Bruges is known primarily for two specialties – beer and chocolate. It must be remembered that townspeople of Bruges would not be able to brew a great drink and produce sweet treats, if not for the canals, creating a dense network around the city. Thanks to the canals the rapid growth of the city based on a sea trade was possible. Merchants living in Bruges could make commercial contacts with the towns in the Mediterranean and obtain goods from the remotest parts of the world. Thanks to water routes they could obtain spices and cocoa, which at that time were not widely available in Europe.