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Walking in Ghent

Created by ''Toerisme Gent'' with collaboration of ''de Gidsenbond''.

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Description

The old centre of the city of Ghent is known as the 'kuip', and this walk will take you around most of it in two hours. You will catch a glimpse of the most interesting buildings and get a quick taste of the many delicacies the city has to offer. It is a treat for the taste-buds, or rather for the eye! Do enjoy it, but don't leave it at that!

You can also do this and other walks (some on a particular theme) with a guide: the Guides Association of Ghent and East Flanders (Gidsenbond van Gent en Oost-Vlaanderen) T. +32 9 233 07 72 - www.gidsenbond-gent.be.

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Walking route StadGent
otn_route_recommended
Owner: StadGent
Region: East FlandersGhentGentBelgiumFlemish Region
Linked groups: RTYTEST DEpeople4peopleLara's routesGoede Routes - Test SetFIETSEN AAN ZEEJCI Gent Artevelde BelgiumStad Gent • Themes: CityWorld heritage
5 stars | 118657 views | Public
Also available in: FrenchDutch
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Places of interest (along the route)(show all)

Sint-Baafsplein (distance from start: 60 m)

Source: Stad Gent

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Sint-Baafsplein
Gent
St Bavo's Square is to Ghent what Trafalgar Square is to London: the heart of the city. It is here, on this island, near the confluence of the rivers Scheldt and Leie, that the city of Ghent was born. And its name actually derives from Ganda, the Celtic word for confluence.
Three powers are represented in this central square: the citizenry by its mighty Belfry, the intellect by the stately Civic Theatre and the church, by its impressive St Bavo's Cathedral.

Source: Stad Gent

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Demo GeoId (distance from start: 112 m)

Source: GeoId

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Demo GeoId
Gent
Demomovie "Ghent, Sparkling Authentic"

Source: GeoId

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Sint-Baafskathedraal (distance from start: 145 m)

Source: Wikipedia

Sint-Baafskathedraal
Gent
The cathedral was once no more than a small parish church. But nothing remains of the original chapel consecrated in 942. The oldest parts of the cathedral are two Romanesque aisles in the crypt. They date from 1150.
When, in 1540, Charles V had the nearby Abbey of St Bavo demolished to build the Spaniard's Castle, both the monks and their relics (including a bone from St Bavo's upper arm) took shelter here in this church. When the diocese of Ghent was established in 1561 the church automatically became a cathedral (cathedra' means the bishop's seat').
Inside the cathedral you will find dozens of art treasures to captivate you. In addition to such delights as the overpowering 1745 rococo pulpit and a superb Rubens, this cathedral is privileged to be the home of the most important work in the history of Flemish art: The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by the Van Eyck brothers.

Source: Stad Gent

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Achtersikkel (distance from start: 231 m)

Source: Wikipedia

Achtersikkel
Gent
It is as if a hidden musician were playing the soundtrack for your walk, but in reality it will be a student at the academy of music, housed in the Sikkel. The tower indicates that the house used to belong to an extremely
wealthy family that even had its own well (in the 15th century, Ghent had a total of only 5 wells for 65,000 inhabitants!).

Source: Stad Gent

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Cour Saint-Georges (distance from start: 360 m)

Source: Stad Gent

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Cour Saint-Georges
Gent
On the left-hand corner of this crossroads is the Sint-Jorishof (Cour St Georges), the oldest hotel in Western Europe, where Maria of Burgundy stayed in 1477. Opposite is the imposing Town Hall.

Source: Stad Gent

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Stadhuis (distance from start: 361 m)

Source: Stad Gent

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Stadhuis
Gent
At the Town Hall, one is immediately struck by two of its many architectural styles: on the right is the flaming Gothic of the early 16th century, on the left the much later Italian Renaissance style. The interior has witnessed 600 years of history. Groups can visit it on request.

Source: Stad Gent

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Politiekantoor (distance from start: 372 m)

Source: Wikipedia

Politiekantoor
Gent
Here you pass the headquarters of Ghent's police force (familiar from a popular TV series).

Source: Stad Gent

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Belfortstraat x Kammerstraat (distance from start: 538 m)

Source: Ontrack Navigation

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Belfortstraat x Kammerstraat
Gent
The centre for the gay community on the left offers more proof that the people of Ghent have an open mind and a big heart.

Source: Stad Gent

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Toreken (distance from start: 652 m)

Source: Ontrack Navigation

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Toreken
Gent
The fact that tpeopl from Ghent have a poetic soul is reflected in the Poetry Centre, housed in the Toreken, the oldest building on the Vrijdagmarkt (Friday Market) and once the house of the tanners' guild. In this case it is not a dragon that keeps watch over the people of Ghent
(and indicates the direction of the wind) but a mermaid.

Source: Stad Gent

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Artevelde-standbeeld (distance from start: 726 m)

Artevelde-standbeeld
Gent
Jacob Van Artevelde is pointing in the opposite direction, however, towards England to be precise. His opportunistic support of the English king meant that in the 14th century Ghent, and by extension the whole of Flanders, was able to remain largely neutral and continue to thrive during the Hundred Years War. Thanks to the Wise Man of Ghent', the cloth industry flourished as never before. 660 years after he was murdered by rivals, Ghent is still called the city of Artevelde.

Source: Stad Gent

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Bond Moyson (distance from start: 778 m)

Source: Stad Gent

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Bond Moyson
Gent
All the other buildings on the Vrijdagmarkt date from the 18th century or later, and the socialist house of the people' (Ons Huis, Bond Moyson) was only built in the early twentieth century. Although it is the large Art Nouveau window and horseshoe arch that attract the attention, the whole building is an example of the mixture of styles called eclecticism. It was once the home of Ghent's first people's hospital.

Source: Stad Gent

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Meerseniersstraat (distance from start: 815 m)

Source: Ontrack Navigation

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Meerseniersstraat
Gent
You can leave the Vrijdagmarkt, once the city's most important square,
via Meerseniersstraatje, where clothes by renowned Flemish fashion
designers are to be found.

Source: Stad Gent

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Zuivelbrug (distance from start: 868 m)

Zuivelbrug
Gent
From the Zuivelbrug that crosses the River Leie you can see on your left Dulle Griet (Mad Meg), an impressive cast-iron cannon that was for a long time used as a rubbish bin and a dormitory for stray drunkards, which is why its mouth has been closed up. It has graced this very site for 425 years and has never fired a shot.
Once you have crossed this bridge you are no longer in the kuip' but have entered the domain of the Counts': this area was originally the property of the count and so did not belong to the city.

Source: Stad Gent

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Patershol (distance from start: 898 m)

Source: Stad Gent

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Patershol
Gent
Nowadays, this wonderful area with its authentic mediaeval layout, called Patershol, is the gastronomic heart (or stomach) of the city.

Source: Stad Gent

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De Hel (distance from start: 898 m)

Source: Ontrack Navigation

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De Hel
Gent
The first thing you see here is two extraordinary houses. They date from the 17th century, a period when very little was built because the city was anything but prosperous. The house on the left (Kraanlei 79) is adorned by the Six Works of Mercy. Six? Historians are gradually starting to agree that there was a seventh, burying the dead, which is left out because it is too sombre. Feeding the hungry is at any rate no problem, as this house is a shop full of typical Ghent specialities such as cuberdons (a cone-shaped sweet gum). The house on the right (Kraanlei 81) pictures the five senses, and also a flute-player, a flying deer and, at the top, faith, hope and charity'. If you now went straight on, you would be entering one of
the oldest parts of Ghent. Nowadays, this wonderful area with its authentic mediaeval layout, called Patershol, is the gastronomic heart (or stomach) of the city.

Source: Stad Gent

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Huis van Alijn (distance from start: 935 m)

Source: Stad Gent

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Huis van Alijn
Gent
Here, the inviting doorway leads us into a quiet courtyard. It looks like a beguinage, but it isn't. Nor has it ever been one. It was a house of God, built in atonement for the murder of Hendrik and Seger Alijn, and was used as a refuge for women in need. It is now a museum of folklore and appeals to the imagination of young and old. For those who get a thirst from museums, the café on the courtyard offers assistance.

Source: Stad Gent

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Café Bierhuis aan de Waterkant (distance from start: 1.05 km)

Café Bierhuis aan de Waterkant
Gent
The Waterhouse on the Beerside. Isn't that a typing error? Not at all: the house stands in the water and in the distant past all the wine and beer were unloaded along the side. A Mexican tapas bar is now to be found in the house of the wine inspectors guild (their task was to check the alcohol content). Ghent's very own Manneke Pis seems to be looking on with hunger in his eyes. Or has he already had a bellyful?

Source: Stad Gent

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Gravensteen (distance from start: 1.09 km)

Source: Stad Gent

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Gravensteen
Gent
The imposing Castle of the Counts, built in 1180, now looms up in front of you. Nowhere else in the world will you find such a massive fortress in the centre of a city. Anyone who visits Ghent without going inside deserves the thumbscrews, the dungeon or perhaps even the guillotine (last used in 1861), all of which are on display inside. While you stand looking at the castle from the count's bailey, you might almost forget you were in the 21st century. But Ghent is a living city that not only preserves its historical heritage, but also has an eye to the future. One example is the giant spider's web, a remnant of an international art event, and like the fortress itself made to stand the test of time.

Source: Stad Gent

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Vleeshuis (distance from start: 1.11 km)

Source: Stad Gent

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Vleeshuis
Gent
Looking left, over the bridge, you can glimpse the Great Butcher's Hall. Nowadays it offers you the whole range of East Flanders' specialities, from Ganda ham to cuberdons. But for original Ghent mustard you would have to go a little further on, to Tierenteyn's mustard shop, where this pungent delicacy is still made on the premises. Did you know that Charles V considered mustard indispensable to the enjoyment of a piece of ham?

Source: Stad Gent

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Oude Vismarkt (distance from start: 1.15 km)

Source: Wikipedia

Oude Vismarkt
Gent
Above the entrance to the Old Fishmarket (which in the future will be turned into a multipurpose visitors' centre), Neptune is flanked by the Rivers Scheldt (male) and Leie (female).

Source: Stad Gent

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Burgstraat x Gewad (distance from start: 1.26 km)

Source: Wikipedia

Burgstraat x Gewad
Gent
The splendid facade of De Gekroonde Hoofden' (The Crowned Heads). Charles V is the third from the left in the bottom row.

Source: Stad Gent

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Design Musem (vroeger Museum voor Sierkunst) (distance from start: 1.32 km)

Source: Stad Gent

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Design Musem (vroeger Museum voor Sierkunst)
Gent
Halfway down Jan Breydelstraat you can stop to enjoy a moment of supreme bliss: the little Appelbrugparkje is one of the many hidden gems in the city centre. Opposite is the Design museum Gent, which combines an unrivalled permanent collection with exhibitions of international allure. It's worth visiting just for the gigantic vase in the courtyard!

Source: Stad Gent

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Sint-Michielskerk (distance from start: 1.58 km)

Source: Wikipedia

Sint-Michielskerk
Gent
The tower of St Michael's Church was intended to be 138 metres high, but was never completed. Officially it was a question of safety, but in fact
the plans were those of a megalomaniac and the purse could not keep up. Along the waterside behind the church extends Het Pand. This former Dominican friary and hospital is now the property of Ghent University and is used as a cultural and congress centre.

Source: Stad Gent

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Pand (distance from start: 1.58 km)

Source: Stad Gent

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Pand
Gent
Along the waterside behind the church extends Het Pand. This former Dominican friary and hospital is now the property of Ghent University and is used as a cultural and congress centre.

Source: Stad Gent

Copyright: All rights reserved

Sint-Michielsbrug (distance from start: 1.61 km)

Source: Stad Gent

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Sint-Michielsbrug
Gent
Sint-Michielsbrug :If you look out over the water from here, you catch the whole of the skyline of old Ghent in a single glance. Take your time to let this picture imprint itself on your memory. Or at least on that of your camera.

Source: Stad Gent

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Graslei (distance from start: 1.64 km)

Source: Stad Gent

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Graslei
Gent
The view of the Graslei and Korenlei : From the 11th century, they together made up Ghent's first trading harbour. The buildings to the left and right of the Leie are unique in their timeless beauty. In many tourist guides this is quite rightly classed as one of the finest city views in Europe.

Source: Stad Gent

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Sint-Niklaaskerk (distance from start: 1.81 km)

Sint-Niklaaskerk
Gent
The St Nicolas' Church: a superb example of Scheldt Gothic.

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Klokke Roeland (distance from start: 1.88 km)

Source: Wikipedia

Klokke Roeland
Gent
The Grote Triomphante, a bell cast from the remains of Klokke Roeland, was notorious in its day but was smashed to pieces in 1659. It hopes one day to be allowed to return to the Belfry as the 55th bell in the unique carillon. Are you reading this on a Sunday morning? If so, it is quite possible you are at this very moment listening to a splendid carillon concert.

Source: Stad Gent

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Belfort (distance from start: 1.96 km)

Source: Stad Gent

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Belfort
Gent
Opposite the west door of the cathedral the Belfry reaches towards the heavens. At the top of this noble watchtower, the dragon keeps guard over both the inhabitants of the city and its freedoms, which it acquired in 1180. This dragon is already the third identical copy of the original 400 kilo copper colossus, and the 1377 original is on display in the watchman's room. Since 1999 the belfry has been on the UNESCO World Heritage list of protected monuments. The city's Tourist Office (where you undoubtedly received both this leaflet and a smile) is in the Cloth Hall that adjoins the Belfry.
From the top of the Civic Theatre, the god Apollo, flanked by his muses, looks down on this superbly renovated square. While water flows from the fountain, it is beer that flows in abundance on the many lively pavement cafés around the square.

Source: Stad Gent

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Mammelokker (distance from start: 1.97 km)

Source: Wikipedia

Mammelokker
Gent
The Mammelokker: a bas-relief above the entrance to the old warder's house. It depicts the legend of Cimon, who was condemned to death by starvation but was kept alive by his daughter, who breastfed him. In your case, such desperate measures will not be needed: only a few steps away there is a table waiting for you at one of the many agreeable pavement cafés. Cheers!

Source: Stad Gent

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