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Sint-Baafsplein

’t Vosken at the Sint-Baafsplein in Ghent

In the center of Ghent , close to the city’s tourist attractions, that’s where you’ll find ‘t Vosken. The perfect location to taste, breathe and experience Ghent to its full potential. You can marvel at Ghent’s stunning belfry or its breathtakingly beautiful Saint Bavo Cathedral. Maybe you’d rather pay a visit to the famous theatre NTGent, enjoy a cold drink in the Belfry’s shade or strengthen your inner self with a hearty Ghent meal.

Enjoy the terrace next to the Ghent Belfry

Michael Kranewitter

© Michael Kranewitter

Ghent’s single most popular tourist attraction is beyond the shadow of a doubt the Saint Bavo Cathedral with its rich art heritage. There you can admire the famous paintings of Rubens, but the art piece that attracts tourists from all over the world to the cathedral is the Ghent Altarpiece (also called the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb or the Lamb of God) painted by the brothers Jan and Hubert Van Eyck. The best-known panel of the Lamb of God is called ‘The Just Judges’, notoriously known for being stolen over 80 years ago. The triptych is currently under restauration, an operation that will take at least five years to complete. Nonetheless, the Lamb of God will remain accessible in the Saint Bavo Cathedral. Keep in mind, however, that it will be missing some panels.

The Saint Bavo Cathedral is open from 8:30 to 18:00. In winter the Cathedral closes an hour early. Price: €4.

Just a few metres away you’ll find the Ghent Belfry, a remnant of richer days past, when cities could afford building non-religious buildings. Belgium offers many fine examples of this type of bell tower. The ones in Ypres, Mechelen and Oudenaarde might just be worth a visit. Special about Ghent’s tower are the cloth hall and clergy house, nicknamed Mammelokker, attached to it. The latter one is characterised by a special relief on the tympanum: the relief depicts a woman breastfeeding an older man. The scene refers to a Roman legend, nicknamed the ‘Mammelokker legend’.

The Belfry is open every day from 10:00 to 18:00.Price: €6 . Unless you live in Ghent, then it’s only €4.5.

Fountain and statue of Jan-Frans Willems

A free attraction is the gorgeously modern fountain on the Sint-Baafsplein with a statue of Jan-Frans Willems in the middle of it. This famous Belgian liberal-minded politician fiercely opposed the then government’s language policy that privileged French-speaking people over those whose native language was Dutch. As a cofounder of the Flemish Movement Willems managed to promote Flemish culture and language through various initiatives. Jan-Frans Willems is buried in the Campo Santo cemetery in Sint-Amandsberg, which is also an absolute must-see, If you can spare the time. It’s the Belgian equivalent of France’s Père Lachaise cemetery.

Cultural activities in NTGent and Miryzaal

The theatre NTGent is the home of the Royal Dutch Theatre (KNS). NTGent represents its own theatre company with a fixed group of actors, among which are An Miller, Els Dottermans, Frank Focketyn en Wim Opbrouck.

If you love classical music, you will be well-catered for at the Miryzaal in the Royal Conservatory of Ghent. Enjoy the hall’s excellent acoustics in one of the 500 seats of the recently renovated and redecorated hall.

Ibis Hotel: a beautiful hotel in the city center

Hotel_Ibis_logo_2012

If you took your time to visit the attractions above, then you might be eager to have a good night’s rest. The Ibis Hotel is the ideal place to go, as it’s also located at the Saint Bavo Square. It might be a good idea to go shopping after a day full of culture and history. Shoppingcenter Zuid, Veldstraat and Lange Munt are just around the corner.

Be sure to check out the website of Visit Gent: the guide for all that happens in and around Ghent !

It sure is convenient that just about everything is within reach at the Sint-Baafsplein. ‘t Vosken might just be the perfect place to start your visit!

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