Art and Architecture: The Creative Side of Ghent, Belgium

1. The Ghent Altarpiece at Saint Bavo’s Cathedral

When it comes to art in Ghent, there is no better place to start than with the famous Ghent Altarpiece at Saint Bavo’s Cathedral. Located at Sint-Baafsplein 2, 9000 Ghent, this masterpiece created by brothers Hubert and Jan Van Eyck is considered one of the most important works of art in Western history. Its intricate details, stunning colors, and innovative techniques are a testament to the Van Eyck brothers’ skill and creativity. The Ghent Altarpiece is truly a gem that attracts art enthusiasts and scholars from around the world.

Website: https://sintbaafskathedral.be/en/

2. The Museum of Fine Arts (MSK)

Located at Fernand Scribedreef 1, 9000 Ghent, the Museum of Fine Arts, also known as MSK Ghent, is a treasure trove of art spanning from the middle ages to the present day. With over 600 years of art history on display, the museum showcases the works of renowned artists such as Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel the Elder, and James Ensor. Whether you are a fan of Renaissance art, Baroque masterpieces, or modern installations, MSK Ghent offers something for everyone. Its extensive collection and dedication to preserving and promoting art make it a must-visit destination for any art lover.

Website: https://www.mskgent.be/en

3. Street Art in Ghent

Ghent is not only a hub for traditional art; it is also known for its vibrant street art scene. Exploring the streets of Ghent allows you to stumble upon hidden gems, colorful murals, and thought-provoking graffiti. One of the most famous street art spots is the Werregarenstraat, also known as “Graffiti Alley.” Located close to the city center, this narrow alley is adorned with ever-changing graffiti, providing a constantly evolving canvas for local and international street artists. The unique and dynamic nature of street art in Ghent adds a modern and urban touch to the city’s creative side.

Website: https://visit.gent.be/en/see-do/werregarenstraatje

4. The House of Alijn

If you are interested in experiencing life in Ghent throughout history, a visit to the House of Alijn is a must. Located at Kraanlei 65, 9000 Ghent, this museum focuses on ordinary life and traditions, showcasing artifacts and stories that capture the essence of Ghent’s cultural heritage. From vintage toys to wedding traditions, the House of Alijn offers a glimpse into the daily lives of the people of Ghent. The museum’s interactive approach and attention to detail make it a gem that takes visitors on a fascinating journey through time.

Website: https://www.huisvanalijn.be/en

5. The Castle of the Counts (Gravensteen)

Situated at Sint-Veerleplein 11, 9000 Ghent, the Castle of the Counts is a medieval fortress that stands as a symbol of the city’s rich history. This well-preserved castle allows visitors to step back in time and explore its maze of corridors, towers, and battlements. From the stunning panoramic views at the top of the keep to the medieval weaponry displays, the Castle of the Counts offers a unique architectural experience. It is a gem that transports visitors to the medieval period while providing insights into Ghent’s fascinating past.

Website: https://gravensteengent.be/en

6. The Design Museum Ghent

Located at Jan Breydelstraat 5, 9000 Ghent, the Design Museum Ghent celebrates the world of design in all its forms. From furniture and industrial design to graphic and fashion design, this museum showcases a diverse range of objects that highlight the evolution of design throughout history. With both permanent and temporary exhibitions, the Design Museum offers a dynamic and engaging experience for visitors. Its thought-provoking displays and forward-thinking approach make it a gem for those looking to explore the intersection of creativity and functionality.

Website: https://www.designmuseumgent.be/en

7. The Ghent University Library

Address: Universiteitstraat 4, 9000 Ghent

The Ghent University Library, located in the heart of the city, is not only a center of knowledge but also a masterpiece of modern architecture. Designed by the architect Henry Van de Velde, this iconic building combines functionality with aesthetic elegance. Its striking design, featuring an open central atrium surrounded by bookshelves, creates a unique atmosphere for study and contemplation. The Ghent University Library is a gem that seamlessly blends art and architecture, making it a must-visit for both book lovers and design enthusiasts.

Website: https://www.ugent.be/bibliotheek/en

8. The Belfry of Ghent

The Belfry of Ghent, located at Sint-Baafsplein, 9000 Ghent, is an iconic symbol of the city’s skyline. This medieval tower, standing at 91 meters tall, offers breathtaking views of Ghent’s historic center. Climbing the 300 steps to the top is a rewarding experience, as visitors are treated to panoramic vistas of the city’s architectural treasures. The Belfry also houses a carillon, which plays enchanting melodies throughout the day. Its historical significance and commanding presence make the Belfry of Ghent a true gem that should not be missed.

Website: https://visit.gent.be/en/see-do/belfry

Conclusion

Ghent, with its rich artistic heritage and architectural wonders, is a city that embraces creativity in all its forms. From the awe-inspiring Ghent Altarpiece at Saint Bavo’s Cathedral to the vibrant street art adorning its walls, every corner of Ghent is a canvas waiting to be discovered. The city’s museums, such as the Museum of Fine Arts and the Design Museum Ghent, provide insights into various artistic movements throughout history. Meanwhile, architectural gems like the Castle of the Counts and the Ghent University Library showcase the city’s architectural prowess.

Whether you are an art connoisseur, a lover of history, or simply someone seeking inspiration, Ghent’s creative side offers a multitude of experiences. From the classical to the contemporary, Ghent embraces art and architecture as integral parts of its identity. So, venture into the streets, museums, and landmarks of Ghent, and immerse yourself in the endless creativity that this vibrant city has to offer.

Sources:
– Sint-Baafs Cathedral: https://sintbaafskathedral.be/en/
– Museum of Fine Arts Ghent: https://www.mskgent.be/en
– Werregarenstraatje (Graffiti Alley): https://visit.gent.be/en/see-do/werregarenstraatje
– House of Alijn: https://www.huisvanalijn.be/en
– Castle of the Counts: https://gravensteengent.be/en
– Design Museum Ghent: https://www.designmuseumgent.be/en
– Ghent University Library: https://www.ugent.be/bibliotheek/en
– Belfry of Ghent: https://visit.gent.be/en/see-do/belfry