Bruges is the capital of the West Flanders in Belgium. The historic city centre is a prominent World Heritage Site of UNESCO. Along with a few other canal-based northern cities, such as Amsterdam and Stockholm, it is sometimes referred to as "The Venice of the North". At one time, it was considered the "chief commercial city" of the world. During the 15th century the waterway linking Bruges to the sea, silted up, many merchants followed, leaving abandoned houses, deserted streets and empty canals. Bruges, a former hub of Europe, slept for 400 years. The city slowly emerged from its slumber in the early 19th century as tourists passed through en route to the Waterloo battlefield near Brussels. Rozenhoedkaai is one the most photographed spots in Bruges. Here anyone can create his or her picture perfect postcard of Bruges.