Historical dive in Bruges: Theater de Curie and Simon Stephen Institute

Bruges is known for its rich history, not only in architecture but also in its cultural and scientific contributions. Notable examples are the Théâtre de Curie and the Simon Stephen Institute for Scientific Research.

Founded in 1961, the Theater de Curie quickly became a cultural beacon in Bruges. It started as “De Korrekelder” on Kraanplein, a combination of theater and performance space. The creation of the non-profit organization De Korre in 1965 gave the theater a solid legal foundation. With its own magazine between 1974 and 1979 and a string of successful shows, the theater had a golden period. However, financial challenges in the 1980s led to the name being transferred and eventually disappearing through mergers, which finally ended in 2010.

The City Archives of Bruges holds an extensive archive of De Korre, extending from 1964 to 2005. This archive contains files not only about performances, but also about exhibitions, with a total of 633 numbers.

The Simon Stephen Institute for Scientific Research, another symbol of Bruges, was founded in 1959. It was initially located on the top floor of Sint Jans Hospital and later moved to Jerusalem Street. The institute, which focused on interdisciplinary scientific research, was known for its innovative working methods in the fields of biochemistry, physics and electronics. Thanks to a team of more than 20 researchers and the organization of annual symposiums under the title “Protides of Biological Fluids,” the Institute has achieved global recognition.

In 2022, Stan Bernhardt, along with the archives of his deceased wife Mieke de Gruyter, donated valuable documents to the city archives. These documents relate to their work at the Institute, including the organization of seminars.

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These two institutions represent an important part of the cultural and scientific history of Bruges. The city archives play a crucial role in preserving this history for future generations.

At a time when appreciation of local heritage is growing, the rediscovery of these institutions provides an opportunity to revive Bruges’ rich cultural and scientific traditions. Their stories remind us of the dynamic and multifaceted nature of this historic city.

Winton Frazier

 "Amateur web lover. Incurable travel nerd. Beer evangelist. Thinker. Internet expert. Explorer. Gamer."

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