This imposing redbrick palace from the 15th century reflects the power and wealth of the merchants known as the Lords of the Gruuthuse, and by extension the importance of medieval Bruges to the world of trade. Walk inside and you enter the lives of these wealthy families, who lived here from the 15th through the 19th centuries. The immense main hall is built to impress, with decorated wooden beams in the ceiling, a magnificent and elaborate fireplace, and thick tapestries on the walls to keep out the draft. You make your way slowly through the labyrinthine old house, which is full of antique furniture, musical instruments, clocks, lace and other textiles, and lovely blue-and-white Delftware vases (the better to show off the tulips, a luxury item of the time). Of extra interest to British visitors may be the items associated with King Charles II, who lived in exile in Bruges from 1656 to 1658 and who founded the company of soldiers that became the Grenadier Guards.