The Old Town of Ghent is a lovely town framed by alleys, beautiful canals, and medieval buildings. Ghent is Belgium’s best architectural attraction, and it is not as touristy and popular as the city of Bruges. For lovers of history and architecture, Ghent is the ultimate destination. So come travel along with me in this article with a walk back to the Middle Ages.
Cathedral of St. Bavo (sint-Baafskathedraal)
The Cathedral of St. Bavo is a majestic building of brick and granite—the choir of the cathedral dates from the 13th century. The Gothic tower was built during the 15th and 16th centuries. The bright interior has unique paintings. These include the Conversion of Saint Baaf by Peter Paul Rubens (1624) and the Christ among the Doctors by Frans Pourbus (1571). But the most famous work of art here is the Ghent Altar, the greatest masterpiece of old Flemish painting.
Gravensteen is one of the strongest fortresses in Western Europe, surrounded by the river Lieve. It was built between 1180 and 1200 at the behest of Philip of Alsace on the foundations of an earlier 9th-century structure. It is still a unique example of the European medieval art of fortification. In front of the Castle stretches the ancient Sint-Veerleplein Square. This square was a market and also the site of the executions of the victims of the Inquisition.
The Belfry (Het Belfort)
On the western side of Sint-Baafsplein is the bell tower, a symbol of the city’s independence. There, the charters of the privileges of Ghent were kept. The tower’s construction began at about 1300, and by 1338 it was completed. The current tower was restored to its original 14th-century form at the turn of the century. It is crowned by a gilded bronze dragon, which was first installed in 1377. The magnificent Cloth Hall directly adjoins the bell tower. This building was the meeting place of wool and cloth merchants and was converted into a prison in the 18th century. Today it has a popular cafe-restaurant for tourists which you will be able to visit.
Ghent’s Korenmarkt (Wheat Market) is a historic square with many old guild houses (Gindenhuis) located along the river Leie. The historic square was once an important center of trade. Today it is known for its magnificent architecture with many restaurants and cafes. Every year at the end of July, Korenmarkt is the center of a 10-day festival, which is a fascinating concentration of music, theater, entertainment, and abundant food. On the south side of Korenmarkt is the Church of St. Nicholas, one of the most emblematic sights of Ghent.
The Graslei Canal has the best guild houses in Belgium. For lovers of architecture, it is an excellent place for a walk. Here you can admire the neighboring Gildehuis der Vrije Schippers (House of Free Boatmen), built-in 1531 in Brabant Gothic style, and the Gildehuis der Graanmeters (House of Wheat scales) dating back to 1698. Also, do not forget to capture with your camera Tolhuisje (Customs), a Flemish Renaissance building of 1682, and Gildehuis der Metselaars (House of Masons) from 1527 in Gothic Brabant style.
Museum of Ghent (STAM)
The Ghent Museum is one of the richest in Belgium. It presents a remarkable collection that captures the heritage and culture of the city in a unique historical setting. In the numerous rooms, there is a detailed chronological narrative of Ghent’s history with exhibits such as jewelry, weapons, textiles, books, paintings, religious icons, and ceramics, all enhanced by state-of-the-art multimedia displays. The museum’s outstanding centerpiece is the 14th-century réfectoire. The inner walls are painted with frescoes. The museum has plenty of exhibits throughout the year housed in the neighboring monastery building.
In the end, after a tour of Ghent, you can taste the city’s culinary delights, such as a curry soup with prawns, an Indonesian chicken soup, or a Flemish stew, and do not miss a chocolate waffle.
Have you read?
IP Ownership as Leverage for Founder Equity Negotiations by Robert A. Adelson, Esq.
Five Lessons Leaders Can Learn From Glenn Lurie’s Three Ps: People, Purpose, and Passion.
How Coe Juracek Connects With Clients Through Insight and Interest in World Cultures.
LivePerson and Afiniti pair up to improve customer experiences.
Add CEOWORLD magazine to your Google News feed.
Follow CEOWORLD magazine headlines on: Google News, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
Thank you for supporting our journalism. Subscribe here.
For media queries, please contact: email@example.com