Bruges’ Most Famous Citizen

Feb 15, 2014Belgium12 comments

Early scenes in the movie In Bruges showcase the beauty and charm of the medieval of Bruges, Belgium. We see the spire of Onze Lieve Vrouwekerk (Church of Our Lady) as it pierces the morning mist. Horse-drawn carriages laden with tourists clip-clop through Bruges’ main square. Medieval buildings are reflected in the River Dijver as boat tours gracefully sail past. And then the camera flashes to a quick shot of a dog lazily enjoying the sun through an open window.  What’s up with the dog, anyway?

The Famous Dog of Bruges

When we first arrived in Bruges, I had no idea that the “Dog of Bruges” was so famous. Yes, I had seen him in the movie, but I didn’t expect the dog to have any significance. As it turns out, not only is he a famous movie and television star (you can see him for about two seconds at the 4:41 mark in In Bruges, and he also appears in a Godiva Chocolate commercial), but he’s also in the photo collection of every single person who has ever visited Bruges.

The dog is a golden Labrador named Fidel, and he lives at the Côté Canal Bed and Breakfast. He sleepily hangs out in a canalside gable window and seems to be oblivious to the hoards of fans that pass him daily.

Cote Canal Bed and Breakfast

Fidel is hanging out of the window on the left. [Source]

It wasn’t until we passed by Fidel on the canal tour that I remembered seeing him in the movie. I managed to snag a quick snapshot, although the quality is pretty crappy because I had to take it with my phone. For some reason, seeing Fidel ended up being one of the highlights of my time in Bruges.

Fidel, the dog of Bruges

The least flattering picture of Fidel on the Internet

Where He’s Located

If you would like to see Bruges’ most famous citizen, start at the 19th-century Vismarkt and travel 130 meters northeast along the Groenerei (Green Canal). Once you pass the Meestraat bridge, look left to see the Dog of Bruges performing his daily vigil.

Cote Canal Bed and Breakfast



Sadly Fidel passed away on January 31, 2016 at the age of 12. He had a great life and he will be missed. Our condolences to his owner, Caroline Van Langeraert.

Source: Het Nieuwsblat (Dutch)

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