, but you will rather learn the theoretical part. Visitors get deeply immersed into the world of the mining industry of India and the Republic of South Africa, find out about the biggest deposits and the history of diamond mining.

The second part of the exhibition is dedicated to natural stone processing: from the Middle Ages to our time. In the museum, you will be told about all the stages of the mining of the precious raw materials: they are mined from deep bowels of the earth and become splendid sparkling jewelry sold in jewelry shops.

Old items from the 14th century are also kept in the museum. Among the exhibits, there is a copy of Margaret of York’s crown. In the museum laboratory, everyone can use a microscope to evaluate the purity of a diamond cut, brightness, its unique play of light, weight, diameter, thermal conductivity, and other properties. Staff members also suggest answering questions of a quiz to test the erudition of guests.

Visitors will learn interesting facts about stones' strength, as well as understand what a carat is and why diamonds are measured in them. The museum is open every day except for holidays. Its location is convenient: tourists can also visit the Archeological Museum, the Church of Our Lady, and the Monastery of the Beguines located nearby.

Address: Katelijnestraat, 43

Published by

Oksana Shmakova

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