We wake the City – Letters to the City


A city only really comes alive when there is space for spontaneity. With We wake the City, De Republiek and Architectuuratelier Dertien12 are firing the imagination with a special edition of Letters to the City and an urban expedition.

Date & time
20:00 – 21:30
B&B Monsieur Cyril (next to the English Convent), Carmersstraat 83A, 8000 Bruges
In co-production with
De Republiek | Dertien12
De Republiek Femke den Hollander 5293

8.3 million people visited Bruges in 2023: the highest number yet. Our small, historic city welcomed 27,000 tourists per day, on average. It’s a hotly-debated subject. Is Bruges too hospitable, or not nearly enough? And how did Bruges cope in the past when it boasted 40,000 more inhabitants than today?

Three letter writers will explore the positive impact of tourism on our view of the city and how we can approach it better and smarter ways. No doubt we will (re)discover some untapped opportunities!

Gideon Boie
Architect-philosopher Gideon Boie, co-founder of the BAVO collective and a visiting professor in architectural criticism at KU Leuven, advocates transforming Bruges’ historic station hall into a ‘city foyer’. The theme of the Bruges Triennial 2024 is Spaces of Possibility. Boie wants to explore the city’s potential while also creating a welcoming space for tourists and locals alike.

Dalilla Hermans
As a journalist, writer, theatre-maker, podcast host and columnist at De Standaard, Dalilla Hemans is always looking for a dialogue between people, regardless of their origins. As the coordinator of Bruges 2030, Dalilla and her team are working on the city’s bid to become Capital of Culture in 2030. Their dream is of a vibrant and innovative Bruges where tourists and residents are allies.

Sammy Roelant
Sammy Roelant studied philosophy and has a broad background in hospitality, politics and education, both as an artistic photographer and as an active member of BEEN and Pelliculot. Above all, Sammy is an alert citizen who writes sharp texts for Climaxi as well as articles on climate policy and social justice. His love of the historic centre of Bruges, where he grew up, underpins his reflections on tourism and the meaning of hospitality.

Organised by:

De Republiek waterval blauw