GHENT - GIVE IT A CHANCE
It's an overcast day with on and off rain, but we're only in Belgium for the weekend, so from Brussels to Bruges (for a couple of hours), it's back on the train for about 20 minutes to Ghent. Another city that we kind of race through (still have to make it to Antwerp today!), but it's one I would definitely come back to and give Ghent the proper time it deserves.There was no plan for Ghent. just wandered around and happily came across beautiful medieval buildings and a ton of gorgeous old churches.
Ok.... I don't think I've ever seen so many bikes parked in one spot (Ghent train station)
Seems everyone in Ghent bikes to the train station and off they go to wherever else in Belgium they need to get to
Colourful row of houses on Sint-Joriskaai, right by the Leie (or Lys) River
BELFORT VAN GHENT
One of the three medieval towers that dominate Ghent's city centre, the 91-metre tall Belfry sits on the west side of Sint-Baaskathedraal (St. Bavo's Cathedral). Together with the buildings (cathedrals) attached to it, the Belfry belongs to the set of belfries of Belgium inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List. For a few €'s you climb up a whole load of steps to the top and have amazing views. Or if you're lazy, there's also an elevator that will hall you're lazy but up there.
Old meets modern at one of Ghent's newest buildings made from wood, glass and concrete - this sucker stands out like a sore thumb in the middle of all this medievalness. It's a cool design on its own, but standing in the middle of the old Poeljemarkt - not so good.
This 13th-century Scheldt Gothic-style is probably one the most beautiful historic buildings in the city. Didn't go in - though I hear it's quite impressive - but admiring it from the outside was enough for me.
Another incredibly impressive building, you'd figure it's go to have some sort of impressive title. Turns out it's the Old Post Office, now a shopping mall.
Yet another impressive church in Ghent, this 14th-century one stands at the far end of its namesake bridge (St.Michael's Bridge) right by the Leie River.
Known in English as the Meat House or the Butchers' Hall, from medieval times to the end of the 19th century, this was the main spot for meat (one of the only places to regulate the trade to ensure quality of products back in the day). Today, it's a market for local specialties, flower shops and cafés.
Belfort van Gent
Underneath Ghent's City Pavilion
Sint-Niklaaskerk (Saint Nicolas' Church)
Postgebouw - Old post office built in 1903
Sint-Niklaaskerk (Saint Nicholas' Church)
Sint-Michielskerk (Saint Michael's Church)
Graslei - along the Leie River (or Lys in French)
Groot Vleeshuis (The Meat House)
Sint-Veerleplein - the oldest square in Ghent
YOU'VE GOTTA SEE...
An imposing landmark in the city centre, the "Castle of the Counts" is a beautiful stone castle, complete with a moat and everything. Didn't have time for a visit this time around, but it's on the list for next time.
The Friday Market was the former life of the city - markets, celebrations, festivals well as fights all took place here. In the middle there's a statue of Jacob van Artevelde, and it's a cute people watching spot.
GHENT JAZZ FESTIVAL
Honestly had no clue we were there right in the midst of the Ghent Jazz Festival. This annual festival is held is July for two weeks with a ton renowned artists from Belgium and abroad performing around the city.
Gravensteen Castle - Ghent's 12th-century stone castle
Checking out the stores around Sint-Veerleplein
Might be something worth grabbing in here!
An accidental snap, but I love it anyway!
Cute terraces seem to pop up randomly along the Leie River
These guys snagged a super cute spot
Another cute spot by the river
On our way back to the train station, we come across live Jazz shows.... and we're just now realizing that it's Ghent Jazz Festival time
Which explains the sounds of jazz and the tons of spectators
Like this dude
Music and dancing, by the river
Love his big-a$$ bow-tie
And their funky flowery bathing caps!
Back at the train station - next stop - ANTWERP!
Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON
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