Cradled by a loop of waterways, the Belgian city of Ghent and has all the draws of a modern city but with a rich history showcased through its extravagant architecture of gabled houses and period properties.
The city features no fewer than 900 listed buildings which illustrate Ghent’s fortune and affluence during medieval times as a leading producer of cloth.
From the moment you arrive you will be enchanted by the charm and elegance of Ghent’s lavish and superbly preserved Gothic, Romanesque and Baroque properties, which look ever more magical in the evening when accentuated by a dazzling illumination display.
The city’s famous three towers of St Nicholas Church, the Belfort and St Bavo’s Cathedral grace the skyline. These can be best viewed from St. Michael’s Bridge or by taking a boat cruise down the canal.
You can also capture fantastic panoramic views of the city by taking the elevator to the top of the UNESCO listed Belfort itself, some 66 metres high above the ground.
Make sure you head to St Bavo’s to see “The Adoration Of The Mystic Lamb”, a stunning work of art by the Van Eyck brothers regarded as one of the best example of Flemish art which has the undesirable title of being the world’s most stolen painting!
Ghent’s intimidating Gravensteen Castle, known as the ‘Castle of the Count’, also warrants your attention. Step inside the imposing turrets of this medieval fortress which Philip of Alsace rebuilt to demonstrate his wealth and power. If you’re feeling brave climb inside the dungeon!
Ghent’s culture doesn’t end there. In total there are over 20 museums to choose from including The Fine Arts Museum, where you can see more examples of Flemish Art, and The Municipal Museum for Contemporary Art.
Lose yourself in the city’s alleyways and squares to discover quaint shops, famous Belgian chocolatiers and award-winning restaurants, where you can sample the local speciality, Gentse Waterzooi, a stew of creamy fish and vegetables.