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Gent

Top architectural sightseeing and landmarks of Gent - ideas on city exploration routes

The landmarks of Gent are not limited to the presented 6 architectural sights. A curious traveler will find thousands of exciting places here. However, below we present the most impressive and striking architectural sights of Gent, which should be noted at first - Het Belfort van Gent, Museum of Fine Arts, Station Gent-Sint-Pieters, Gent Post Office Building, St. James Church and many others. In this unusual virtual tour, you will see the photos and read the facts on each monument. But, most importantly, you will be able to fly over each landmark, and to see the whole architectural ensemble of Gent in 3D format from the sky.

Het Belfort van Gent, Gent

» Free-standing bell towers are called “belforts”. They were aimed at notifying the citizens of the threat or important event. The guard and trumpeters had stood on the roof of the building until 1869.
»  Such constructions did not belong to the church. They were built on donations from rich citizens upon the order of the authorities. Beffroi symbolized sovereignty and independence of the population.
»  The document about the city privileges has been kept in the tower of Ghent, in the secret room, since 1402.
»  There is an iron dragon (1377) on top of the building. Its purpose is not only to decorate the building and protect the place, but also to affirm its right. The big vane was damaged by corrosion. There are a lot of patches on the beast.
»  The huge device made loud sounds. Its chime scared those whose houses were located near the device. That is why smaller and quieter bells sounded beforehand. You still can see more complicated melodies from Beffroi.
»  There is a museum in it.
»  If tourists go upstairs, they will find an observation platform. It has a view of city districts.

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.

Station Gent-Sint-Pieters, Gent

» The railway station in the settlement is called Sint-Pieters.
»  Originally, it was a small station built in 1881.
»  The main building with spacious rooms was constructed to organize the world exhibition in 1913.
»  Long hallways resemble tunnels.
»  The hallway leads to one of the 12 platforms. Two routes diverge and you can travel to any part of the world.
»  All the rooms, including the waiting room and the cafe designed in an extraordinary style (wall panels are decorated with frescoes). They depict Belgian communities..
»  The central entrance was restored in 2007. Later, it was glassed. Two years after, wall paintings in the hall were repainted too.
»  Designers paid much attention to decorative elements. The interior is decorated with parts of rail vehicles. You can see painted engines and the set of wheels with wings, the symbol of ground transport.
»  Sint-Pieters resembles an old fortification with its exterior. The history of the railway station goes back a century.
»  The architectural complex includes a clock tower. It moves from the axis.

Gent Post Office Building, Gent

Location on the map:
Facts: » The exterior of the building oddly combines Neo-Gothic and Renaissance Revival styles. It is an architectural monument. It started to be built in 1896 by the project of the famous architect Cloquet. 13 years after, scaffolds were removed. That is how the post office appeared in the Korenmarkt.
»  The stone house is distinguished by relief parts and three statues of women on the facade. One of them represents the Mother Belgium and the other two - her daughters, the regions of Flanders and Wallonia. If you look down, you will see nine smaller sculptures. Each of them represents a particular settlement. The outer southern wall depicts the black woman. She artistically acquaints with the Belgian colony in Congo.
»  You can see a heraldic emblem with a shield above the entrance. The motto words “In unity is power” engraved on the scarlet garland mean that our strength lies in unity. On the front side of the post office, you can see portraits of rulers of European countries.
»  Two octagonal towers were added to the main building. They are crowned with cone spires. When it gets dark, they are illuminated.

St. James Church, Gent

Location on the map:
Facts: » St James' Church is the oldest church in the city. It was built in 1120.
»  There had been a wooden chapel before. Some fragments have been preserved.
»  The chapel was wanderers traveling to other cities. Pilgrims prayed for the positive outcome of traveling.
»  Over the years of its existence, the House of God was repeatedly looted. In the 16th century, disbelievers destroyed a lot of precious exhibits and burnt furniture.
»  St. James Church was rebuilt in the baroque style. Pieces of furniture, canvasses, and sculptures appeared after 1600.
»  When the French people ruled here, they stole some sacred things.
»  The beginning of the 20th century was marked by the restoration.
»  The gray facade and strict lines of the monumental old construction makes a dismal impression. When the person goes in, he or she feels kindness.
»  The interior is decorated with stone and wooden figurines.
»  In the temple, there is a room with religious items. The tabernacle is made of black-and-white marble and decorated with copper.
»  The side wall, the octagonal tower, and several columns have survived from the 12th century to this day.

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.
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