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Excursion tour in Gent. Top architecture - monuments, castles, temples and palaces

Let’s move further. The upcoming famous architecture monuments of Gent that deserve to be mentioned are Saint Nicholas Church, Gravensteen, St. Peter Church, St. Anne Church, and Saint Michael Church. An overview of interesting facts and a collection of photographs are available for each monument. In order to plan a route for your real-life sightseeing tour in Gent, use our interactive map of sights in of Gent that is available below this article.

Saint Nicholas Church, Gent

» In the 13th century, the church started to be built in memory of St. Nicholas, the patron of sailors, industrialists, and bakers.
»  The money received from the sale of grain crops was donated for charity. Donations were made by rich merchants. They thought that they were closer to God this way.
»  Upon the order of bishop Ghent, the building was built of limestone. It was specifically delivered from Tournai, a city at the French border. Stone was delivered by ships.
»  Blue and gray stone gives the impression of magnificence and blackness.
»  Above the secret door, there is a triple window (1198) for better illumination in the chapel.
»  The building served as a watch tower that has a view of the surroundings. By the 16th century, it was destroyed and abandoned.
»  Over the years of its existence, the building was looted by people of other faiths. During the uprising, the stable was built in its territory.
»  It was first restored in 1912. The restoration continues to this day.
»  The church fund includes household utensils and cult items dusted with precious jewels. Picturesque canvasses and bright stained glass windows date back to the 19th century.

Gravensteen, Gent

» The fortress built in the 12th century has survived to this day.
»  Originally, the building served as a defensive construction, the local nobles’ mansion, a mint, and a textile factory. There had been a Flandrian court and a prison for many decades.
»  Now, the Gravensteen is an exhibition hall.
»  In the Armory Museum, you can see medieval cut and thrust weapons: swords, epees, daggers, spears, short clubs, other blades, arbalests, and special warriors’ outfits.
»  Firing guns in inlaid cases made of elephants’ tusks and decorated with pearls.
»  The separate sector houses the collection of torture tools.
»  Children can take educative costume excursions and even can put on dresses of kings, guards, or court jesters.
»  The Gravensteen is translated as a “count’s castle” from Dutch. The construction has always belonged to people of good birth.
»  The main 30-meter construction includes 24 additional towers. It is difficult to get access to it because there are ditches filled with water.

St. Peter Church, Gent

» In the 7th century, the church was built on the high hill of Ghent, above the river. It was the part of St. Peter’s Abbey.
»  In 1629, the foundation of the new baroque church was laid. The construction lasted almost 200 years.
»  It was patronized by Archduke Friedrich.
»  During the Great Revolution in the late 18th century, the abbey was disbanded, monks dispersed, and the property came to the state treasury. The building was occupied by soldiers. It started to serve as the Museum of Fine Arts.
»  One of the exhibitions represents the past of the monastery.
»  Nowadays, the church is open for all visitors.
»  The tower is attached to the building at the side.
»  There are sculptures in the hall. You can see picturesque paintings in the background. Some of them were created by famous masters. Some canvasses have been damaged by water and need to be restored.
»  The organ was made in the middle of the 19th century by the descendant of the famous family of organ players.
»  The floor of the church is covered with black marble. The building is crowned by a thin spire. There is the bas-relief emblem of the bishop above the central entrance.
»  The religious building is named as the Church of the Virgin Mary and St. Peter.

St. Anne Church, Gent

Location on the map:
Facts: » The 19th century was marked by the rapid economic growth in the country. The city population grew too.
»  Local religious institutions didn’t accommodate everybody wanting to visit services. The authorities decided to extend some churches. St. Anne Church was one of them.
»  The dilapidated building was demolished. The new church was built at its site. It started to be constructed in 1856 and was finished six years after. The new House of God is bigger than the old one.
»  It was decided to preserve exterior decorative elements in the Gothic Style. After being rebuilt, the updated construction acquired some Neo-Romanesque features. Two architectural styles were combines and added special charm to the church.
»  Believers worship saints named Anne.
»  There were many women with this name in the history of Orthodoxy. They all died in agony. Saint maidens shared the abiding faith in the Divine Spirit.
»  In the basilica, believers worship her icon and beg for standing up for them and helping with temporal affairs. If they pray with deep faith, the Virgin hears and helps.

Saint Michael Church, Gent

Location on the map:
Facts: » Over the years of its existence, St. Michael’s Church has changed many times. Originally, a small chapel was built in the 12th century. The construction was repeatedly damaged by the fire. It was looted and destroyed. By the 15th century, the church was so dilapidated, that there was not enough space for worshipers.
»  In 1440, the new building started to be built. 200 years after, the construction was ceased due to underfunding.
»  Only in 1828, the flat roofing was laid. The 24-meter tower has not been finished.
»  Remarkably, the foundation of the church rises from the water. The outer walls are faced with sandstone.
»  To make the exterior inimitable, architects chose contrasting red brick wall panels and dome. Decorative moldings and supporting columns are made of white limestone.
»  The church repository houses the collection of picturesque canvasses, including “Crucifixion” of Anthony van Dyck (the 17th century). Some cult objects were delivered to the Museum of Fine Arts.
»  The painted statue of the archangel is very impressive. He spears the serpent. There are also different sculptures of the 18th century.
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