Have you ever wondered where chocolate came from? Did you know chocolate was once used as a medicine or that the church once banned it as they thought it was an aphrodisiac? I adore chocolate and when I saw that Bruges had a whole museum dedicated to it my heart leapt with joy!
Almost everyone loves chocolate and whether you are a passionate chocoholic like me or just a lover of chocolate as an occasional treat the chocolate museum in Bruges will take you on an exciting journey through the world of chocolate titillating all your senses along the way.
Inspired by passionate chocolate lovers, the Van Belle family, and sponsored by Belcolade, the last manufacturer of authentic Belgian chocolate that is still Belgian-owned, Choco-Story brings to life the 4000-year-old history of chocolate in words, pictures and flavours. A feast for the eyes, but also for the nose and the taste buds!
The museum is composed of three parts, telling the story of the origin and evolution of chocolate through a unique collection of almost a thousand objects. As well as the history, the museum also reveals how chocolate is made, and in the demonstration centre visitors can uncover the secret of beautiful silky chocolate and get the opportunity to taste the chocolate products made in the museum. Oh my!
Huis ‘de Crone’
The museum is in one of the largest medieval houses in Bruges and the building was made a protected monument by Royal Decree on 5 December 1962. In the heart of Bruges, it has previously housed a wine tavern (1500s), pie bakers (1700s) and furniture makers (1900s).
“Huis ‘de Crone’ is a wonderful historical building situated on one of the serenest squares the heart of Bruges has to offer. As a dynamic historical city, Bruges is the perfect habitat for the Chocolate Museum, which is also based on a strong historical theme. The city is home to fifty chocolate shops and the same number of bakers and pastry shops, all of which make and sell chocolate products. That makes the Chocolate Museum an original addition to the current range of museums and an excellent opportunity to focus on one of the products that we Belgians are justifiably so proud of: chocolate.” Eddy Van Belle
Did you know?
- In bygone days chocolate was served to ladies of nobility during mass.
- The church banned the consumption of chocolate at one time because it was deemed to be an aphrodisiac.
- The Aztec ruler Moctezuma drank up to 50 cups of spiced cacao every day, especially when he planned to visit his harem.
- Mrs du Barry gave her lovers drinking chocolate, so they could keep up with her.
- Casanova often used chocolate and champagne.
- Chocolate does not raise your cholesterol level. A third of the fat in cacao butter is oleic acid, an unsaturated fat that is generally known as a cholesterol reducer. Cacao butter also contains saturated fat, but research has shown that around 40% of it is stearic acid, which has a neutral effect on cholesterol.
- Chocolate contains antioxidants (e.g polyphenols) that help prevent heart disease and cancer.
- Chocolate does not cause constipation. On the contrary, it stimulates contraction of the muscles in the intestinal wall and promotes the intestinal transit.
- Like so many foodstuffs that contain sugar, chocolate can exacerbateexisting tooth decay if your dental hygiene is not up to scratch, but cacao also contains substances that combat tooth decay, including tannic acid, which contains polyhydroxyphenol, phosphates and fluorine.
Location: Choco-Story, Wijnzakstraat 2 (Sint-Jansplein) 8000 Bruges
More details on how to find Choco-Story
Opening hours and entrance fee
Read more about the fascinating history of chocolate on Simon Falvo’s blog Wild About Travel, From Mexcio to Flanders
Photography: Top image courtesy of Toerisme Brugge, Jan Darthet, all other images are courtesy of Choco-Story