Historic Centre of Brugge. Brugge is an outstanding example of a medieval historic settlement, which has maintained its historic fabric as this has evolved over the centuries, and where original Gothic constructions form part of the town's identity. As one of the commercial and cultural capitals of Europe, Brugge developed cultural links to different parts of the world. It is closely associated with the school of Flemish Primitive painting. The Historic Town of Brugge is testimony, over a long period, of a considerable exchange of influences on the development of architecture, particularly in brick Gothic, as well as favouring innovative artistic influences. It is an outstanding example of an architectural ensemble, illustrating significant stages in the commercial and cultural fields in medieval Europe, of which the public, social and religious institutions are a living testimony. Brugge has conserved spatial and structural organizations that characterize its different phases of development, and the historic centre has continued covering exactly the same area as the perimeter of the old settlement. Still an active, living city, it has nevertheless preserved the architectural and urban structures that document the different phases of its development: as part of this continuity, the late 19th-century renovation of facades introduced a neo-Gothic style that is special for Brugge. From 1815 to 1830 Brugge was part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and since 1830 it has been part of Belgium. The railway reached to Brugge in 1834, causing some changes in the urban fabric. Starting in 1854, the municipal administration prepared plans for urban transformations in the spirit of Haussmann, but only one of these was implemented, in the area of the new theatre, where the medieval fabric was destroyed. During the 19th century, a colony of English aristocrats influenced the cultural life of the city and contributed to a renewed interest in the artistic heritage of Brugge and the restoration of historic buildings, including the founding of the Société d'Emulation pour l'histoire et les antiquités de la Flandre Occidentale. Some of the restorations were fairly substantial, resulting in the building of copies of lost historic buildings. At the same time, tourism found a new interest in the old town. Some damage was incurred during the two World Wars, but as a whole, however, the historic town survived well. From 1968 policies focused on the conservation of the historic town, resulting in the establishment of the Service de la Conservation et de la Rénovation urbaine and the first urban structure plan.