BRUGES : The Belfry and the Cloth Hall. The Market square is dominated by the cloth hall and the 83 meter high Belfry tower, one of the symbols of the city. The original cloth hall and tower date from 1240. The first tower, however, was destroyed by fire in 1280. At the time of the fire the four wings of the cloth hall already existed, as well as the two square segments of the belfry. The present octagonal lantern was added to the tower between 1482 en 1486. The wooden spire that crowned the tower was again destroyed by fire in 1493 en 1741. After the last fire it was never rebuilt. Like in most cities of the Low Countries the belfry tower was the place where the important documents of the city were preserved. At the same time such towers were used as watchtowers. Inside hung bells, each bell having a distinct sound and function (e.g.: bells for danger, bells for important announcements, bells to indicate the time, etc.).