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Culture of Gent. Places to visit - old town, temples, theaters, museums and palaces

Ghent, The Gravensteen castle Every traveler should definitely make a walk through the historic center of the city. The district has retained numerous old buildings and beautiful squares. This district of Ghent is closed to cars, so nothing will prevent travelers from enjoying the beauty of the local nature.
The charming ibis Gent Centrum Opera has been very popular with guests of Ghent for many years. It is regularly chosen by active youth and mature people as a place for their vacation. ibis … Open
Belfry is one of the main sights of Ghent and a true symbol of prosperity and independence. The height of the bell tower estimates 91 meters. The construction of the old tower was completed in 1338 and lasted more than 30 years. Korenlei embankment is a great place for evening walks. You will see many beautiful old mansions as you walk down it.
Among the religious attractions of the city we should definitely mention Saint Bavo Cathedral, in which has survived an ancient tomb made in the Romanesque style. Visiting the cathedral will be interesting to not only connoisseurs of medieval architecture, but also to fans of painting. The halls of the church are decorated with beautiful frescoes and paintings, which depict the patrons of the city and its great rulers. Talking about religious sights of this place, it is definitely worth mentioning the famous Ghent Altarpiece. This is a true work of art, an interesting story of which can be heard from absolutely every local resident of the city. Copyright
The inimitable atmosphere of romance remains the main peculiarity of Guesthouse Verhaegen. This hotel is open in a beautiful 18th-century mansion and offers elegant rooms made in a unique … Open
Among the cultural institutions of the city we recommend visiting Museum of Fine Arts, which was opened in 1798. The modern museum consists of more than thirty spacious rooms, which exhibit works of Van Dyck, Rubens, Bosch and other famous painters. The exposition of Archaeological Museum is no less interesting. It is located in a beautiful ancient monastery, which was built in the 13th century. Among the masterpieces exhibited in this place you can see interesting collections of weapons, furnishings, utensils and national costumes. Children are welcome to participate in fascinating lectures, during which they can learn many interesting facts about this ancient city, and see the exhibits that illustrate events of the past.
Two streets are ideal for a leisurely stroll in the pearl of Flanders – Graslei and the already mentioned Korenlei. There is a fascinating sense of proximity to something unusual in the air and, indeed, the streets witnessed many important historical events in Western Europe. Along the embankment there are many interesting restaurants and cafes, as well as small beautiful “gingerbread houses”. Also deserving of special mention are the Korenmarkt and Vrijdagmarkt – two ancient squares plunging you into the atmosphere of the Middle Ages.
Ghent is endowed with original shops that will interest even sophisticated shopaholics. In search of original things and ornaments, one should go to the traditional Friday Market, located on … Open
Next to Vrijdagmarkt, you can find Dulle Griet or Mad Meg – as is gently nicknamed the large cannon that partook in significant historical events. From an architectural point of view, Stadshal is another noteworthy attraction. The project made by the architects Robbrecht & Daem, is today one of the most popular spots for meeting. Christmas fairs and festivals are often held here. In the busy Ghent you can find Achtersikkel, a quiet and peaceful place built in the XV century. The tower is considered one of the most unique creations of its kind and stands out against the background of dark Gothic houses.
Gand In the hometown of Maurice Maeterlinck, a sufficient number of interesting cathedrals have been built, among which Sint-Niklaaskerk occupies an important spot. The time of its erection dates back to the 13th century. Today the building is used as a trading pavilion – books are sold here. However, a very impressive interior decoration attracts hundreds of fans of sacred art. Throughout Flanders, you can find a variety of interesting bungalows, and the pearl of the region is no exception. The most interesting building in the city is the UNESCO World Heritage Site Begijnhof Onze-Lieve-Vrouw ter Hoyen.
Discovering the architecture of Gent from bird's eye view! Het Belfort van Gent, Museum of Fine Arts, Station Gent-Sint-Pieters, Gent Post Office Building, St. James Church, all those monuments are defining the image of Gent … Open
Another interesting institution is the Vooruit Arts Center – it includes an art gallery, a cafe, and a concert hall with a beautiful exterior and interior. For those who like to discover new facets in the city, it will be a pleasant surprise to visit Graffiti Street (located at Werregarenstraat). This perhaps, is the brightest street in Ghent, perfectly matching Gothic Gent. You can feel an incomparable atmosphere with anything in the busy Groentenmarkt. Also worth noting is yet another interesting building situated in the hometown of Maurice Maeterlinck. This is about Ghent Market Hall. It is noteworthy for the fact that it is a rather unusual structure, located in the historical center of the city.
In the section below, you can get one of our excursion, activities or city discovery tours over Gent and surroundings. Our website offers 10-30% lower ticket prices, when compared to the offline purchase on the spot.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Gent and surroundings

Plan your own excursion through Gent: churches, museums and castles

Saint Bavos Cathedral, Gent

Location on the map:   Facts: » There was a cloister at the site of the present House of God in the first half of the 10th century. You can see its wooden remains in the cave.
»  Sint Baafskathedraal has not changed since the 14th century. The construction was completed in 1569.
»  It seems that the building is cone, which is the feature of the Gothic style.
»  The 3.5-meter altar is considered as a relic. It was created in the Middle Ages. When its shutters are opened, the distance between them is 5 m. The double altar that weighs over a ton was ordered by a rich benefactor. You can see 258 pictures of humans on 24 panels. In 1942, it was delivered to Germany and hidden in the salt cave. The Nazis wanted to blow it up but were hindered.
»  There are the unique honorary bishop’s seat and canvasses of famous artists. You can see the paintings of P. Rubens here.
»  In the Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, there are four organs. Two of them are placed in the hall and the other two - in the area with a crypt. Everyone can visit organ concerts held here.
»  The cathedral is dedicated to Bavo, one of the citizens. He donated his property to the people in need and went to the monastery.
»  In the cathedral, monarch Charles V was baptized.

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.

Museum of Fine Arts, Gent

» When Austrians and Frenchmen ruled, cultural items kept in monasteries and churches were lost. The French Government ensured that the historical heritage is not disappeared.
»  In 1798, the additional institution was allocated to combine collections. Then, the collection was moved to the Catholic Church and then - to St. Peter’s Church. Finally, the room in the city academy was provided in 1811.
»  Nowadays, the Museum of Fine Arts is a center with galleries, the library, and the study group.
»  There are a heated floor, special lighting, and air conditioners. There are also food outlets.
»  In the restoration workshop, visitors are offered to watch the restoration process.
»  The collection includes canvasses of different artists and art schools. There are also works of Flemish masters.
»  In the Graphics Sector, there are over 400 sketches of the Belgian sculptor Minne. There are also sketches of other famous artists.
»  In the Big Hall, you can see tapestries, some of which date back to 1717.
»  There are sculptures outside. You have an opportunity to take a closer look at each statue.

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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Reference information
Map of all palaces
Public palaces near Gent
♥   Palace 'Royal Castle of Laeken' Brussels, 48.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Egmont Palace' Brussels, 50.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Royal Palace of Belgium' Brussels, 50.4 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Palace 'Royal Palace of Antwerp' Antwerp, 51.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all art museums
Art galleries in Gent and around
♥   Art museum 'Museum of Fine Arts' Ghent, 1.6 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Art museum 'SONS Museum' Kruishoutem, 23.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Map of all churches
Cathedrals and basilicas near Gent
♥   Heilig-Bloedbasiliek, Brugge, 38.8 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Sint-Salvators- en Donaaskathedraal, Brugge, 39 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Benedictijner Abdij van Zevenkerken, Sint-Andries, 41.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basilique Nationale du Sacré-Cœur, Koekelberg, 46.3 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Sint-Servaasbasiliek, Grimbergen, 47.1 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Basiliek Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Dadizele, Dadizele, 49.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Collegiale Sint-Michiels- en Sint-Goedele-co-kathedraal, Bruxelles / Brussel, 50 km from the center. On the map   Photo
Car rental on Rentals in Gent

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Photogallery of cultural heritage of Gent

Landmarks of culture on Gent map: art-galleries, monuments, palaces, etc

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Excursions over cultural sights of neighbours of Gent

Culture guide to Gent. Which fascinating sights to visit once you are in Gent: temples, churches, museums, theaters and castles. Recommendations (with addresses, phone numbers and links) on the places 'must visit' in Gent. Plan your own city excursion by using this page info! - online travel reservation expert providing reliable car rental and hotel booking services. We feature more than 25.000 destinations with 12.000 rental offices and 200.000 hotels worldwide.
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