6 Alluring Buildings to See in Ghent, Belgium

Welcome to one of the most amazing towns of Flanders! When you arrive in Ghent, the fourth largest city in Belgium (somewhere between Antwerp and Bruges), you should know that it is only 55 kilometers away from Brussels. Its natural scenery sprinkled with imposing monuments gives you a good hint of what you’re about to see during your visit. The town lies at the confluence of two rivers (Schledt and Lys), which divide it into countless smaller islands. When you say Ghent, you say port city, cultural hub, and university town – needless to say, there’s no chance you’ll getting bored too soon!

Get yourself ready, because I am here to show you 6 buildings that will leave you speechless. Churches, museums, castles, towers, town halls – each of them has its own dazzle to exhibit, its own story to tell.

With all of this being said, let’s start reading another page from your traveling book.

1. Gravensteen Castle

The Gravensteen Castle is located right in the heart of the city. Half of its walls are bathed by the Leie River’s waters which also protect the beautiful monument. It’s been said that this is the only place around Belgium where people can visualise the exact style of living adopted during the Middle Ages.

Also known as the Castle of the Counts, the Gravensteen imposing castle dates from the late 12th century and features plenty of medieval elements. These include a quite nice trench, turrets, a lot of small, narrow slits and a grand entrance.

It was built by Count Philip of Alsace, inspired by the Knights of Palestine and their charming castles. The visit will be quite delightful; there are numerous explanation boards inside, written in several languages, that will guide you through the entire place. Keep in mind that most of the walls were built nine hundred years ago!

History and adventure, wars and defences – these are the ingredients that make Gravensteen Castle a special spot for tourists from all over the world.

Oh, and make sure that you allow sufficient time to explore the neighboring district, Patershol, where you’ll find even more medieval sights and monuments.

2. Belfry

The Belfry (Belfort) is no less than 91 meters high and it’s the city’s symbol of independence. The tower is an UNESCO site and it’s crowned by a gilded copper dragon that is nowadays a replica of what was originally mounted up there back in 1377.

Both the monument’s entrance and its top offer beautiful views over Ghent and its surroundings. On the fourth floor we can see the clock’s mechanism (1670 – the oldest in Belgium), as well as the carillon of 52 bells. The belfry has also served to announce the exact time and the important events taking place in the city.

3. St. Bavo’s Cathedral

St. Bavo’s Cathedral is a majestic building made of brick and granite. It will entertain you with a Romanesque crypt, a bright interior and numerous unique paintings and sculptures.

The cathedral’s chapel was turned into a Roman-style cathedral back in 1038. Its structure has undergone some changes between the 14th and 16th centuries; therefore, some beautiful Gothic influences can be seen and admired here. Also, a new choir and a tower were added to the imposing sanctuary.

Inside, the altar is the most important piece to be studied. The artwork is signed by the famous Van Eyck, one of Belgium’s biggest artists. Some of the paintings that you can see here were brought in 1816 by an English collector named Edward Solly. They were purchased in 1821 by the King of Prussia, Frederick William III. The place preserves an impressive collection of religious objects and artefacts. The oldest items date from the 8th century, while the most recent ones from the 1990s. The main work is the renowned medieval painting entitled The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb.

PAGE 1 OF 2
SHARE ON

Advertisement

A Guide to Glamping

If you’re one of those people who like the idea of being outdoorsy but can’t bear the thought of leaving behind your comfy mattress, tastefully decorated surroundings, and indoor plumbing, then “glamping” might be for you. Glamping is all about combining the fun of camping with the conveniences of home and the hip ambiance of your favorite Instagram celebrity's feed. If you’re eager to try glamping, here’s everything you need to know before you start planning your own relaxing, fun and oh so stylish night under the stars.

8 Essential TSA Tips for Summer Travel

Summer is the perfect time of year to get out there and travel — whether it's within this great country of ours or to an exotic foreign locale and everybody seems to be doing it — unfortunately this means packed airports and long security lines. In fact this year, the TSA (Transportation Security Administration) estimates that they will be even busier than usual and expect to see more than 243 million passengers and crew pass through security between Memorial Day and Labour Day.

The World in Chips

Even if you’re an adventurous eater, chances are you tend to stick to your old favorites when it comes to snack food. Everyone loves curling up on the couch with a brew, or a can of soda, and a huge bag of potato chips. Proven favorites like sour cream and onion, salt and vinegar, and barbecue are some of the most popular in the United States, but have you ever thought about what kind of chips people on the other side of the world are tucking into?