Ghent’s 23 best sights – descriptions and photos
The Castle of the Counts of Flanders is one of the most visited attractions in Ghent. The ancient fortress was built back in the 12th century, but despite the past centuries, it is well preserved to this day, as you can see with a glimpse of it.
St. Bavon’s Cathedral
St. Bavon’s Cathedral is considered the main temple of Ghent. According to historical sources, the first mention of this church dates back to the first half of the 10th century, but the Cathedral of St. Bavon as it has come down to this day dates back no earlier than the 14th century.
The Vrijdagmarkt, or “Friday Market”, is the main square of Ghent. It was so in the Middle Ages, and it remains the epicenter of city life and the hub of tourists today. But first a few words about the history of the Vrijdagmarkt.
Ghent Town Hall
The City Hall is not to be confused with any other landmark of Ghent. The three-story building attracts attention primarily because of its unusual architectural style. On the one hand this town hall is built in the best traditions of restrained Gothic style, but on the other hand it has an unmistakable splendid Renaissance style.
Beffrois Tower in Ghent
You can’t miss this remarkable Ghent bell tower, which dominates the city center like a fairy tale tower. The top of the tower bears a clock and is crowned by a sharp dome with a spire and a dragon weathervane, flanked by four smaller towers.
Ghent City Museum
Ghent has a rich and interesting history, and those who want to get to know it better shouldn’t miss the Ghent City Museum (STAM). The museum occupies a former 14th-century abbey, then a 17th-century monastery, which is already a museum in its own right.
Ghent City Museum of Modern Art
The Museum of Modern Art (S.M.A.K.) in Ghent is dynamic and highly individual. It was the first contemporary art museum in Belgium. Its permanent collection includes top national and international works. The museum opened relatively recently.
The Maison Alein is the only surviving former almshouse in Ghent and today houses a folklore museum. To be exact, not folklore in the sense of the word we are used to: Here you can see not the life of medieval peasants, but of ordinary men and women of the 20th century.
Van Oydonk Castle
On a bend of the river Laine not far from Ghent lies the graceful and majestic Château Van Oydonk. The natural surroundings of the chateau – a beautiful park and a wide water moat – radiate serenity and peacefulness. The castle’s former history holds so many violent stories.
Gerald the Devil’s Castle
Gerald the Devil’s Castle is probably the second most visited site after the Castle of the Counts of Flanders. Despite the somewhat macabre name, there are no facts in the history of the medieval fortress that speak of its vampiric past.
Design Museum in Ghent
Ghent Design Museum was created from the “Society of Industrial and Decorative Arts” founded in 1903. But in 1920 the city acquired a beautiful noble mansion Konink, built in the mid-18th century.
Dr. Ghislain Museum
This museum is quite unusual, and not everyone is willing to pay a visit here: the museum is located in the oldest psychiatric hospital in Belgium, built in 1857. Nowadays the Gislain Hospital still serves its original function.
Ghent Museum of Fine Arts
The Art Museum of Ghent (MSKG) is famous not only for the diversity of its collection, but also for the way the exhibits are presented in the exhibition space. Many are willing to agree that never before have old masters been exhibited so winningly as in this fully restored museum.
Museum of Industry, Labor and Textiles
The Museum of Industry, Labor and Textiles (MIAT) occupies the former textile mill building in the center of Ghent. Here you can learn about the development of industry in general and textiles in particular, from the mid-18th century to the present day.
Flemish Opera House Ghent
The Flemish Opera House Ghent dates back to 1840. Previously on this site there was a theater, but the first building was destroyed by fire, and the second (it was erected in 1737), in the opinion of the Belgian beau monde, did not correspond to the status of prosperous Ghent.
St. Nicholas Church in Ghent
Belgian religious landmarks are notable for their beauty and grandeur, but the Church of St. Nicholas in Ghent is without exaggeration an example of Gothic style and architecture. The ancient temple, by the way, dating back to the beginning of the 13th century, is located in the center of the city.
Belgian beauty Ghent hospitably welcomes tourists from all over the world, so no matter what time you are here, be prepared for a long but exciting marathon. What’s there to see in Ghent? Architectural sights, of course! Such a variety of historical sites to find. The sights that no tourist can miss are the castle of the Counts of Flanders and the castle of Gerald the Devil.
It is possible to save good money on admission tickets when visiting the sights of Ghent if you buy a city cart Gent.
From the religious sites of Ghent not to mention the Cathedral of St. Bavon and the Church of St. Nicholas. In the main temple (that is, in the cathedral) do not miss the legendary Ghent altar – the worship of the lamb. You can immerse yourself in the atmosphere of medieval market Ghent on the Vrijdagmarkt. Here, as in centuries past, there are lively markets every Friday and Saturday.
Museum of Modern Art Museum of Fine Arts Grass Street and Grain Street Church St. Michael’s Center Ghent Train Station Sint-Peters Monument to Baron Emil Braun
This site contains Ghent sights – photos, descriptions, and travel tips. The list is based on popular travel guides and is presented by type, name and rating. Here you’ll find answers to questions: what to see in Ghent, where to go, and where are the popular and interesting places in Ghent.
Museum of Modern Art
Belgium’s first museum dedicated to contemporary art is located in a building that once housed a casino. The museum incorporates works of the new currents of minimalism, conceptualism, pop art and art povera.
When you visit this attraction, you can observe the unique work of the leader of German postmodernism, the genius Josef Beuys. He will surprise you with lead prints and watercolor drawings reminiscent of prehistoric cave paintings. Luc Teumanns will introduce you to the perennial theme of evil and banality with his reference to the common table lamp and the gas chamber.
An avant-garde movement called Cobra will show you distorted human figures and vivid canvases with semi-abstractions. You can visit the room of Ghent native Maurice Maeterlinck, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature and author of the famous philosophical parable.
The Museum of Modern Art does not stand still. It is constantly renewing itself and hosts solo exhibitions, performances of young artists and international exchanges.
Museum of Fine Arts
The Museum of Fine Arts was created on the basis of a church in which 250 works of art hidden from the eyes of the occupiers could be transferred. The museum first opened its doors in November 1802. Three years later all the valuables were housed in the Academy of Fine Arts. In 1818 another 60 works stolen by the French were recovered.
From 1896 to 1902 works on the construction of a new building for the museum were carried out. The project was entrusted to one of the successful architects in Ghent. In May 1904 in the presence of King Leopold was inaugurated Museum of Fine Arts. Soon the hard war years began, the city’s inhabitants spared the museum’s collection as best they could, hiding paintings in the library, the town hall, the monastery and the cathedral. During the Second World War, the building suffered a lot, and the collection was almost completely looted by the German military. It was not until the end of the 20th century that it was possible to reconstruct the museum building and replenish the former collections.
It has to be said, the exposition is rich in works directly by Belgian authors, as well as works by representatives from various European schools. Many undoubtedly come here to see Bosch’s legendary work “Christ bearing the Cross” as well as works by Ensor, Heckel, René Magritte, Kirchner and many others.
Which Ghent landmarks did you like? There are icons next to the photo, by clicking on which you can rate this or that place.
Museum of Fine Arts
Belgium has a wealth of art museums, but the Ghent’s Museum of Fine Arts never fails to impress with the variety and uniqueness of its many collections.
Every year the museum organizes exhibitions that amaze with their breadth and originality.
In the XVIII century the first collections of the museum appeared. It happened due to the secularization of the property of churches. As a result, the city authorities seized valuable works of art, which began to sell at auctions. In 1805, all the collections were given to the Academy of Fine Arts, where they rested for a hundred years. In 1818, the treasures of Ghent were seized by the French, after which they managed to return only 60 canvases.
The museum collected its unique and precious collections for more than a century. The richest and most noble people bequeathed their gifts to it. Fernand Scribe gave to the treasury the portraits of Ravestain, Tintoretto, Géricault: “Portrait of a madman”, still-lifes by Feuille and Heda, landscapes by Daubigny and Corot. But not only paintings can please us in this place – here you can see tapestries and graphics of the famous genius sculptor Georges Minnet.
In photo mode you can view the sights in Ghent by photo only.
Grass Street and Grain Street
Grass Street and Grain Street are the central streets of the Belgian city of Ghent, representing the eastern and western embankments of the River Lys, on which the Church of Saint Nicholas and the Church of Saint Michael the Archangel stand opposite each other. In the Middle Ages, when grain began to be imported into Flanders through Ghent, these streets were the center of this trade, hence their names.
The streets still have many buildings from the Middle Ages. In the street of herbs there is a grain warehouse with a stepped gable of XIII century, considered the oldest in the world, now there is a restaurant in the building. The shop house of the Free Seamen’s Guild, built in the 18th century with a Baroque facade, is on Grain Street and is also used as a restaurant. Both streets were recognized by the government as a historic district in 1952 and many buildings constructed on them at different times are monuments of architecture.
Coordinates : 51.05489400,3.72020500
The Church of St. Michael
St. Michael’s Church is a structure built between 1440 and 1480, but oddly enough, it is the newest church in Ghent, built in the Gothic style. In the 16th century, the building was caught up in the hard times of the religious wars, from which it was severely damaged.
In the 17th century, the war was over. But it had no effect on the fact that the tower, which was planned to be 138 meters high, was never finished. The tower had been under construction for several centuries and became the hallmark of St. Michael’s Church.
The building is endowed with many side chapels and choirs, perfectly harmonizing with the interior brick vaults, stained glass windows and white marble walls. The interior is in the Gothic style, and contains Rococo statues, a high altar, and paintings by Caspar de Craire, Philippe de Champagne and Antonis van Dyck.
Any tourist can take a peek at the charm of this church and admission is free from April to September.
Ghent city center
Ghent is a city and port at the confluence of the rivers Leie and Scheldt in Belgium, the administrative center of the province of East Flanders. The magnificent ancient city founded in the seventh century and located north of Brussels, has always been a central point for the Flemish.
Ghent has been the center of the textile and lace industry since the 11th century. The city center still has buildings and streets of the economic prosperity of Flanders, to which it owed much to Ghent. Unlike Bruges, which to this day has remained a medieval museum city, Ghent is alive and growing.
In the center of Ghent is one of the local symbols – St. Michael’s Bridge. It is said that from this bridge you get the most successful panorama photos of the city. Here are the main attractions of the city: on the left – the Church of St. Nicholas, on the right – the Belford Tower and the Cathedral of St. Bavon.
As should be a tourist destination, the center of Ghent has many different cafes and restaurants. You can try the beer and bacon for which this Belgian city is famous.
Coordinates : 51.05367000,3.73032700
Sint Peters Railway Station
Sint-Peters, or St. Peter’s railway station, is the main train station in Ghent. Its origins are a small station that was located on the Ghent-Ostend line in 1881. St. Peters itself was built on the occasion of the 1913 World’s Fair in this beautiful architectural town.
Sint Peters Station is very extensive, its corridors look like tunnels and are long. The main hall gives access to 12 platforms. All other waiting rooms, like the main hall, are of a unique design. In addition to the fact that you can get anywhere in Belgium from the station, there is an excellent restaurant and buffet inside.
The main entrance to St. Peters was renovated in 2007 and a new glass dome was built near it in 2008. The murals in the main concourse were restored in 2010, making the train station even more immaculate.
Coordinates : 51.03591600,3.71080200
Are you curious to know how well you know the sights of Ghent?
Monument to Baron Emile Brown
Monument to Baron Emile Brown is a small and rather unusual monument, which is located in one of the many squares of the city. It represents a composition of five mourning figures that surround a granite well.
The monument is dedicated to one of the mayors of the city – the young Baron Emil Brown, who died at the age of 26. There is no reliable information about what the baron did extraordinarily important for the city at such a young age. It seems, however, that the citizens of the city sincerely grieved for their mayor, whose memory is immortalized in a monument.
The most popular attractions in Ghent with descriptions and photos for all tastes. Choose the best places to visit famous places in Ghent on our website.
More sights in Ghent.
Parc Beervelde, Ghent, Belgium St. Nicholas Church, Ghent, Belgium St. Bavon’s Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium St. Bavon’s Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium Jules Otten Stadium, Ghent, Belgium Works Protective Works Complex, Ghent, Belgium