The Historium project opened on the Bruges Market in late 2012. This is an innovative tourist attraction, an experience centre in which visitors get to travel through the Golden Age of Bruges. The idea rests on a dynamic approach coupled with constant innovation. In late 2015, Historium embraced the latest virtual reality technology and has, quite literally, taken to the streets with it. It brings our historical buildings back to life: never before have the Middle Ages felt so close; never has history been so easily accessible.
CITY VR: Historium plays a pioneering role
CITY VR: this is the name of the latest attraction to arrive at Historium Bruges. Essentially, it lets you walk out into the streets and experience the city’s history through VR technology. VR stands for virtual reality, but what does virtual reality mean in 2015?
VR is trending and all kinds of stuff is happening.
The big players indicate that a breakthrough in virtual reality applications is just around the corner:
Facebook bought Oculus (a pioneer in VR glasses and technology) last year and the first 360-degree videos have already appeared on Facebook (you will find one of these videos on the Historium Facebook page). PlayStation is extending the VR platform in 2016 and announces new developments every day. Deutsche Bank estimates that VR will be worth 7 billion dollars by 2020....
What about Historium?
Historium has been experimenting in its own VR lab in 2015, where visitors could experience the virtual Middle Ages of Bruges using OCULUS glasses.
Now, we have literally gone a step further by making it mobile and maximising its accessibility.
Historium VR City: for techies and neophytes
Historium is taking VR onto the streets and that’s a world premiere. Thanks to a pair of cardboard glasses - that can accommodate every conceivable smartphone - Historium visitors get to view 6 locations through “historical spectacles” on the city walk. Buildings we know in their present context, and even some that are long gone, come back to life in a mediaeval setting. In other words, places that once played an important role in the city’s past can be viewed as they are now and as they were then. The visitor gets to kill two birds with one stone: he or she gets to appreciate mediaeval Bruges in a way that was never possible before and, at the same time, learns something new about the current state of virtual reality technology. Never before have historical knowledge and modern know-how
come together so nicely. What’s more, this modern technology is delivered in a very low-threshold
and user-friendly manner, so you really don’t have to be a techie to enjoy VR.
Historium VR City: move through the world of VR
VR City takes you out on a walk, literally, through the city’s past. Re-experience the 6 locations you
discovered on your visit to Historium. That way you will never forget them; they will be forever
etched in your memory, in 3D.
The buildings are:
1 The Waterhalle interior (Historium terrace)
2 Waterhalle exterior (Market)
3 Belfort (Market)
4 St. Donatian’s Cathedral (Burg Square)
5 The Big Crane (Jan van Eyckplein or Kraanplein)
6 Dampoort Complex (Dampoort from Dampoort or from Vesten)
- Visitors’ guidebook
Buy a ticket for Historium and you will receive a FREE Historium CITY VR folder containing the 6 locations and everything you need know to revisit these lost buildings in virtual reality.
Thanks to the app, which is available through our free WiFi, you can download the content without having to log in or activate your roaming service. The virtual reality content downloads to your smartphone automatically. Place your smartphone in your Cardboard “glasses” and select the location you want to view. To get the maximum effect, it is best to go to the location, where the
differences between 1435 and 2015 will become immediately apparent.
For more information on how our app and the Cardboard glasses work, please visit vr.historium.be.
The content is also available at this address.
The Historium Cardboard glasses can be purchased with a combo ticket (visit to Historium +
Historium Cardboard glasses for €19.50, but the Historium Cardboard glasses are also available in
the Historium Museum Shop for €18. Historium CITY VR will be offered FREE OF CHARGE via the
Historium WiFi during the launch.
Markt 1, 8000 Bruges
- Opening hours
Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (tickets on sale until 5 p.m.), except 1 January. A visit generally
lasts about 50 minutes.
- Tickets and prices: www.historium.be