Ghent – City Guide

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Ghent is Flanders’ unsung city. Sandwiched between Brussels, Bruges and Antwerp, this attractive medieval canal city has long been overlooked by visitors on the traditional art-town hop between Belgium’s big three. But if you’re the type who prefers exploring away from the tourist hordes, funky Ghent’s definitely the go.

Known as Gent in Flemish and Gand in French, Ghent was medieval Europe’s largest city outside Paris. Sitting on the junction of the Leie and Scheldt Rivers, it was the seat of the counts of Flanders who built a fearsome castle, Het Gravensteen, that’s visible today.

 

Marriott Hotel is one of the best places for a relaxing night, the Guest Satisfaction for 2009, 2010 and 2011! Centrally located in Ghent, one of the most beautiful historic cities in Belgium.

The Marriott hotel in Ghent is overlooking the Korenlei on the banks of the river Lys and brings modern design to a charming location.

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Another splendid  hotel is The Ghent Marriott that possesses all the elements to perfectly host your event, meeting, weekend-break, gathering or holiday; 139 luxurious rooms and 11 suites, 500sqm conference rooms with special touches offered that make you feel like home.

 

The Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof a four-star de luxe hotel in the heart of the most historic and exciting city of Flanders.

The 4- star deluxe Sandton Grand Hotel Reylof, located at a top location and within walking distance from famous monuments, comes highly recommended. The hotel has 158 comfortable hotel rooms, including the Charm Rooms, Deluxe Rooms, Junior Suites, and a veritable Presidential Suite. There are also rooms designed for the handicapped. Rooms amenities include bottled water from the minibar. The Junior suites, the Grand Suite and the Presidential Suite come stocked with snacks from the minibar included in the price.

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Hotel Harmony is the beautiful building that recently became situated in the heart of Ghent. To be exact, it is situated in a neighbourhood called ‘t Patershol the oldest neighbourhood of Ghent.

This hotel in Ghent is without any doubts one of the most cozy family hotels in the city. Some of the rooms overlook the most breathtaking views of the historical centre of Ghent, including its three towers.

 

While you walk through Ghent streets you will find some great Galleries to visit.

 A&Gallery is the playground of Angels & Ghosts.

Angels & Ghosts has set up shop in the center of Ghent. A&Gallery is a special place for Wouter Van Vaerenbergh and Ben Van Alboom to not only showcase their work but the work of the artists they admire.

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In 1989 Galerie Fortlaan 17 opened its doors to become an animated centre of international contemporary art. Apart from presenting striking exhibitions it has edited various publications and staged a large number of activities. The gallery has carefully selected a number of artists for their professional qualities and their wide-ranging activities, including painting, sculpture, drawing, photography, installations and multimedia-productions.

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And dont forget to visit The Medieval St Peter’s Abbey : As well as an art gallery, also has a delightful oasis of a garden, perfect for a lunchtime pit stop, plus, rather incongruously, a vineyard.

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In Ghent look for two amazing Design Shops that sels design Forniture and Objects. These are perfect places to look for different objects and enthusiastic pieces. Visit the Ydee bvba ,Absoluutdesign and for design Cloths the Ghent Style Shoppe.

The Design Museum is a cultural institution of the City of Gent. Since January 1999 the museum has been recognized by the Ministry of the Flemish Community in the highest category. Next to the important financing by the city of Gent, other resources are subsidies by Ministry of the Flemish Community and the Province of East-Flanders.

The Design museum Gent is unique in Belgium. The accent in the collections and exhibitions lies on 20th century and actual design.

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While the days in ghent can be pretty rich, the part of the day when you rest and enjoy a perfect meal is extremely important. So we selected some of the best restaurants for you to enjoy. 

 Het Groot Vleeshius 

Housed in an old meat market, this relaxed canteen-style café is the best place to try the Ghent speciality of waterzooi, a substantial fish or chicken soup-like stew.

Pakhuis 

Bright, high-ceilinged brasserie serving an extensive menu of local dishes with modern twists. Tasty roast chicken comes from their own farm, plus amazing roast potatoes .

Belga Queen 

Behind the façade of a medieval grain warehouse is a thoroughly modern interior of spotlights, steel pipes and dark leather chairs. Serving equally stylish modern fare and delicious cocktails, this is a special occasion destination.

De Blauwe Zalm 

In the Patershol district, the serene interior of this smart yet friendly restaurant belies the excitement of what appears on its plates. Delicious concoctions include a potato salad with salmon eggs, crab and sesame seeds, and skate with mustard mash and an apricot and caper sauce. Simply superb.

 

Throw your visit you need to visit some memorable museums.

FOLKLORE MUSEUM (MUSEUM VOOR VOLKSKUNDE)

Offering a true insight into folklore from the 18th century, the acclaimed Ghent Folklore Museum comprises a series of thoroughly renovated and revamped almshouses, which feature both reconstructed workshops and period rooms. This attraction is truly quaint and set within the grounds of the House of the Alijn family (Huis van Alijn). Children will always enjoy the rather unexpected puppet shows and theatrical events.

MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (STEDELIJK MUSEUM VOOR ACTUELE KUNST – SMAK)

 Situated within the Citadelpark, the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK) is a vast gallery space, so large in fact that you will make good use of the map of the building handed to you as you arrive, which will enable you to locate the works of famous artists, such as Hockney and Warhol. Belgian artists are also well represented here and include Karel Appel, Lucebert and also Pierre Alechinsky.

MUSEUM OF DECORATIVE ARTS AND DESIGN (MUSEUM VOOR SIERKUNST EN VORMGEVING)

Often overlooked by tourists visiting Ghent in favour of more commercial and prominent attractions, the Museum of Decorative Arts and Design is actually nothing short of a true gem. Inside, the museum is actually divided into two separate sections, with period furnishings spanning the Renaissance period and 19th century, along with some glorious art works and 20th-century creations, including some rather stylish sofas and Art Nouveau cabinets, displayed in the relatively new addition of the glass wing.

MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS (MUSEUM VOOR SCHONE KUNSTEN)

Located close to the SMAK gallery, highlights at the Ghent Museum of Fine Arts include a series of Flemish Primitives, and some excellent pieces by Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch, with his famous and somewhat controversial piece ‘Bearing of the Cross’ (De Kruisdraging) being a particular highlight for many a visitor. Also big names at the Museum voor Schone Kunsten include Anthony Van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens and Peter Paul Rubens.

MUSEUM OF ARCHAEOLOGY AND INDUSTRIAL TEXTILES (MUSEUM VOOR INDUSTRIËLE ARCHEOLOGIE EN TEXTIEL – MIAT)

Offering an interesting way to spend an hour or two, the Museum of Archaeology and Industrial Textiles is housed within a former weaving mill and allows you to almost step back into the past. Here you can enjoy weaving demonstrations and take a close-up look at some very old weaving and spinning machines from yesteryear.

 

After the museums, we caný forget to talk about wineries in Ghent. The Vintage Wine is a great one to try the delicious wines from ghent. The degustations have more than 25 wines.

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Roomer aperitif

Maarten and Jeroen Michels look like a couple of mad scientists, and are known around town as “the Roomer Boys”, after the unique aperitif they invented using Heath Robinson-like stills and their grandmother’s elderflower wine. Today, Roomer has its own state-of-the-art distillery, and is the perfect drink for the waterside terraces of Ghent’s numerous cafes.

 

Talking about lifestyle and wines, the Country Club Living is well represented in Ghent by the Stunning Oudenaarde Golf & Country Club.

Situated in the beautiful Flemish countryside, crossed by the river “Schelde”, the Oudenaarde Golf & Country Club provides you with three loops of nine: the Abdij, the Anker and the Burcht. Surrounded by ancient trees, the course presents a gentle test and afterwards you can relax in the club-house of Petegem Castle. 21 miles south of Gent.

 

In the Deserty Home Living departmentThe Turned Treehouse is to notice. Tilted houses and treehouses are definitely in style. Benjamin Verdonck created his turned treehouse for the Track art festival.

 

Resume of the Art Shows in Ghent:

Design Museum in Ghent – 24 November 2012 > 24 February 2013 – Shiro Kuramata (1934-1991)

Nothing is more sought after these days than the designs by Shiro Kuramata. His transparent design objects in acrylic, glass and steel wire are some of the most representative and creative of late 20th century design.

Design Museum in Ghent – Schoonhoven Silver Award 2012

Creativity, passion, involvement and beauty are the ingredients of this exhibition. 22 objects illustrate how contemporary silversmiths the world over succeed in working the noble metal in an innovative way.

To finish this guide with some of the most iconic places in Ghent here is a resume of some more Points of Interest in these carismatic city.

St. Bavo’s Cathedral (Sint-Baafskathedraal)

STAM Ghent City Museum

Patershol

Ghent Town Hall (Stadhuis)

Alijn House (Het Huis van Alijn)

De Boekentoren (The Tower of Books)

Handelsbeurs

 

Ângelo Gomes

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