Ghent, Belgium

by | Mar 19, 2018

DANI CIUCA

Ghent is Belgium’s second largest city – home to a quarter of a million people and a flourishing flower export trade.

The city of Ghent is one of Belgium’s most beautiful communities. Conveniently located between Brussels and Bruges, Ghent features medieval buildings, canals and a host of tourist attractions.
It has a long and interesting history that dates back to the iron age. In the 13th century, it was the second largest city in Europe, after Paris. Today, it has become a magnet for tourists from around the globe.

When visiting Ghent, you can’t miss the Belfry. Even if you don’t visit it, you’ll see if from different points in the city, towering above the other buildings (91 meters). The Belfry of Ghent was constructed between 1313 and 1380. The famous bell of the tower, named Roeland, was used to warn citizens of any approaching danger from outside the city walls. Attached to the belfry is the Cloth Hall, which was erected between 1425 and 1445. The Cloth Hall and the Belfry can be visited. A walk up the many stairs to the top of the Belfry is a must (or you can take the elevator) .
An important port, Ghent’s city center is a pedestrian area that is like a museum to early Flemish architecture and a testament to the city’s medieval might. Impressive Gothic sites, such as dramatic St. Bavo’s Cathedral and the Castle of the Counts, inspire awe.
Located on the eastern side of Saint Bavo Square, Saint Bavo was consecrated in 942. Parts of the original structure and Romanesque style expansion can still be seen in the present day crypt of the cathedral.
Most of the present day Saint Bavo Cathedral was built from the 14th till the 16th century, in the Gothic style of that era. Saint Bavo became a cathedral in 1559, when the doicese of Ghent was founded.
If you want to see Gent’s biggest attractions from a different angle, you can take a guided boat round trip that will take you to see some of the best views and give you insight into the fascinating history of Gent.
SAINT NICHOLAS CHURCH
The church was built in the local gothic style from the beginning of th 13th century. The church has been extensively renovated over the last 30 years.
Centrally located near the Korenmarkt square (Grain Market), in the center of historic Ghent, you can find the St. Michaels Bridge, crossing the river Lys (Leie).
It is a neo-gothic bridge build in 1910 and offers an outstanding view over the three towers of Ghent, St Nicolas Church, the Belfry (Belfort) and St. Bavo’s Cathedral and the guild houses on the enchanting Korenlei and Graslei.
Gravensteen: The Castle of the Counts. Located in the middle of the city, the meticulously restored 12th-century castle comes complete with everything you want in a castle: courtyard and keep, throne room, chapel, 18-foot-deep dungeon, and high walls. Inside are displays of authentic swords and suits of armor, along with a reconstructed guillotine that was last used in 1861. The castle also offers you a wonderful view back across the city.
Gravensteen: The Castle of the Counts. Located in the middle of the city, the meticulously restored 12th-century castle comes complete with everything you want in a castle: courtyard and keep, throne room, chapel, 18-foot-deep dungeon, and high walls. Inside are displays of authentic swords and suits of armor, along with a reconstructed guillotine that was last used in 1861. The castle also offers you a wonderful view back across the city.

Not to miss.

1.Ghent Belfry Dating from 14th century, with a height of 91 metres, the Belfry offers spectacular views across the city of Ghent and particularly the historical city centre from the 66m high viewing platform.

2.Ghent’s cathedral (Saint Bavo Cathedral) is one of the oldest buildings in Ghent, dating from 942.

3. The Stadhuis, or city hall, took almost a century to build before it was finally completed in 1600. The architecture is flamboyant and Gothic the building is often referred to as the building with many faces. The rooms of the interior are varied in style but all are stunningly decorated and preserved.

4. Graslei & Korenlei – some of Belgium’s finest guild houses are along the Graslei and Korenlei Canals. This is an excellent place for a stroll for anyone with more than a passing interest in architecture.

5. Gravensteen – the 12th Century Castle of the counts.

How to get there.

By plane:
Ghent can easily be reached through the airports of Brussels (50km) and Charleroi (100km) in Belgium and Lille in France (50km).

By train:
This city also has a direct line to Brussels International Airport. You can join the European high speed train network with a quick change at Brussel-Zuid or Lille, just over the border in France. A direct daily connection on the high-speed Thalys network will take you to Paris, and the Eurostar will take you to London.

By car:
Choose from a variety of routes, find detailed directions and calculate trip costs at www.ViaMichelin.com

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