As you walk around Bruges, you will see lace for sale in all the touristy shops, but most of it is machine-made (while also being very pretty). However, with Bruges being a center for lace, you would expect to be able to get some fine handmade lace, and the Lace Center is where you can, as well as see lace being handwoven.
Indeed, you certainly want to go in the afternoon, when the lace-making demonstration is taking place. It's fairly low-profile: just a room like a classroom with a bunch of desks and a handful of ladies of different skill-levels working away on their projects. But the teacher, Magda is her name I believe, speaks a good deal of English, and she is very friendly and will tell you all about how it is done. There was also an older lady who was an obvious master, who Magda told us has been making lace for 60 years, and it was fascinating watching her work - her dexterity was amazing.
Adjacent to this classroom is the Lace Museum, a modest succession of rooms with display cases filled with absolutely extraordinary lacework in them. And then before you leave, you will want to visit the gift shop and pick out some lace to take home with you. Even the smaller pieces are beautiful and worth purchasing.
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