There is a story about the swans in Bruges, dating from the time of Maximilan (1832-1867). This man, who married princes Charlotte of Belgium in 1857, had a confident named ´Longneck´. When Longneck was sentenced to death, Maximilian put a curse on the city for killing the man who meant a lot to him. He compelled the people of Bruges to keep swans (or 'longnecks') in the canals forever and ever.
There are about 50 swans in the city, and whenever one of them dies, a new swan is bought..