Ghent Journals

Enjoying Ghent

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A May 2000 trip to Ghent by Re Carroll

Ghent Photo, Ghent, Belgium More Photos
Quote: Ghent is half way between Brussels and Bruges and seems to be overlooked in favour of those cities. It might not be as cosmopolitan as Brussels or have the quaintness of Bruges but it is worth at least a day trip to sample its charm and visit the historical sights.

Enjoying Ghent

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Overview

Ghent Photo, Ghent, Belgium
Quote:
Im medievel times Ghent was a major commercial centre with a very busy port. Much of the architecture is dark and rather solemn but there are lots of interesting places to visit. The old city's skyline is well known for the Three Towers - all within a few blocks of each other. They are made up of the Belfry, St. Nicolas Church and St. Bavo's Church and my favorite was St. Bavo's. It may not be all that impressive from the outside, but the interior of St. Bavo's will take your breath away. It is more like a museum with priceless treasures and works of art but has a joyful, almost "live" feel to it. There is so much to see that they provide a brochure listing all the treasures with a correspondi...Read More

The Neptune Tavern & Restaurant

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Restaurant | "The Neptune Tavern & Restaurant"

The Neptune Tavern & Restaurant Photo, Ghent, Belgium
Quote:
It was a very cold and windy day in Ghent - very atmospheric for visiting the dark and forbidding Castle of the Counts, but not the nicest day for sightseeing otherwise. I was cold, tired and hungry, which equates to grumpy.Luckily, just across from the Castle was a square called Veerleplein that had a couple of small restaurants. I chose the Neptune because its wooden trim and leaded glass windows looked warm and welcoming. Inside it was just as cozy since it is actually an old house that has been converted to a restaurant. Linen tableclothes, candles, fresh flowers, heavy silver cutlery and crystal wine glasses made me wonder if it would be out of my budget but the lunch menu was surpr...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 20, 2000

The Neptune Tavern & Restaurant
Veerleplein Square
Ghent, Belgium

Belfort of Ghent

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Attraction | "The Belfry & Cloth Hall"

Belfort of Ghent Photo, Ghent, Belgium
Quote:
The Belfry was originally built in the 14th century and has a 52 bell carillon. It is directly across from St. Bavo's Cathederal and is one of the few belfrys that has an elevator. Since the upper gallery is 200 feet high, this means you are saved from walking A LOT of stairs. You can only get to the upper gallery as part of a guided tour but the cost is minimal (100BF) and the guide provides lots of interesting commentary on the Belfry & Ghent. A stop part way up allows you to see the workings of the carillon as well as other bells that are not used in the carillon. After a walk up a narrow flight of wooden steps, you reach the top part of the Belfry with great views of Ghent - make sure to brin...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 20, 2000

Belfort of Ghent
Emile Braunplein
Ghent, Belgium

Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts of Flanders)

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Attraction | "Het Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts)"

Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts of Flanders) Photo, Ghent, Belgium
Quote:
This castle is basically at ground level and seems to pop up as you turn the corner. It looks a bit out of place among all the shops & houses that have been built around it. It's not a pretty castle but is made of huge, grey stone with walls up to 6 feet thick. It was built in the late 12th century by the Count of Flanders and he modelled it after crusader castles that he saw in Syria during his time at the Crusades. There is a small museum inside that contains some devices from the torture chamber and explains how he kept the long ago inhabitants of Ghent in line.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 20, 2000

Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts of Flanders)
Sint-veerleplein 11
Ghent, Belgium

Canal Cruise

Attraction

Canal Cruise Photo, Ghent, Belgium
Quote:
Like many cities in the low countries, Ghent is built along canals and you should see it from the water as well as street level. Canal boats provide a commentary in a couple of languages and the relaxing ride lasts about 1/2 hour.

Make sure to take some photos of the guild houses along Graslei. The houses date from the 12th to 17th century and have plaques or signs denoting the type of guild.

The cruise makes a relaxing addition to sighsteeing in Ghent.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 20, 2000

Canal Cruise
Ghent
Ghent, Belgium