Discover Benelux | Ghent | The Ultimate and Unforgettable Destination
STAM - Ghent City Museum.
The Belgian city of Ghent adorns many ‘top places to visit’ lists from travellers and travel magazines alike. In 2011, the historic city was dubbed ‘Europe’s best kept secret’ by Lonely Planet. Not a surprise if you look at Ghent’s profile: the city is the perfect mix of historic and contemporary, with a thriving art scene and culinary delicacies around every corner. The renowned university in the city ensures thousands of students provide the city with a young vibe every year. Ask ten locals what the most beautiful place in ‘their’ Ghent is, and most will probably answer the Graslei and the adjacent Korenlei. This medieval port-turnedmeeting place is the thriving heart of the inner city and boasts an abundance of cafés and restaurants on each side of its scenic river. The Graslei and Korenlei also serve as a backdrop to the summer Ghent Festivities, the largest open-air cultural celebration in Europe. In winter, Ghent loves 50 | Issue 47 | November 2017
to throw great parties: during the Winter Festivities, the city centre will transform into a winter wonderland with an iceskating rink, a Christmas market and an overall wonderful winter atmosphere. With great parties, comes great food. Ghent puts culinary greatness in the high seat, with world-class restaurants swarmed over the city. Vegetarians have another good reason to visit the Flemish city: Ghent proudly calls itself the vegetarian capital of Europe.
Art smart Whether you are into contemporary art or a fan of the old masters, a visit to Ghent is not complete without seeing its wonderful museums and its all-year-long exhibitions, such as The Museum of Fine Arts, the STAM – Ghent City Museum, and S.M.A.K. An absolute highlight is The Ghent Altarpiece (or the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb)
at the Saint Bavo's Cathedral: a stunning 15th-century Early Flemish polyptych altarpiece attributed to the brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck. It is considered a masterpiece of European art and one of the world's treasures that will even impress the biggest non-art aficionados. But Ghent does not just keep its historic wonders inside. A fortress built a thousand years ago, medieval towers, old houses: wherever you are in the city, there are beautiful buildings and monuments wanting to tell you their story. Do not miss a trip to one of the city’s three beguinages (Great Beguinage St–Elizabeth, Small Beguinage Our Lady of Ter Hoyen, and the Old St Elizabeth Beguinage) – they are beautiful witnesses of the city’s religious past. For more tips on what is on in Ghent, check visit.gent.be/en/home
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