The 10 Best Things to See in Ghent


Ghent: An Introduction to Flemish

A few weekends ago, I decided to follow the path from the movie Monuments Men and see some historical landmarks in Belgium. This led me to the cute little city of Ghent in the Flemish speaking part of the country. And while it is a small city, there were quite a lot of things to see, each adding to the general esthetic beauty of the city. So here are the top ten things to see and do.

10. Light Show: like many European cities, Ghent is known for a light show, displaying the beauty of the city at night. The show doesn't take place all year, only during the summer months. It showcases the city's history and beauty.

9. Canal: when most people think of canals, they think of Bruges, but Ghent also has some water running through it too. Further outside the city people can go boating, but inside the city they offer some pretty views. And the contrasting nature with the gothic architecture is quite the sight.

Market Square
8. Market Square: the main square of Ghent, known as the market square is a good place to see the main attractions, get something good to eat, and admire the architecture. The square is surrounded by medieval churches and dutch style houses.

7. Groot Huis: this was once the Dutch Royal Theatre and is still used today for some theatrical events. The outside of the building is beautiful with its painted facade and its presence on the square near the Belfry and St. Bravo's. Its worth the stop to check out.

6. Ghent Town Hall: I'm sure I've said it before, but Belgium knows how to do town halls. This one is no less impressive. Off the main square stands this beautiful town house, built in similar style to the one in Brussels. The incredible attention to detail is impressive and something worth admiring.

St. Nicholas Church
5. Gravensteen Castle: a little outside the center of town is the medieval castle that once housed the counts of the area. In dutch, the name of the castle literally translates to "castle of the counts." Today it is a museum open to the public.

4. St. Michael's Bridge: this bridge is famous in Ghent for its great view of the city, offering a sight of all angles. The bridge itself is beautiful and medieval in style, adding to the affect that the city has, managing to throw you back in time, in a wonderful way.

3. St. Nicholas Church: another main church of Ghent is St. Nicholas Church, which is more simple on the inside, but just as beautiful. It has some beautiful stained glass panels and a great bell tower. It is one of the oldest churches of Ghent and one of the most prominent land marks.

Town Hall
2. Belfry: this beautiful bell tower can be seen from many points of the city. Situated in the main part of the city, next to the town hall and St. Bavo's Cathedral, it captivates your attention. It is the tallest tower in Belgium and it is known for its medieval style.

1. St. Bavo's Cathedral: while this church is pretty, medieval, and large, that's not why people flock to it. Inside is housed the Ghent Altarpiece, a beautiful set of panels that make up an altarpiece. Called The Adoration of they Mystic Lamb, the masterpiece from medieval times has been the envy of many, including the Nazis who stole it and hid it during the war. But eventually it was found and returned and is now on display in this church.

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