Visitor's guide - Visit Gent

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Visitor's guide - Visit Gent

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ContentslegendREFERENCE TO MAPFOOD & DRINKSADMISSION WITH CITYCARDFREE WI-FIFAVOURED BY LOCALSTHEMATIC MAP AVAILABLE FROMTHE TOURIST OFFICESEE ANNEX WITH PRACTICAL INFOREFERENCE TOTHE PEDESTRIAN SIGNPOSTING (SEE P.53)FIRST TIME IN GHENT P. 31000 YEARS AGAINST THE CURRENT P. 4Ghent’s essentials P. 5MUST-DO’S P. 6GHENT: STAY THE NIGHT! P. 7TOP SECRET P. 8CITYCARD GENT P. 9Neighbourhoods P. 10TORENS-SITE P. 11GRASLEI-SITE P. 15GRAVENSTEEN-SITE P. 19VRIJDAGMARKT-SITE P. 23PORTUS GANDA-SITE P. 25KOUTER-SITE P. 30ZUID-SITE P. 33SINT-PIETERSPLEIN-SITE P. 35CITADELPARK-SITE P. 38BIJLOKE-SITE P. 41City map P.28 - 29Shopping P. 43TASTY TREATS P. 44MARKETS P. 44GHENT FASHION P. 44DESIGN & RETRO, ART & ANTIQUES P. 44Ghent: simply delicious P. 45BREAKFAST OR BRUNCH P. 45ROCK ’N’ ROLL CUISINE P. 45Nightlife P. 46THE NIGHT IS STILL YOUNG P. 46FESTIVALS, FEASTS AND EVENTS P. 48Don’t forget the guide P. 49Out with kids P. 50Outside the city P. 51BLAARMEERSEN P. 52BOURGOYEN - OSSEMEERSEN P. 52Good to know P. 53NEVER GET LOST P. 53PUBLIC TRANSPORT P. 53HANDY TIPS FOR EXPLORINGTHE CITY P. 54Useful addresses P. 55BELFRY


P. 41,000 yearsagainst thecurrentThe noose with which Emperor Charles V subjected us tothe ultimate humiliation in 1540 now proudly hangs aroundour necks on every festive occasion.That stubbornness – or wilfulness – is the thread that runsthrough our city’s history.From 1000 till about 1550, Ghent was one of the most importantcities in Europe. Ghent was larger than London andsecond only to Paris in size. In the fourteenth century thecity had 60,000 inhabitants, who were all very protectiveof their rights: counts and emperors experienced that feistyliousinhabitants of Ghent would not give up their acquiredhalved. The city’s economy only picked up two centurieslater. Under Dutch rule, the city’s university was foundedand Ghent became a seaport once again thanks to theGhent-Terneuzen canal.And even then Ghent continued to go against the current:during the Belgian independence struggle, many inhabitantsremained loyal to the Dutch House of Orange.the continent. It is therefore no coincidence that the socialistIn 1913, during the world exhibition, Ghent highlighted itsassets. Because the bombs of the two world wars had notcaused much damage, the city’s 1,000 years of historicalheritage have remained largely intact right up to presentday.Get ready to discover that with your own eyes…At the end of the sixteenth century things started to godownhill. Ghent lost its access to the sea and its population


Vrie wijs,Gent broeit“THE MYSTIC LAMB IS WITHOUTA DOUBT THE WORLD’S MOSTBESIEGED AND COVETEDARTWORK. IN PARIS IT WOULDEASILY DUIS FRINGILLA KNOCK THE MONA LISALUCTUS OFF VIVERRA THE THRONE.”Ghent’s essentialsWhat is the essence of a city?the city’s beautiful heritage is not a staticMust-do’s Ghent: stay the night! Top secret CityCard Gent THE ADORATION OF THE MYSTIC LAMB P. 5


P. 6Must-do’sCHECK AS YOU GOWhen visiting Ghent theseactivities are absolute musts!But don’t forget, there’s a lotmore to discover…SEE THE MYSTIC LAMBLamb’ is the main – but notthe only – masterpiece to be P. 12UPDATE YOUR FACEBOOK P. 16EXPLORE PATERSHOL- P. 20EMBRACE ARTContemporary Art are onlya few metres from one P. 39AMBUSH THE CASTLE OFTHE COUNTS P. 20GO TO THE STAM CITYMUSEUMhistory: this museum offers P. 42ENJOY A CONCERTP. 34BEST BUYSSoak up the atmosphere at the P. 44SEE THE LIGHTP. 46COME BACKP. 48


Ghent:stay thenight!2 p.m. P. 93.30 p.m. P. 169 a.m. Switch off that snoozePlanning a quick visit tothe city’s many highlights?What a pity! Ghent should besavoured to the full! And todo that, you need more thanone day!4.30 p.m. Time to sip aTime goes by too fast when6 p.m. Back to the hotel to10 a.m. many cosy breakfast parlours P. 4511 a.m. The city centre isP. 127.30 p.m. -offer… P. 458 p.m. noon Stroll through the heart P. 431 p.m. A healthy snack atgo-go… there’s plenty to choose P. 4510 p.m. Time for a nightcap P. 4711.30 p.m. A little bit tipsy? P. 46P. 7


P. 8TopsecretThe city has so many hiddengems we’d rather keep toourselves. But we can’t dothat, can we?BEGUINAGESP. 21, 26 & 34PRINSENHOF & LIEVEKAAI-- P. 20ST PETER’S ABBEY GARDENAND VINEYARD P. 37CAMPO SANTOP. 27UNESCOThe fourteenth-century Belfry,and the two walled beguinagesare all on the prestigiousUNESCO World Heritage list.Moreover, this organisation hascrowned Ghent in honour of its manyfamous festivals and musicschools, and its more than 600pop and rock bands.ACHTERSIKKELthrow from the busy Sint-Baafs-- P. 13


Museums not to be missed!CITY MUSEUM (STAM) P. 42MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS P. 39MUNICIPAL MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART (S.M.A.K.) P. 39TIP!CITYCARD GENTDESIGN MUSEUM GENT P. 17MUSEUM OF INDUSTRIAL ARCHAEOLOGY AND TEXTILES(MIAT) P. 24THE HOUSE OF ALIJN P. 21DR. GUISLAIN MUSEUM P. 22ST PETER’S ABBEY P. 36THE WORLD OF KINA: THE HOUSE P. 50THE WORLD OF KINA: THE GARDEN P. 50by purchasing the Ghent--(the sales points of public transportP. 9


P. 10“ESCAPE THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE OFTHE CITY AT THE PRINSENHOF, WHERECHARLES V WAS BORN IN 1500.STROLL THROUGH THE MACHARIUSNEIGHBOURHOOD AT PORTUS GANDA,DISCOVER THE RUINS OF ST BAVO’SABBEY AND THE ‘GROENE KERK’(‘GREEN CHURCH’)… AND DON’T BEAFRAID TO GET LOST.”NeighbourhoodsGhent is a compact city. All attractions are withinwalking distance from one another. The two touristquarters seamlessly blend together. The HistoricalCentre boasts the highest concentration of historicalbuildings and monuments, while the Arts Quarter ishome to the main museums.There are no physical boundaries. You can easily walkfrom one neighbourhood to another, and pop into oneof the many inviting cafes and restaurants along theway.Torens Graslei Gravensteen Vrijdagmarkt Portus Ganda Kouter Zuid Sint-Pietersplein Citadelpark Bijloke


Torens-siteLEIEThe city’s medieval skyline.LEIEST BAVO’S CATHEDRAL P. 12THE ADORATION OF THE MYSTIC LAMB P. 12THE BELFRY P. 12MAMMELOKKER P. 12ST NICHOLAS’ CHURCH P. 13THE MASONS’ GUILD HOUSE P. 13TOWN HALL P. 13ACHTERSIKKEL P. 13THE CASTLE OF GERALD THE DEVIL P. 14THE ROYAL DUTCH THEATRE P. 14SC


TORENSP. 12ST BAVO’SCATHEDRALSint-BaafspleinTHE BELFRY[ Sint-Baafskathedraal ] Sint-Baafsplein[ Belfort ]An impressive Gothic cathedral was built on the ruins of the twelfthcenturyRomanesque church that once stood on this site. St Bavo’sCathedral houses numerous art treasures: the baroque high altar, therococo pulpit, a Rubens masterpiece, tombs of the Ghent bishops andmuch more. However, one work stands out above the rest: The Adorationof the Mystic Lamb painted by Hubert and Jan van Eyck in 1432.THE ADORATION OFTHE MYSTIC LAMBSint-BaafspleinIf there’s one masterpiece you should not miss, it’s this majesticaltarpiece by the Van Eyck brothers. It’s considered the absolute masterpieceof medieval painting, featuring some jaw-dropping details.It survived the Protestant iconoclasm, fell into French hands underNapoleon and was requisitioned by Nazi Germany during WWII. ‘TheA proud symbol of Ghent’s independence. On top of the 95-metretower the dragon has been watching over the city since 1380.The city’s (many) festivities are still announced by extraordinarycarillon concerts. The adjoining Cloth Hall is a reminder of theindustry which once made the city rich and prosperous.MAMMELOKKERThe facade of an old jailer’s lodge is adorned with the Mammelokker,which depicts the legend of Cimon, who was condemned tostarve to death. He was saved by his daughter who fed him dailyfrom her breast (‘mamme’ = breast – ‘lokken’ = suck).Just Judges’ panel, stolen in 1934, is still missing. P. 5


ST NICHOLAS’CHURCHCataloniëstraatTOWN HALL[ Sint-Niklaaskerk ] Botermarkt 1[ Stadhuis ]This church in bluestone from the Tournai region is one of the mostbeautiful examples of the Scheldt Gothic style. One of its uniqueelements is the tower, which is not above the entrance, but abovethe crossing of the nave and the transepts. It functions as kind ofnatural lantern as the light shines directly into the transept from thetower.Ghent’s town hall gives you an overview of architecture from thethe facade at Hoogpoort contrasts sharply with the rather soberRenaissance style of the Botermarkt side. The inhabitants of Ghentsay their “I do’s” at the Wedding Chapel. Unless you’re planning toget married, the only way to visit the Town Hall is with a guide.THE MASONS’GUILD HOUSESint-Niklaasstraat 2ACHTERSIKKELBiezekapelstraat[ Achtersikkel ]Opposite St Nicholas’ Church, across the street, is the only originalsixteenth-century Masons’ Guild House. There is also an exact copyin Graslei that was rebuilt for the World Exhibition in 1913.The original Masons’ Guild Hall had in fact disappeared behindsome ugly facades and had then been… forgotten. Until it was rediscoveredduring renovation works in 1976. High up on the steppedgable Moriscos dancers turn with the wind.wells was located. That proves that one of the richest patrician familiesin Ghent lived there. With a little luck, while you’re admiringthis beautiful little square, you’ll be able to enjoy a private concertby a student of the Ghent Conservatory, right above.TORENSP. 13


TORENSP. 14THE CASTLE OFGERALD THE DEVIL[ Geeraard de Duivelsteen ]Despite its dark, threatening, colossal and grim appearance, thedevil has never resided in this fortress. However, it has been usedas a prison, and later as a monastery, an orphanage, a madhouseTHE ROYAL DUTCHTHEATRE[ NTGent ]At the civic theatre you can enjoy plays – both classic and contemporary– performed by passionate actors in a building that breathestradition. On the terrace of the foyer you’ll enjoy a breathtakingview of Sint-Baafsplein, just like Apollo and his muses.--CITY HALL


LGraslei-siteHistory reflected in the water of the River Lys.LEIEVIEW FROM ST MICHAEL’S BRIDGE P. 16GRASLEI & KORENLEI P. 16BOAT TRIPS P. 16ST MICHAEL’S CHURCH P. 16DESIGN MUSEUM GENT P. 17APPELBRUGPARKJE P. 17PAND P. 17THE GREAT BUTCHERS’ HALL P. 17GALGENHUISJE P. 18KORENMARKT P. 18POETIC PICKNICKEnjoy a sandwich and sip a drink on the quayside. And while doing so,have a chat with a real Gentenaar. Maybe he’ll translate the words you cansee opposite, just above the water.KETELVAARTLEIE


GRASLEIP. 16VIEW FROMST MICHAEL’SBRIDGEHere you can admire a breathtaking cityscape from all directions.Millions of photos have been taken from this spot. But your ownphoto remains a unique shot. This is the only place in the city whereyou can see the three towers form a perfectly straight line.GRASLEI &KORENLEIAsk ten inhabitants of Ghent what they consider the most beautifulmedieval port with its unique row of historical buildings is the placeto be if you want to meet people. It’s the beating heart of the citycentre.[ Sint-Michielsbrug ][ Gras- en Korenlei ]BOAT TRIPSFive boating companies will let you discover Ghent from the water.contact one of the boating companies in advance. The captain willguide you through the city’s history in various languages. Celebratinga special occasion? Then sip a drink on the champagne boat or dancethe night away on the party boat. And treat your kids to an unforget-‘Useful addresses’ P. 55ST MICHAEL’SCHURCH134 metres to the sky. It should have been the highest tower inFlanders but history decided otherwise: the ‘monument of triumph’has remained at a paltry 24 metres. The church does however housemany masterpieces, including ‘Christ on the Cross’ by AnthonyVan Dyck.[ Sint-Michielskerk ]


DESIGN MUSEUM GENTPAND[ Design museum ] [ Pand ]Design is timeless, just look at the beautiful salons with eighteenthandnineteenth-century furniture in this town house. The moderntwentieth century. Of course modern design is also plentiful. KeepThis thirteenth-century former Dominican monastery now belongsto the University of Ghent. This cultural centre also houses threewonderful collection of stained-glass fragments (upon reservation).carte restaurant.APPELBRUGPARKJETHE GREATBUTCHERS’ HALL[ Vleeshuis ]Cosy up on the bench along the Lys and enjoy the marvellous view.The park has existed for a long time, but the Appelbrugje, a glasshad to go to the Groentenmarkt (Vegetable Market, then called Vis-trusses of the Great Butchers’ Hall are used to hang Gandaham, aGhent speciality – simply delicious, just like the other East Flemishdelicacies you can buy here.GRASLEIP. 17


GRASLEIP. 18GALGENHUISJEGroentenmarktGhent’s smallest cafe used to be the tripe house, where the lesswell-to-do could buy tripe. For hygienic reasons, this meat could notbe sold at the Great Butchers’ Hall. The name of the cafe – whichtranslates as ‘gallows house’ – refers to the function of the back wall,where criminals would await the death penalty.KORENMARKTTwenty years ago, the inhabitants of Ghent would sit here surroundedby parked cars. Today this square is the heart of the largestbuilding from 1909 has a facade decorated with numerous statuesand coats of arms. Don’t forget to look up at the beautiful towerclock.GRASLEI


GravensteensiteOn the merlons of history.LIEVECASTLE OF THE COUNTS P. 20PATERSHOL P. 20PRINSENHOF & LIEVEKAAI P. 20THE HOUSE OF ALIJN P. 21THE OLD FISH MARKET P. 21CARMELITE FRIARY P. 21OLD ST ELIZABETH BEGUINAGE P. 21RABOT P. 22DR. GUISLAIN MUSEUM P. 22LEIE


GRAVENSTEENP. 20CASTLE OF THECOUNTSSint-Veerleplein[ Gravensteen ]PATERSHOL[ Patershol ]Cold halls and even colder dungeons. Endless staircases leading upthe towers. Wells of oblivion and a torture museum. You can’t reallycall the Castle of the Counts a cosy retreat. But it is impressive…Overlooking the city from high up on the keep, you feel like theCounts of Flanders, with Ghent lying at your feet. An experience notThe medieval heart of the city. With a little imagination you can seea knight or a noblewoman or a monk turning around the corner.The smells, on the other hand, are everything but fantasy: in thesePRINSENHOF &LIEVEKAAI[ Prinsenhof ]LIGHT IS LIFEWhether it is day or night, the lanterns in Sint-Veerleplein cansomewhere in Ghent. The inspiring art installation ‘Ai Nati Oggi’ bypurchased by the city for permanent use.This is where Charles V was born on February 24th in 1500.Today, only a model remains of his impressive palace with 300rooms, idyllic gardens, ponds and even a lions’ den. This is a livelyneighbourhood with a fantastic atmosphere, right under the weepingwillows along the Lieve.


THE HOUSE OFALIJNCARMELITE FRIARY[ Huis van Alijn ] [ Caermersklooster ]Get ready to escape from both the city and present day: at TheHouse of Alijn you’ll discover how ordinary people used to live.Stroll from the beginning of the twentieth century past the twoWorld Wars to the seventies. Every room tells a different story.After your visit, reminisce in the delightful internal garden, in atypical pub.This friary of the Calced Carmelites dates back to 1329. At the endof the last century, it was fully restored and reopened as an exhibitionspace. During the renovation works, an impressive mural wasdiscovered under a layer of wallpaper. The beautiful staircase canalso be admired.THE OLD FISHMARKET[ Vismijn ]OLD ST ELIZABETHBEGUINAGE[ Oud Begijnhof ]Opposite the Castle of the Counts in Sint-Veerleplein lies themonumental gateway (1689) to the Old Fish Market. Neptune keepswatch over the Scheldt (male) and the Lys (female). This fully refurbishedcomplex is home to, among other things, the Ghent TouristOne of the three authentic beguinages. Though it is no longer walledand thus became part of the city, it still has a unique atmosphere.It is now more than ever a place of religious tolerance since it hasthree different churches: Roman Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant.GRAVENSTEENP. 21


GRAVENSTEENP. 22TIP!THE BEST OF MANYWORLDSRABOT[ Rabot ]In 1488, Maximilian of Austria took advantage of a weakness inGhent’s defences to seize the city. When, after 40 days of siege, hisarmy withdrew without having accomplished their mission, the cityauthorities used the opportunity to strengthen the central buildingDR. GUISLAINMUSEUMThe permanent collection confronts you with the history ofpsychiatry. But even more striking is the museum’s internationalcollection of outsider art or art brut. The temporary exhibitionsare always very original and provocative. The museum is housed inBelgium’s oldest psychiatric hospital, built in 1857, and can easily bereached with tram 1.OUDBURG


VrijdagmarktsiteLEIEThe Wise man, pointing to England.LEIEVRIJDAGMARKT P. 24MAD MEG P. 24MIAT P. 24BIJ SINT-JACOBS P. 24BAUDELOPARK [ Baudelopark ]A busy transit road made way for a park. Now you only need to watch outfor kids on rollerblades, skateboards or bike while you’re enjoying yourpicnic in the sun.GRAFFITI STREETThe appearance of the Werregarenstraat changes constantly. That comesas no surprise, given that street artists are free to decorate it as theySCHELDE


VRIJDAGMARKTP. 24VRIJDAGMARKT[ Vrijdagmarkt ]Shopping mapFor centuries, this square was the heart of the city’s public politicaland social life: this is where rulers were solemnly received, feastswere celebrated and feuds were settled. Today it hosts a weeklymarket and the occasional fair. Enjoy a drink and a snack at one ofthe many outdoor cafes.MIAT[ MIAT ]Until after WWII, Ghent was an important textile centre.The Museum of Industrial Archaeology and Textiles (MIAT) ishoused in an impressive old cotton mill and gives a unique pictureof the radical technological changes our society has undergone overenjoy a wonderful view of the entire city.MAD MEGGrootkanonplein[ Groot Kanon ]BIJ SINT-JACOBSShopping mapThis impressive cast-iron cannon weighs 12,500 kg and is commonlyknown as ‘Dulle Griet’ (Mad Meg). It has a big mouth butred colour is original – it looks like blood, but this cannon has neverEvery Friday, Saturday and Sunday morning, the squarecallya jumble sale. This also happens to be the heart of the GhentFestivities, the popular festival that sets the city alight every year inJuly. Vlasmarkt is the place to be for a fun night out.


IES U DPortus GandasiteWhere two rivers cross paths.LEIEPORTUS GANDA P. 26GREAT BEGUINAGE SINT-AMANDSBERG P. 26ST BAVO’S ABBEY P. 26VAN EYCK POOL P. 27CAMPO SANTO P. 27SCHELDEPARTY TIME!Many famous bands have a rehearsal room above one of the hip bars atthe Oude Beestenmarkt. And after rehearsal they don’t head home withoutstopping in Vlasmarkt, with its equally famous dance pubs.SCHELDE


PORTUS GANDAP. 26PORTUS GANDA-[ Portus Ganda ]Lys, where Ghent (Ganda) was founded. Bridges, parks, outdoorcafes and the splendid Van Eyck pool create one of the most beautiful(new) corners of Ghent.GREAT BEGUINAGESINT-AMANDSBERGThis exceptionally large beguinage in Sint-Amandsberg (just outsidethe city) was built between 1873 and 1874 as a replacement for theSt Elizabeth beguinage. In less than two years eighty houses werea chapel dedicated to St Anthony of Padua and a church.The beguines have long since disappeared but the exceptionalhushed calm remains.[ Groot Begijnhof ]ST BAVO’S ABBEY[Sint-Baafsabdij ]In the seventh century, Amandus founded St Bavo’s Abbey here inan attempt to convert the inhabitants of the city of Ganda. In 1540,Charles V demolished the Abbey in order to build a fortress, knownas Spanjaardenkasteel. The enormous square fortress with itsbastions was demolished in the nineteenth century. Today theabbey’s ruins lie in a new, green neighbourhood with passionateinhabitants.


P. 27VAN EYCK POOLVeermanplein 1[ Zwembad Van Eyck ]Belgium’s oldest indoor swimming pool was fully refurbished and istoday more beautiful than ever. The splendid art-deco interior turnssports into an almost artistic experience. In the ‘Au Bain’ loungemingpool and the marina.CAMPO SANTONumerous renowned painters, sculptors and writers found theirthe city centre. They have to share it with the traditional bourgeoisiefrom Ghent who paid a lot of money to have splendidly sculptedtombs and family vaults installed there.PORTUS GANDAST BAVO’S ABBEYP. 27


HANDELSDOKD O C K S U DLEIESCHELDLEIESCHELDESTRAM 4TRAM 4LEIELEIEcity mapHISTORICAL CENTREVERBINDINGSKANAAL& ARTS QUARTERwww.visitgent.beLIEVETRAM 4!2341SITES1 TORENS2 GRASLEI3 GRAVENSTEEN4 VRIJDAGMARKT5 PORTUS GANDA6 KOUTER7 ZUID8 SINT-PIETERSPLEIN9 CITADELPARK10 BIJLOKE5COUPURE


SCHELDEL‘ESCAUTDESCHELDETRAM 4SCHELDESCHELDEZUIDSCHELDESCHELDEKETELVAARTLEIELEIETRAM 110968!7TRAM LINE NO. 1TRAM LINE NO. 4TRAM SERVICE NO. 21 & 22 INTERRUPTEDCOUPURETRAM 4TRAM 1EIE


Kouter-siteOpen on Sundays.--KOUTER P. 31VLAAMSE OPERA GHENT P. 31HANDELSBEURS P. 31MUSEUM ARNOLD VANDER HAEGHEN P. 32HOTEL D’HANE-STEENHUYSE P. 32GHENT UNIVERSITY AUDITORIUM P. 32LAW COURTS P. 32LEIEKETELVAARTPEDESTRIANISED SHOPPING MECCAYour shopping trip starts in Veldstraat, where all the major brands havea store. Do look up from time to time, because above the inviting shopwindows you’ll unexpectedly discover authentic facades. You can also baga bargain in the adjoining streets. Shopping mapDE


VLAAMSE OPERAGHENT[ Opera ]KOUTER[ Kouter ]Shopping mapacross the real locals. On arrival they sip a delicious espresso andbefore they go home, they enjoy a fresh oyster and a glass of whiteHANDELSBEURS[ Handelsbeurs concertzaal ]In an open-minded city like Ghent, the luxurious opera and the modernconcert hall Handelsbeurs are good neighbours. Discover thebeautiful hoof-shaped theatre with its impressive chandelier at theopera and the unique, height-adjustable stage of Handelsbeurs.MARKET TOURnfoKOUTERP. 31


KOUTERP. 32MUSEUM ARNOLDVANDER HAEGHEN(HOTEL CLEMMEN)Highlights at this eighteenth-century museum are the uniqueChinese Salon and the reconstruction of the study of Ghent’s NobelPrize winner in Literature, Maurice Maeterlinck. Explore the city inan original way with the Maeterlinck walk, available at the Ghent[Museum Vander Haeghen ]GHENT UNIVERSITYAUDITORIUM[Aula ]Eight Corinthian pillars crowned with a triangular pediment.In 2000, they inspired the artist Jan Fabre to create an installationwhich caught the attention of CNN but received a lot of criticism inBelgium: he wrapped the columns in fresh ham. Unfortunately, theham did not stay fresh and had to be removed earlier than planned.HOTEL D’HANE-STEENHUYSE[ Hotel d’Hane-Steenhuyse ]LAW COURTS[Justitiepaleis ]In the middle of Veldstraat pause in front of the facade in typicalGhent rococo style. In 1815, the French king Louis XVIII stayed inthis building. Until recently you could only admire the luxuriousinteriors and salons of that period on special occasions. Now youcan visit Hotel d’Hane-Steenhuyse and Hotel Clemmen every Fridayand Saturday. Guided tours in Dutch, French and English start at2.30 p.m.This building has been in use for more than 160 years. To solve theproblem of the permanent lack of space in the neo-classical building,a modern building for the law courts was erected on the edge ofthe city. Today the old law courts are still used by the Assize Courtand the Court of Appeal.


Zuid-siteA lively business centre.-ZUIDKONING ALBERTPARK P. 34SMALL BEGUINAGE OUR LADY TER HOYEN P. 34GLAZEN STRAATJE P. 34ARTS CENTRE VOORUIT P. 34TRAM 4GRUUT- THE GHENT CITY BREWERY For centuries Ghent was at the centre of all beer breweries. Now the citybrewery is bringing this lost tradition back to life. Whether you’re intolager, brown or wheat beer, Gruut always goes down well. Needless to saySCHELDE


ZUIDP. 34KONINGALBERTPARK[ Zuidpark ]GLAZEN STRAATJEStatues and fountains surrounded by nature. In the 1930s, a parkin neo-baroque style was laid out here on the site of the formerZuidstation. When entering the city from the motorway, you candrive straight into the underground car park.Ask Gentenaars where Pieter Vanderdoncktdoorgang is and they’llprobably give you a blank stare. But if you ask them about the GlassAlley (‘Glazen Straatje’ in Dutch), they’ll all know what you’re talkingabout. This is a protected heritage site, so you’ve got an excuseto have a look. The fact that the girls give you a friendly smile frombehind their windows is a pleasant bonus.SMALL BEGUINAGEOUR LADY TERHOYEN[ Klein Begijnhof ]ARTS CENTREVOORUIT[Vooruit Kunstencentrum ]The Small Beguinage was founded in 1235. Today, it is one of thebest preserved and most attractive beguinages from before theFrench Revolution. The last beguine who lived here passed awayin 2005. Now the houses are leased and the larger buildings havebecome artists’ workshops.Dance, theatre, performance, literature and a generous portion ofrock ‘n’ roll. Vooruit has been a household name in Ghent for manydecades. This listed building has 366 different rooms, the main onesbeing the concert hall, the ballroom and the beautiful art deco café.


Sint-Pietersplein-siteWhere knowledge and temptation go hand in hand.LEIESCHELDESINT-PIETERSPLEIN P. 36OUR LADY OF ST PETER’S CHURCH P. 36ST PETER’S ABBEY P. 36ALISON, THE SECRET OF THE FALLEN ANGELS P. 36ST PETER’S ABBEY GARDEN AND VINEYARD P. 37THE BOOK TOWER P. 37“HUG-A-TREE” IN VAN DUYSEPLEIN P. 37WHISPERING BOOKSCulture is everywhere in Ghent, even in underground car parks. Voicesescape from Anouk De Clercq’s abstract bookcase, whispering age-oldis part of an international art project.SCHELDE


SINT-PIETERSP. 36SINT-PIETERSPLEIN[ Sint-Pietersplein ]ST PETER’S ABBEY[ Sint-Pietersabdij ]Sint-Pietersplein is the city’s square for large-scale events. Eachyear, the Mid-Lent Fair is held here. Many important archaeologicaldiscoveries were made during the construction of the undergroundcar park. You can admire them at the St Peter’s Abbey.The refectory wing of St Peter’s Abbey is authentically medieval. Thesplendid garden with its vineyard and ruins is a green oasis in theheart of the city. Every year, the St Peter’s Abbey hosts prestigiousexhibitions with international allure.OUR LADY OFST PETER’S CHURCHSint-Pietersplein[ O.L.V.-Sint-Pieterskerk ]ALISON, THE SECRETOF THE FALLENANGELSThis imposing church was built in 1629 on the foundations of theprevious Romanesque abbey church. The architect, Pieter Huyssens,was inspired by the great Italian Renaissance churches. The interioris impressive and the art treasures are unique. Not to be missed.Raphael was found dead in St Peter’s Abbey. An accident? Or murder?In seventeen episodes, the digital monk Alison will take youon an exciting and mysterious journey through the centuries-oldpassages of the abbey.


THE BOOK TOWER[ Boekentoren ]ST PETER’S ABBEYGARDEN ANDVINEYARDNo need to leave Ghent to feel like a God in the south of France.The vineyard produces a very limited number of bottles of‘In Monte Blandinio’. This singular white wine goes exclusively tothe Wijnmetersgilde, which presents the City of Ghent with partof the lot as a gift and uses the remainder for its ceremonies andcelebrations.[ Sint-Pietersabdij ]Cycling tours ‘ReligiousGhent’s fourth tower is a modernist masterpiece by the Belgianarchitect Henry Van de Velde. The 64-metre concrete building fromits three million books, the university and the authorities have investedin its sustainable renovation. The works should be completedby 2017.“HUG-A-TREE” INVAN DUYSEPLEINVan DuysepleinKiss or hug the plane tree in Prudens Van Duyseplein, take a snapand post it online via www.facebook.com/gentfan. Thousands of(backpacking) tourists have already done so. And that’s how ananonymous tree became an online hype.SINT-PIETERSP. 37


CitadelparksiteTRAM 1Art surrounded by nature.-MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS P. 39S.M.A.K. P. 39CITADELPARK P. 39BOTANICAL GARDEN P. 40’T KUIPKE P. 40LIGHT AT THE END OF / IN THE TUNNELWhat used to be a dark passageway to the train station is now an artinstallation: a 106-m high photo collage by Swiss artist Beat Streuli showsdozens of people strolling through the city and going about their lives.between the photographs every time a train enters the station.


S.M.A.K.[ S.M.A.K. ]MUSEUM OFFINE ARTS[ Museum v. Schone Kunsten ]The power and the charm of the Museum of Fine Arts lies in thevariety of its collection, which ranges from Rogier van der Weydenand Hieronymus Bosch to Rubens and van Dyck, James Ensor, vanRysselberghe, Permeke and Magritte. An auditorium, a library, anda café and restaurant make it a modern, multifunctional complexwhere you can spend many happy hours surrounded by beauty. In2011 it was crowned the most child-friendly museum in Flanders.The Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art is just as stubbornas the city in which it was established. The permanent collection ofnational and international masterpieces is presented in continuousinteraction with original and often daring exhibitions. Keeping aCITADELPARKThis park was named after the large-scale Citadel built on this sitefollowing the fall of Napoleon. This military structure gradually lostits function and was replaced by a park. Large exhibition halls werebuilt here for the 1913 World Exhibition. The largest remaining hallis the Floraliënhal. Soon the large and protected park, which coversan area of 15 hectares, will undergo a thorough facelift. The aim: toturn it into one of the city’s main green lungs.CITADELPARKP. 39


CITADELPARKP. 40BOTANICAL GARDEN[ Botanische tuin ]to study. As a visitor, you can just enjoy their beauty.’T KUIPKEThe Six Days of Ghent has welcomed many legendary cyclists.Every year in November, the great atmosphere and the steep trackmake this a popular event not to be missed.TIP!GARDEN IN THECENTRAL STRIPpanesecherry trees in thethat (for now?) that hasn’tCHARLES DE KERCHOVELAAN


Bijloke-siteLEIECOUPUREGateway to the city.STAM P. 42MUZIEKCENTRUM DE BIJLOKE P. 42COUPURE P. 42GHENT JAZZ FESTIVALFor a decade now the Ghent Jazz Festival has brought jazz legends andnew talents to the city. The key to this success: a great location, a fantasticatmosphere and a wildly enthusiastic audience. Not purism in theprogramming, but music with a broad scope makes this one of the bestfestivals in Belgium.LEIE


BIJLOKEP. 42© PHILE DEPREZMUZIEKCENTRUMDE BIJLOKE[ Concertzaal de Bijloke ]STAM[STAM ]a contemporary concert hall with unique acoustics. Attending a concerthere is a treat for the ear and eye. Treat yourself to a culinarydelight at the Bijloke Bistro, which looks out onto the hall.The recently opened City Museum, or STAM is your gateway tothe city. The fourteenth-century abbey, the seventeenth-century-you to the history of Ghent. Eight months after the inauguration,the City Museum welcomed its 100,000th visitor. Will you be the200,000th?COUPUREIn the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the Coupure was a busybuilt along the shore, the workers were banished (and until thebeginning of the twentieth century, they were literally expelled).


Shopping“A CITY SHOULDN’T TRY TOBE COMPLETE, IT SHOULDOFFER LOTS OF TASTY TREATS,PREFERABLY OF THE HIGHESTQUALITY, FOR US – THE NEWNOMADS – TO ENJOY.”Jan Hoet-Tasty treats Markets Ghent fashion Design & retro,art & antiques Shopping mapSERPENTSTRAATP. 43


SHOPPINGP. 44TASTY TREATSIn Ghent, all you need to do is follow the delicious scents. They’lltake you to tons of authentic sweets shops. Fill your cone withpoepkes, muilkes, cuberdons, pralines or any other sweet delight.pedestrianised shopping area.GHENT FASHIONHand-made dresses, handbags made from recycled materials, originaljewellery or second-hand vintage items: all across the city youforever remind you of your visit to Ghent.MARKETSAn old vinyl record, a trendy jacket, Tunisian olive oil or a kilo oftulip bulbs… There are plenty of special offers at the various markets.Follow the special tour that takes you along the markets on theDESIGN & RETRO, ART & ANTIQUESDid you still have some space in your cabinet before you visitedknickknacks and irresistible design. If you’re a collector, get up earlyand go to the second-hand market at ‘Bij Sint-Jacobs’ every Friday,Saturday and Sunday morning. Follow your instinct – or better, the


Ghent:simply deliciousCooking shows and other TV programmes about foodare extremely popular, but we believe there’s nothingbetter than dining out. And if you agree, Ghent is theplace to be!Pub & Resto mapSandwich or soup bars, heavenly lobster or pastarestaurants… We have them all – and they’re allequally delicious. Young, talented chefs who’ve justtaken over a restaurant or passionate amateurswho’ve launched a bold new concept – togetherthey’ve put Ghent on the (culinary) map!From RoomeR, Ghent’s typical elderflower blossomaperitif to Tierenteyn, the tangy mustard that isdelicious on a sandwich with uuflakke (pig’s head),and sweet neuzekes or cuberdons: your taste budswill have a lot to discover in Ghent!You can have it all: Belgian or exotic specialities, aquick bite or a five-course meal, fish or meat. Or, nomeat… because Ghent was recently crowned VeggieCapital of Europe. Ask for the veggie plan at theGhent Tourist Office!And don’t forget to taste the world-famous GentseWaterzooi… which also happens to be the name of anold Flemish TV programme.BREAKFAST OR BRUNCHA tasty breakfast before you head out into the city? Or a lie-in followedby a hearty brunch? Crispy bread, fresh orange juice and whynot, a glass of champagne… Dozens of eateries open their doors veryearly so you don’t need to start your day on an empty stomach, butwith a big smile.ROCK ’N’ ROLL CUISINEOut of the way, Jamie Oliver. Three culinary geniuses chose to opentheir restaurants in Ghent. The ‘Flemish Foodies’ hate to stick bythe rules. The result is a playful, dynamic and delicious cuisine.Discover the addresses of Volta, De Vitrine and J.E.F., as well asmany more great eateries, in the Pub & Resto map that is available Pub & Resto mapP. 45


P. 46NIGHTLIFETHE NIGHT IS STILL YOUNG-“YOU’RE IN THE FUNKIESTPLACE IN THE WORLDRIGHT NOW!“Light Festivalsurpassed all expectations. International lighting artistsput the city’s buildings and monuments in the spotlight.Thousands of Gentenaars weathered the cold to admirethis unique show. It was such a huge success that we’veturned it into a tradition. Looking forward to it?THE BELFRY DURING THE LIGHT FESTIVAL


Ghent by nightThe lights are fantastic, but so is the city’s social and culturalnightlife.One last drinkWhen we last counted, there were 320 cafes in the historical citycentre, each with its own atmosphere, audience and draught beer.Dance the night awayYou’ve been walking all day but still you feel like partying? No-. In pubs, bands takethe rickety stage by storm, while DJs do their thing at trendy clubs.The British Face Magazine even named the Culture Club the hippestplace on earth. And who are we to question that?On stageSinger-songwriters at the Handelsbeurs, musical actors at Capitole,rock stars at Vooruit and divas at the Opera, they all have one thingin common: they love performing in Ghent.Dozens of theatre companies bring classics and their own creationsto stages big and small: from the Royal Dutch Theatre to the MinardTheatre, Campo, Arca, Tinnenpot, De Centrale and De Kopergietery.Studio Skoop and Cinema Sphinx. Once a year, the stars walk thered carpet at the Ghent Film Festival.You’ll find all cultural hotspots and programmes onwww.visitgent.be. Alternatively, check the multimediainformation table at the Ghent Tourist Office in theOld Fish Market.UIT IN GENTP. 47


P. 48FESTIVALS, FEASTS AND EVENTSThe Ghent FestivitiesIn the second half of July Ghent goes crazy for ten dayswith hundreds of performances, street theatre and plays,fairs and entertainment for kids, an opening parade anda closing concert. We party the night away and downAll year longBut during the rest of the year, the city is equally bubbly.The Ghent Jazz Festival and the Festival of FlandersGhent make Ghent a UNESCO Creative City of Music.international allure that even attracts our royals.In a nutshell: every visit to Ghent is different, fun andBelow you will find a list of regular events. To checkwhat’s on this weekend go to the website or have a lookat the multimedia information table at the Ghent TouristOffice in the Old Fish Market.LIGHT FESTIVAL / EVERY TWO YEARS - JANUARYGHENT JAZZ FESTIVAL / JULYTHE GHENT FESTIVITIES / WEEK OF JULY 21STFESTIVAL OF FLANDERS / SEPTEMBER-OCTOBERThe power of classical musicGHENT FILM FESTIVAL / OCTOBERSIX DAYS OF GHENT / NOVEMBERGHENT FLORALIES / EVERY FIVE YEARS - APRIL 2015


Don’t forget the guideA professional guide is a walking encyclopaedia whoknows everything about buildings and monuments, but– more importantly – also spices things up with juicyanecdotes and fun facts, so many things we can’t possiblyinclude in this brochure.The Ghent Guides provide you with the perfect introductionto the city. From May till September you can simplyjoin their walks, which all start at the Ghent TouristOn Saturday, Vizit organises culinary walks for thoseAnd Gandante adopts a playful approach to exploringthe city with its treasure hunts.You can make a personalised tour of Ghent, too, withthe new guides’ association Ghent-Authentic, for example.The ‘front’ of the city is best explored on foot, while the‘back’ is best discovered by boat.If you love cycling ask about (thematic) bike tours at the GhentAre you the sporty type? Then why not join a guided jogging tourorganised by Jog-Tours? Discover the city during the six, eight orP. 49


P. 50Out with kids--THE WORLD OF KINA: THE GARDEN | More than 1,000 plant species, a beehive and live tarantulas:children and youngsters will love this place. Their parents can joinTHE WORLD OF KINA: THE HOUSE | A unique fossil of a prehistoric reptile, a beautiful diorama roomwith indigenous birds and a model of the city as it was 450 yearsago, with lights and sounds.Sint-Pietersplein 14


Outside the cityBlaarmeersen Bourgoyen-Ossemeersen Ghent is the perfect city for pedestrians and cyclists.And cycling is also the perfect way to explore the city’ssurroundings. Discover where to rent a bike (or even atandem!) in the list of useful addresses at the back and inthe annex with practical information. At the Ghent TouristOffice you’ll find brochures with cycling routes.ALONG THE RIVER LYS P. 51


SPORTSP. 52BLAARMEERSENWeather permitting, you must go to the Blaarmeersen Sports andRecreation Park. The large lake is perfect for swimming, diving,wooden walking bridge, while the lifeguards watch over your safetyfrom three different towers.There is also an athletics track surrounded by greenery, as well as askating rink, a skate park and a mini golf course, football and rugbypitches, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and badminton andsquash courts.BOURGOYEN-OSSEMEERSENMany inhabitants of Ghent are unaware of the beautiful naturereserve they have just outside the city. Bourgoyen-Ossemeersen is aThe brand-new visitors’ centre sets an example of sustainability. Itis freely accessible throughout the week, so is the cafe. Here you’llYou can camp here as well, at the only four-star campsite in Ghent.


Good toknowNEVER GET LOSThas special, clear signage for pedestrians in 114 locations.Ghent is divided in two quarters: the Historical Centre and theArts Quarter. Each quarter has several sites. Coloured arrowstake you from one site to the next. Of course every signpost alsoshows the different train stations.square brackets, accompanied by the pedestrian symbol. These[ Signpost ]PUBLIC TRANSPORTPublic transport in Ghent is well organised. Buses and tramstake you wherever you need to be – in and outside the city –from early morning till late at night. On Friday and SaturdayTickets are cheaper when bought before boarding. You canpurchase them at the ‘Lijnwinkels’, newspaper vendors,supermarkets and at some grocers or from the vending machinesat certain bus and tram stops. The tickets need to bevalidated in the yellow machine on the bus or tram.Ask for the free bus and tram map at the ‘Lijnwinkels’ at theGent-Sint-Pieters train station, at Korenmarkt and at Gent-P. 53


P. 54Go to www.citytripplanner.com and create your own personalisedvisit to Ghent in a jiffy. Answer a few short questions aboutThematic plans allow you to explore Ghent from a completelydifferent angle. They are all available from the Ghent TouristHANDY TIPS FOR EXPLORING THE CITYIf you’re thinking of exploring the historical city centre on foot,get your free map – available in eight languages: Dutch, French,German, English, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Japanese – atThere are also four cycling routes to choose from, each highlightinga different aspect of our city: ‘Religious Heritage’,‘City of green’, ‘Origins of a city by the water’ and ‘A green beltaround the city’.Would you like more details about theinformation in this brochure? Or aboutsomething that is not included?Then go to www.visitgent.be.Every route passes by famous and less-known sites in andaround the city. You can buy the maps from the Ghent Tourist


Useful addressesGUIDED TOURSGhent GuidesVizitGandanteBOEKjeBEZOEKGhent-AuthenticJog-Tours GentBOAT TOURScanalsBoat in GentDe Bootjes van Gent – RederijDewaeleGent WatertoeristDeparture: GrasleiRederij De GentenaerDeparture:Viadagio vzwBenelux RederijCruise on the Lys from Ghent to itsMinerva Boat CompanyDeparture: Coupure Rechts 2aYachtcharter GentLeie YachtingDeparture: DrongenRafting & Outdoor EventsHistorical or photo treasure huntsiboat.be – K25 bvbaTRIPS IN HORSE-DRAWNCARRIAGESDeparture: Sint-BaafspleinBYCICLE RENTALBikerMax Mobiel vzwPDG Bikestore(Drongen)Het Verzet BVBAVESPA RENTALLa Bella VespaWestremBLAARMEERSEN SPORTS ANDRECREATION PARKFLANDERS TOP GYMNASTICSHALL AND TOP SPORTS HALLP. 55


Ghent Altarpiece Castle of the Counts


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VISIT GENTTourist Information CentreSint-Veerleplein 5 - 9000 GentT +32 9 266 56 60www.visitgent.be - visit@gent.be@visitgentOpen:9.30 > 16.30 (15/10 > 14/03)9.30 > 18.30 (15/03 > 14/10)PUBLISHER: Lieven Decaluwe, alderman for Culture, Tourism and Festivities.Stadhuis, Botermarkt 1, 9000 Gent.The Ghent Tourist Office is reducing its ecological footprint.This city guide was printed on FSC paper.Follow visitgent on:

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