Ghent Journals

Glorious Ghent

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A March 2007 trip to Ghent by mightywease

View of the canal in Ghent Photo, Ghent, Belgium More Photos
Quote: Wonderful architecture, great museums, beautiful canalside walks, a wealth of history and cosy bars add up to a fantastic city break in Ghent.

Glorious Ghent

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Overview

View of the canal in Ghent Photo, Ghent, Belgium
Quote:
Ghent – or Gent in Dutch – is the capital city of the Belgian province of Oost-Vlaanderen or East Flanders. Although there had been a settlement on the city of the current city of Ghent during Roman times and before it was the founding of two abbeys in the 5th Century which established Ghent as a city. In the 12th and 13th Centuries the city had grown to be an important mercantile centre based around the wool trade. Wool was imported from England and numerous guilds were created to look after the interests of the various tradesmen involved in its production and distribution something perhaps echoed in later years when, towards the end of the 19th Century, the first Belgian Trade Union was inst...Read More

Restaurant Keizershof

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Restaurant

Quote:
Keizershof is an agreeable, bustling restaurant overlooking the Vrijdagmarkt Square. It is a large airy place despite, like a lot of spots in Ghent, looking smaller from the outside than it actually is. The decor is modern, light yellowish walls with paintings by local artists under a very attractive wood beamed ceiling. The menu is quite small but supplemented by specials chalked onto a board. The cuisine is a mixture of Belgian and Continental, including meat, fish, pasta dishes, plus salads and desserts, main courses come with a separate helping of chips and creamy mayonnaise. The food is well cooked, the combination of flavours well thought out, and very filling. The spicy prawn start...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 30, 2007

Restaurant Keizershof
Vrijdagmarkt 47
Ghent, Belgium
09.223.44.46

Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts of Flanders)

Attraction | "Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts of Flanders) - B"

Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts of Flanders) Photo, Ghent, Belgium
Quote:
For me the highlight, literally and figuratively, of our visit to the Gravensteen were the battlements. The fact it was an incredibly windy and somewhat wet day only added to the atmosphere of them as you peered over the edge and through the wooden shuttered crenulations and imagined how it would feel to be starring at a hostile invading army. Though conversely I think I would rather be cold but fairly well protected on the battlements than staring up at them contemplating how you were going to attack them while avoiding the threat of arrows, missiles, and boiling oil coming over their lip.The battlements give fantastic views over the city with great photo opportunities even on the rather dull...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 28, 2007

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

Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts of Flanders)

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Attraction | "Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts of Flanders) - H"

Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts of Flanders) Photo, Ghent, Belgium
Quote:
The Gravensteen – or Castle of the Counts – is an imposing 12th Century fortress in the centre of the city. Built on the site of early wooden castles, its main purpose has over the centuries been connected to the maintenance of law and order.Fillips of Alsasse, Count of Flanders between 1157 and 1191, began construction of the present Gravensteen in approximately 1177. The Counts needed to travel round the country in order to assert their authority and maintain law and order. Castles were therefore built in all major cities in order to accommodate them on this circuit. The Gravensteen is the only one of these which still survives. In the 14th Century the Counts abandoned the castles and over t...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 28, 2007

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

Alijnhuis

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Attraction

Alijnhuis Photo, Ghent, Belgium
Quote:
This wonderful museum of social/cultural history or “Museum of Things that Never Pass” is situated in a group of attractive 14th Century almshouses surrounding a lovely courtyard. The first few rooms look at subjects such as birth, marriage, education, and death in the late 19th/early 20th centuries exploring the rituals surrounding them and, in particular, the religious attitudes prevalent at the time, the latter touching on such themes as sexuality and the place of women in society. There are detailed information sheets in each room, available in a number of languages, and though the exhibits themselves are not labelled in English this really doesn’t matter as the information sheets give suc...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 28, 2007

Alijnhuis
Kraanlei 65
Ghent, Belgium

Saint Bavo Cathedral, Sint-Baafskathedraal

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Attraction | "Sint-Baafskathedraal - Adoration of the Mustic Lamb"

Quote:
Displayed in one of the side chapels near to the entrance in St. Bavo’s Cathedral (Sint-Baafskathedraal) Jan and Hubert Van Eyck’s magnificent polyptych “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” is a wonderful example of early Renaissance art.The painting was commissioned in 1420 by wealthy merchant Joost Vijd and his wife Elisabeth Borluut to be placed in their private chapel. It was completed in 1432, during the week the panels were closed to show the outside paintings, the annunciation of Mary and portraits of Joost Vijd and his wife. On Sundays and Religious holidays the panels were opened so the inside pictures could be viewed. From its inauguration the painting has attracted visitors though not...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 28, 2007

Saint Bavo Cathedral, Sint-Baafskathedraal
Sint-baafsplein (st. Bavo's Square)
Ghent, Belgium

Saint Bavo Cathedral, Sint-Baafskathedraal

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Attraction | "Sint-Baafskathedraal"

Saint Bavo Cathedral, Sint-Baafskathedraal Photo, Ghent, Belgium
Quote:
The imposing cathedral of St. Bavo’s (Sint-Baafskathedraal) with its square tower topped with four small spires is a recognisable silhouette on the skyline of Ghent.There has been a church on the site of St. Bavo’s Cathedral since 942, originally dedicated to St. John. This was replaced in 1038 and then, in the latter half of the 13th Century, construction began on a bigger Gothic inspired building. However it was not until 200 years later – on 7th June 1569 – that the church was consecrated. During that time the Abbey of St. Bavo’s had been closed and the canons moved to St. John’s Church, renaming it St. Bavo’s Cathedral. St Bavo had been a 7th century nobleman, dissolute in his youth, who u...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 28, 2007

Saint Bavo Cathedral, Sint-Baafskathedraal
Sint-baafsplein (st. Bavo's Square)
Ghent, Belgium

Het Waterhuis Aan De Bierkant

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Attraction

Het Waterhuis Aan De Bierkant Photo, Ghent, Belgium
Quote:
Ghent has a wealth of fantastic bars but Het Waterhuis aan de Bierkant must be one of the best of them.It has an enviable position overlooking the canal and serves a wide range of bottled and draft beers, including one the name of which I sadly can’t remember (we started the evening faithfully writing down the names of the beers plus tasting notes, we ended it merely saying “Cheers!” followed by a contended “Aaah” as the first sip went down!) but which is only available at Het Waterhuis. It’s a lively place, busy which means you may have to wait to get a seat but well worth the wait as, apart from the great selection of beer and convivial atmosphere, you never know what conversations y...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 28, 2007

Het Waterhuis Aan De Bierkant
Groentenmarkt 9
Ghent, Belgium
09 225 06 80

Cafe den Turk

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Attraction

Quote:
Café den Turk at Botermarkt 3 is situated only a short stroll, or stumble depending on whether you are on your way to or have already sampled a few Belgian beers, away from St. Bavo’s Cathedral and the Belfort in central Ghent.From the outside it looks as if it is going to be a small, intimate bar but inside it is deceptively spacious with an L shaped bar area at the front and a number of nook and cranny rooms at the back. It does, however, retain an intimate yet convivial atmosphere, emphasised by the pleasant jazz and blues music playing in the background, at a volume that compliments rather than drowns out conversation.The decor is brown and cream walls with dark panelling ornamente...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 29, 2007

Cafe den Turk
Botermarkt 3
Ghent, Belgium