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Ghent is a historic city, yet at the same time a contemporary one. The modern daily life of the city's active inhabitants plays itself out against a gorgeous historical backdrop. In Ghent, they live, work and enjoy life over and over again each day. A couple enjoys the peace of an authentic beguinage. Parents and children stroll through the traffic-free streets of the city centre. A tourist snaps a photo of the three towers, as so many have before, but just a little differently. A businessman with an iPhone walks along the distinctive Graslei, crosses the Lys and enters his stylish four-star hotel hiding behind a medieval facade. Dozens of pavement cafes invite you to discover Ghent's specialities. The sun is reflected in the many waterways. The city is alive and bids you welcome.
Top things to do in Ghent
St Bavo's cathedral
A trove of art treasures: 22 altars (!), a Rococo pulpit in marble and oak and of course the exquisite highlight: ‘The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’ by the Van Eyck brothers.
When Charles V was baptised there in 1500, the metamorphosis from a closed Romanesque church to a spacious Gothic one was fully underway. However, despite substantial financial support from the emperor, the cathedral still remained unfinished 58 years later. As a result, the funeral service for the deceased sovereign could not take place there.
All that remains of the original Romanesque church is the crypt.
St. Bavo’s Cathedral houses an impressive number of art treasures: the baroque high altar in white, black and red flamed marble, the rococo pulpit in oak, gilded wood and marble, a major work by Rubens, the ‘Calvary Triptych’, attributed to Joos van Wassenhove, alias Justus van Gent, tombs of the Ghent bishops, and much more.
However, one work stands out head and shoulders above the rest: the world-famous Adoration of the Mystic Lamb painted by Hubert and Jan van Eyck around 1432.
Museum of Fine Arts (inside)
The strength and the charm of the MSK is the variety of its collection and the way it is presented: never before have the old masters hung so perfectly in place as they do in the fully restored museum. An auditorium, a library, a children’s workshop and a café-restaurant make it into a modern, multifunctional complex where you can spend many happy hours surrounded by things of beauty. The Collection of Flemish Art Hieronymus Bosch, Peter Paul Rubens, James Ensor, and many more: their works are on display throughout the world. Nevertheless, nowhere else will you find a fuller picture of these and other world-renowned Flemish artists than in their home country. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, the Groeninge museum in Bruges and the Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent tell the story of the visual arts in the southern Netherlands from the 15th to the 20th century. Their collections have shared a parallel historical development and complement each other perfectly. Together they form the Collection of Flemish Art.
The Belfry is the proudest symbol of the city’s independence. The civil privileges the city received
in 1180 are still kept in the tower. The Cloth Hall was built onto the side of the Belfry. In a euphoric Brabant Gothic style, this monument glorifi es the industry to which the city owes so much.
At the corner of the Cloth Hall is an old jailer’s lodge. The façade is adorned with the ‘Mammelokker’ which depicts the legend of Cimon who was condemned to starve to death. He was saved by his daughter who fed him daily from her breast (‘mamme’: breast - ‘lokken’: suck). The Belfry is the middle of the famous three-tower row, together with the Saint Bavo’s Cathedral and the Saint Nicholas’ Church.
Saint Michael's Bridge
Nowhere else can you see so many marvellous buildings in one glance as from St Michael’s Bridge. The monumental bridge can itself be better admired from the Graslei.
Castle of the Counts of Flanders
‘I’ll show them who’s boss’: that’s what Philip of Alsace had in mind. So he had the imposing castle rebuilt (1180). Overlooking the city from its battlements high up on the keep, one can sense the feeling of wealth and power that the lord of the castle must have had. Thanks to the movie guide, a unique, interactive computer-controlled guide, this remote history really comes to life. On certain weekends, you may even meet some real knights.
With its location 4 km outside the city centre the B&B is perfect for a peaceful stay. By tram you can easily reach the centre and the nice shops of Ghent. When you return to the B&B, you can make free use of the luxurious amenities: a sauna, Turkish steam bath, jacuzzi and a heated indoor swimming pool. In the 4 star B&B guests can rent (free) a bicycle to explore the surroundings. You can park your car for free at the private parking area.The deluxe room 21 m2 has luxurious facilities such as an Auping bed, coffee and tea making facilities, a safe, radio and an LCD flat screen television with a DVD player with free DVD's. In the bathroom there are bathrobes, slippers, a hair dryer and a bath. The toilet is in the hall.To guarantee a pleasant stay in our hotel, children are not allowed.This property has provided all content and is solely responsible for its accuracy.
This design property is situated in Ghent, near Het Huis van Alijn and Gravensteen. Another nearby point of interest is Stadhuis. A complimentary continental breakfast is served each morning. This Ghent property provides an airport shuttle (surcharge). Hotel Harmony also offers a bar/lounge, wireless Internet access, and high-speed Internet access. The property has a 24-hour front desk. Hotel Harmony is a smoke-free property (fines may apply for violations).
Situated in a strategic area of the city, the Castelnou Hotel in Ghent Belgium is within short distance of many of the main attractions such as historic sites, great shopping as well as the university. This 3 star hotel in Belgium is ideal for business travelers as well as vacationing tourists. Unlike regular hotels, the Aparthotel Castelnou offers comfortable, furnished apartments with full hotel service. Guests interested in trying some of the local cuisine will want to stop in at the Restaurant Dali which serves both regional and international favorites. The Castelnou Hotel features 3 spacious meeting rooms equipped with state of the art necessities for the business traveler. There is also a very modern lounge bar perfect for that well deserved pre-dinner drink.
NH Gent Sint Pieters
Ideally located in Gent, between the Sint Pieter railway station and the historic centre, the NH Gent Sint Pieters Hotel offers 4 star accommodation in the capital city of Belgium's Oost-Vlaanderen province. This 4 star Gent hotel offers a cosy atmosphere, with charming interiors and a welcoming staff. On-site features are thoughtfully designed for guest comfort and include spacious and refined accommodations and lobby bar. For any meeting and social event, you can be sure that every detail will be meticulously taken care of at the NH Gent Sint Pieters hotel. Whether you are at the NH Gent Sint Pietershere Hotel for business or leisure, you may use one of the four meeting rooms with natural light.
This romantic 3 star hotel provides elegant guest rooms in the heart of historical Ghent and is established in an authentic 18th century residence. Elegantly renovated by its occupants, who happen to be interior decorators, the Hôtel Verhaegen offers a wonderful setting for your relaxing city break. Each guest room is individually decorated, combining contemporary style with the more traditional features that characterise this building. Benefit from convenient private parking and free Wi-Fi throughout the entire hotel. You can start your day with a wholesome breakfast, served in the dining room, and admire paintings by P.N. van Reysschoot. Weather permitting, the beautiful hotel garden offers a green oasis of peace in which you can unwind completely. The warm, personal service of this intimate hotel will add extra charm to your stay.