These renovated 17th century, single room dwellings accommodate, amongst other things, a classroom, a millinery, a pharmacy, a confectionery shop, a grocery shop and an authentic bedroom interior. You can also admire a beautiful lace collection on the upper floor. Every first and third Thursday of the month (except for public holidays), those with a sweet tooth can attend a demonstration given by the ‘spekkenbakker’ (sweetmaker). You can relax in the museum inn, ‘De Zwarte Kat’ (The Black Cat) or in the garden, where you can try out traditional folk games on the terrace.
The Volkskundemuseum is housed in eight 17th century almshouses, with a modern extension. Here you can see a classroom, cobblers, milliners, and cooper’s workshops, a tailor’s, a pharmacy, a patisserie, an inn, a Flemish living room, a bedroom, and traditional textiles. Each room contains a wealth of antique objects and authentic decors. On the top floor, you can enjoy our lace section. Next to the museum’s tavern ‘De Zwarte Kat’ (The Black Cat), puppets, items of decor, props, posters, programs and photographs are all used to tell the story of the time-honored Bruges puppet show ‘Den Uyl’. With some luck you will meet Aristide, the living black cat and mascot of the museum.
When the West-Flemish Folklore Association and Bruges-born Guillaume Michiels donated their enormous collections to the City, the idea of a Folklore Museum was born. Eight 17th century almshouses of the former 'schoenmakersrente' (shoemaker’s guild) on Balstraat, an inn, and a number of houses on Rolweg provided the perfect setting.
Travel back in time and find out what life was like for the ordinary citizen of Bruges 100 years ago. All kinds of objects in authentic scenes illustrate the trades, religious traditions, and folk customs at the end of the 19th/start of the 20th centuries. Weather permitting, old folk games are revived on the terrace. In the winter there is time for more nostalgia and an authentic (Christmas) atmosphere. A visit to the museum is always enjoyable, especially the indoor garden.
The collection consists of objects that were part of daily life in the 19th and early 20th centuries. For example, the museum owns a large selection of tobacco products, with artistically carved pipe bowls and earthenware tobacco pots that form part of our past.