Holiday to Belgium-Arriving in Ghent

On our third day in Belgium, we got up early to check-out of our hotel in Bruges and to travel to Ghent.

A cheeky doughnut for breakfast.

We took the train from Bruges to Ghent, which was a quick and easy twenty-five minute journey.

Once we’d arrived we took a taxi to our hotel; the Ibis Gent Centrum St-Baafs Kathedraal.

The view from our room of Sint-Baafsplein (Saint Bavo Square).

And of the Belfry.

Despite our room being quite simple, it was super comfortable and cosy. The hotel’s also in an excellent location as it’s near several main sights and the centre of the city.

After unpacking and resting for a bit, we headed out to explore.

Our first stop was at Sint-Baafskathedraal (also known as St. Bavo’s Cathedral).

St Bavo’s started off as a small and humble wooden building in the 10th century, before further construction transformed it into the large gothic-style building that it is today.

The most popular attraction inside the cathedral is the Ghent Altarpiece, which is in a separate room and can be viewed for a small entrance fee.

The Ghent Altarpiece is named The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb and was created by brothers Jan and Hubert van Eyck in the 15th century.

This incredibly large painting that consists of twelve panels, was the world’s first major oil painting and is described as an A-Z of Christianity with the mystic lamb on the altar being Christ himself.

In 1934 one of the panels was stolen and has still never been recovered, however a new panel was painted to look like the original so the painting looks complete. The case to find the missing panel is still open.

The images I’ve included are from the internet as photography isn’t allowed, but The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb is an incredibly detailed and beautiful painting that shouldn’t be missed.

I’d definitely recommend using the audio guide as it was fantastic at explaining the story behind the painting.

After an interesting time in St. Bavo’s, we headed to nearby St. Nicholas’ Church.

Work started on St. Nicholas’ Church in the 13th century to replace an earlier 11th century church.

St. Nicholas’ Church, St. Bavo’s Cathedral and the Belfry make up the famous medieval skyline of central Ghent.

The Belfry of Ghent.

After taking in some history, we walked around Ghent’s shops and canals, which still looked lovely despite the dreary weather.

We then visited the extravagant Former Post Office, which was in use from 1898-2001 and is now a shopping centre and hotel.

Before stumbling upon the Patershol district, which is a cobbled, quirky and artsy part of the city.

Pathershol is a historic area, which has small craftsmen’s houses from the 12th century and in the Middle Ages became a popular, fashionable part of Ghent. It’s now a mostly residential area, but also has lots of affordable restaurants.

After a lot of walking, we was desperately hungry and dived into Pizza Hut.

Our yummy food.

Bellies full, we returned to our hotel to rest for a couple of hours.

Before heading out for the attraction we came to Ghent for; the Lichtfestival (Light Festival).

Ghent’s Light Festival used to be a yearly event, but to save money is now only held every three years. It’s free to visit and happens over 3-4 evenings (except this year where it lasted 5) around late-January to early-February.

The light displays are placed in a loop around the city, which you can follow from maps given out. The walk is 6.6km (4 miles) and can completed in one evening or at a slower pace over a few days.

Museum of the Moon.

Arbre Magique.

Arbre Magique like a lot of the light installations played music. Some videos from the Light Festival are on my Instagram page and I’ll be adding more in the future.

Urban Safari

Urban Safari was an installation that resurrected animals that are extinct due to humans. It also showed elephants and other animals that are in danger of being wiped out by humans.

The Gift

A still image of the video ‘The Gift’, which was my favourite piece at the Light Festival. We watched it several times as the music and video was powerful.

The Gift encourages you to think outside of the box, as what you’re seeing on the screen is only a framed portion of reality.

Ukiyo

Ukiyo is described as a utopian city that comes to life.

We visited a few more light shows, before stopping off at a food stall for churros and beignets.

Then ended the night with a visit to the Holy Food Market.

The Holy Food Market is a food hall with restaurants and a bar, inside a 16th century chapel.

Us having drinks in the upstairs bar.

After a jam-packed day, we headed back to our hotel, ready for our second day in Ghent.

26 thoughts on “Holiday to Belgium-Arriving in Ghent

  1. So nice to see a post from you! ❤
    What a nice view from your hotel room. Location is a big factor in our hotel selection – we don't want to waste time commuting while we're on vacation. I don't mind a simple room since we don't spend that much time there anyway – we'd rather be sightseeing!
    Oh my gosh, I remember studying that Ghent Altarpiece by the van Eyck brothers in art class! So amazing that you got to see it in person.
    It's so interesting that Post Offices used to be such grand buildings – like the central building of the town back then. It's nice that they retained the building and repurposed it for modern day use.
    I wonder if Holy Food Market is blasphemous in certain circles…

    Churros!!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Stashy😊 The same for us! Sometimes there’s lovely, more affordable rooms but if they require us commuting loads than we’re not interested. As long as the room’s clean etc I don’t mind it being a bit simple. Aah really? I knew a little bit about the painting but I learnt so much more when we visited it. It was really interesting!😊 It’s a beautiful building, certainly the most fancy Post Office I’ve ever seen. But you’re right, it was a central point and apparently vehicles used to stop there, so it was important at the time. I’m glad they’ve kept the building and have found use for it. It’d be a shame for it to go to waste. 😂 Haha I have no idea, but I’m sure some people wont like the sign that says ‘Please the Lord, Clear your table’ lol. I love churros!😊 x

      Like

  2. ooh a doughnut for breakfast, what a treat!
    I haven’t heard anything about Ghent before so this was interesting to read – good to know it’s close by to Bruges – it’s doable as a day trip as well! The main square/belfry looks so similar to Bruges.
    That church is impressive to hear it started off as a wooden structure – it’s come such a long way! That alterpiece is impressive – the name of it reminds me of an odd Harry Potter spin off… “Harry Potter and The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb”
    Wow that Post Office was quite something – I can’t imagine Royal Mail having a building as extravagant as that! The shopping area looks really nice with those shutter separations.
    The light show looks really good – we went to one in Bali and it was not on this level – the moon looks so cool! I keep meaning to do a post on it as it was so bizarre – I know they do one like this in Leeds which is meant to be really good!

    Liked by 1 person

    • The only time I can away with doughnuts for breakfast😊 Ghent is in the middle of Bruges and Brussels, only around 30 minutes to both places. Despite being in the middle it doesn’t get much tourism so you never see it mentioned much. It does😊 😂 It does sound like it belongs in Harry Potter. It’s such a detailed painting, it’s really impressive to see☺ I know! We don’t have any Post Offices that are fancy at all. It’s quite an upmarket small shopping centre inside the building. It’s beautiful though. I’d love to see a post on the lights you saw in Bali☺ The light show was so good! It’s been on our list the past three years as we couldn’t get time off to go last time. The moon looked really cool😊 The UK does do quite a few, I’ll have to go to one xx

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s