Gent belgien Before the start of my research for this recommendable trip, was not even a word for me. But in hindsight, I can confidently say to you: Belgien was the absolute highlight in Gent Belgien! An enchantingly romantic city center with many historic buildings, a pleasant atmosphere and of course culinary delights without end. I tell you all about this in this travelogue!
Gent as a worthy travel contract
There was a lot of sadness when my girlfriend and I started
the last leg of our six-day journey through Flanders. The days before we had
some great and emotional moments in Antwerp, Bruges, and Ostend – all travel
reports can be found in the blue info box below. As a means of transport, we
used the train, which worked perfectly without exception. From Bruges, we
reached Gent in just 25 minutes. After the trains run exemplary every 5-20
minutes, on the arrival no great planning on our part was necessary. We reached
our destination completely stress-free – an unfamiliar feeling!
The Gent altar is protected behind a glass wall and can be
viewed from all sides. A special feature is that every day between 12 and 13
clocks the panels of the altar are closed, to admire the outsides in full
splendor. By the way, if the entrance to the chapel with the Gent altar is
closed, there is at least a small copy in the cathedral itself. Be sure to
check out the extremely detailed Rococo Oak Chest and other treasures in the
church! By the way: the tower of St. Bavo’s Cathedral can be climbed once a
year at the time of the Gent Festival.
Gent as a large open-air museum
Of course, just because I did not have Gent Belgien on
radar before our trip does not mean that other travelers feel the same way. The
city was very crowded and teeming with people. Nevertheless, we never had the
cramped feeling that can drive you crazy in many other tourist hotspots like
Barcelona or Venice. And best of all: when it gets too much you just go out of
the center for a few minutes and find yourself in an idyll again – I’ll give
you one example below.
Almost everywhere I make sure to stay in one place for at
least one night. This pays off in Gent in particular because the city
administration illuminated for many years streets, squares, and buildings in a
targeted manner. There is even a city map with a proposal for an evening walk,
during which you can admire all the important sights in a special light. More details
about it as well as tips, which typical belgium food you can taste in Gent, you
will learn now in the further course of my travelogue. Have fun while reading!
St. Nicholas Church
The St. Nicholas Church (Sint-Niklaaskerk) is part of the
Gent Three-Tower series and one of the most important churches in the city.
From the outside, she has impressed me with her dimensions. Inside, the
equipment is sumptuous and detailed. A special feature is a tower, which is
located not above the entrance, but over the intersection of main and aisle.
Through its glass windows, it allows the penetration of daylight into the entire
church. The St. Nicholas Church is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10-17
clock and on Monday from 14-17 clock.
St. Bavo’s Cathedral
The most famous and famous sight is St. Bavo’s Cathedral
(Sint-Baafskathedraal). The origins of the church, dedicated to John the
Baptist, dating back to 942. The present appearance exists since the middle of
the 16th century (1559) – an impressively long time. Parts of the original
Romanesque building are still visible in the crypt today, but the rest of the
building was rebuilt in the Gothic style. The Cathedral is open all year
round until the 1st of January, the exact opening times during the different
seasons can be found on the official website.
After a first walk, we could already say with certainty:
the entire city center is simply a large open-air museum. The density of
historically worth seeing buildings is enormous and one comes out of the
amazement hard. As for highlights, I felt the castle Gravensteen, the Genter
Dreiturmreihe as well as the two opposite shore terraces Graslei and Korenlei.
Not only visually, this place is a pleasure, but also from the relaxed
atmosphere – here, locals are visibly as happy as tourists.
Nh Gent Belfort
The famous Gent three-tower row consists of the towers of St. Bavo’s Cathedral, St. Nicholas Church and the Belfry in between. The term belfry refers to a high bell tower typical of Flemish cities. The towers were formerly used among other things as a sign of power, for the storage of documents and as a sentry. The Belfry of Gent Belgien is not only one of the landmarks of the city, but at 91 meters also the highest in Belgium. So it is hardly surprising that the remarkable building is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage. (https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/943/)
Graslei and Korenlei
The pulsating center and at the same time probably the most
beautiful spot of Gent is certainly the opposite shore terraces Graslei
and Korenlei. From the 11th century to the present day, ships have been
docking here, while there is a jumble of locals and tourists around. The beauty
is simply mind-boggling, especially the mix of guild houses and the two towers
of the old post office building (which today houses a small shopping center).
People are sitting on every corner enjoying the atmosphere. Numerous street
cafés also invite to a relaxing break.
Gent City Center
In Gent, you usually arrive at the main train station of St. Pieters, which is a bit further from the city center. Only when traveling to or from Antwerp, Gent -Dampoort station offers a second option, which is closer to the city center. My girlfriend and I started our adventure in Gent at least from St. Pieters, which is worth seeing inside as well as outside. With the tram line 1, we drove then some stops in the city center to the station Korenmarkt. Only a short distance away was our hotel NH Gent Belgien Belfort central and traffic-wise cheaper it is not!
Gent at night
In my opinion, the appeal and character of a city can only
be felt when you stay overnight. Not only does the atmosphere change in the
evening, but above all the radiance of the illuminated buildings changes. Gent
Belgien has developed its strategy and has been setting special accents for
several years using targeted irradiation of sights and other prominent places.
Every three years, there is even an own festival of light that causes a stir
with light artworks and installations. Unfortunately, the next one will take
place from 27.-31. January 2021.
The Gent Altar
From the outside, the St. Bavo Cathedral may look narrow and not so big, but upon entering it reveals its true dimension. The nave looks huge and stretches far back. Immediately after the entrance, on the left, there is access to a chapel, where the original of the famous Gent Belgien stands. The work bears the name “The Adoration of the Lamb of God” and comes from the brother’s van Eyck. The visit has its opening hours, which you can also call up via the link mentioned above. While access to the cathedral itself is free, the Gent Altar has to be paid EUR 4, – a worthwhile investment that you should make!