Ghent is a surprisingly beautiful and charming city.
1/ My absolute favourite is the lively Gras- and Korenlei with its lovely historical houses. When the sun is shining it is the meeting point for locals, cheerful happy students and curious tourists. What can I say? There is just a good vibe.
2/ The Rabot also known as the ‘Three Turrets’ is the only notable remnant of the medieval city wall. In the Middle Ages, the Rabot was actually a floodgate in the channel ‘Lieve’ which every ship had to pass. But it was also a means to protect the city. How so? By opening the gate, the citizens intentionally inundated the area to prevent the enemy from accessing the city.
3/ The Beguinage Old Saint Elisabeth. The Beguinage also known as the ‘Holy Corner’ is a protected urban heritage site. It is so much better than expected… I expected to see an ‘all white’ Beguinage with a central courtyard but to my surprise… it is a red-brick one with the appearance of a small village on its own in the city.
4/ The Beguinage Our Lady of Ter Hoyen is even more charming than its big sister. Stroll in the streets and enjoy the quiet. It is one of the best preserved beguinages from before the French Revolution and is listed UNESCO World Heritage!
6/ The Saint Peter’s Abbey and the Abbey garden with its vineyard and herb garden! In the Middle Ages, wine was –besides beer- the common drink for all social classes and what is more, it was also used for medical purposes.
7/ Let’s go back to the 15th century! The ‘Achtersikkel’ refers to the prominent, aristocratic family ‘Van der Sickelen’ who owned most of the edifices on the square. The water well was a means to display their wealth.
The Beguinage Old Saint Elisabeth, Rabotstraat 9 – Beguinage Our Lady of Ter Hoyen, Lange Violettestraat 235 (entrance: across number 116) – Rabot, Opgeëistenlaan 1 – Ghent Manneken Pis, Kraanlei near the House of Alijn – Achtersikkel, Biezekapelstraat (near Saint-Bavo’s Cathedral) – Saint Peter’s Abbey and Abbey Garden, Sint-Pietersplein