About 700 years ago the Augustinian monks arrived in Ghent. They decided to build a convent on a piece of marsh land, which was not too expensive to purchase. They built the convent on wooden pillars, a technique which was also used in Amsterdam. They first rubbed with oil and afterwards they covered them with animal skins. In the course of years these pillars have been petrified due to the pressure.
What was before the groundfloor are now the cellars, because of the raising of the level of the street.