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Genoese Trading House, Bruges: Context view, building at center with arched gable
In 1277, the first merchant fleet from Genoa appeared in the port of Bruges, first of the merchant colony that made Bruges the main link to the trade of the Mediterranean. This development opened not only the trade in spices from the Levant, but created a flood of capital that soon took over the banking of Bruges. When the Genoese left Bruges in 1551, the house passed to the guild of 'Saai' weavers, saai being a light woolen fabric, hence the name Saaihalle. The facade and windows are opulent. The arched gable fronts a conventional pitched roof. The sculpted portal features St. George slaying the dragon and various coats of arms.