Korenlei Gent Belgien

Ghent: World Class Culture and Cuisine

One Day At The Veggie Capital of Europe / The New York of the Middle Age

Ghent in Belgium – The New York of the Middle Age

Soon after arriving at the center of Ghent we knew exactly why Ghent is called the New York of the Middle Age. It was one of the largest and fastest growing cities in Europe and a cultural hotspot. The flair and the architecture are breathtaking and still visible today.

Ghent: World Class Culture and Cuisine

At the Graslei – where old buildings mix with a young crowd.

Cultural hotspot

No matter where you turn your head in the Old Town of Ghent you see beautiful facades, bridges and impressive buildings as well as famous art.

Ghent: World Class Culture and Cuisine

Boat tour with the St. Michael´s Bridge and the Korenlei in the background.

To get a better view we walked up the 95 m high Belfort, an impressive tower. In front of us we see the St. Bavo´s-Cathedral. It displays the world famous “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” from the brothers Van Eyck.

Ghent: World Class Culture and Cuisine

St. Bavo´s Cathedral

Not far away is a more modern piece of art. The Werregarenstraat, a colorful street full of graffiti.

Ghent: World Class Culture and Cuisine

Graffitistreet

Medieval flair

In the Middle Ages Ghent was a thriving city. A big part of the center of Ghent still reminds us of this Dark Age. We pass the old fish market and walk into the old meat market hall.

Outside we sip a cup of coffee at the oldest café in Ghent, the Galgenhuis, reminding us of the practices of the Dark Age. Outside people were hanged (the name Galgenhuis means gallows house). Today the horror is (gladly) not visible anymore.

Ghent: World Class Culture and Cuisine

Across the street we enter into an old schnapps bar called the Dreupelkot. We had a hard time deciding which jenever we should try. The list is really long. In the end Thomas tried a tiramisu jenever and I tried the pineapple jenever.

Ghent: World Class Culture and Cuisine

Santa Claus´brother? By the way: This is a SMALL glass of  jenever.

Next door to the Dreupelkot is the Waterhuis aan de Bierkant, an old pub at the water front. In the Middle Age almost every street in Ghent had its own brewery because drinking water was rare. Even children drank beer altough the content of alcohol was only about 1%. Not to be compared with the beer you get nowadays with up to 11% alcohol content.

Ghent: World Class Culture and Cuisine

Some of the countless beer brands. Can you see the reflection of the castle Gravensteen?

Across the street we pass the Castle Gravensteen

Ghent: World Class Culture and Cuisine

…arriving a minute later at the Hotel Gravensteen.

Ghent: World Class Culture and Cuisine

Hotel Gravensteen

Veggie Day – Ghent, Europe´s Veggie Capital

Since 2009 Ghent features the Veggie Day every Thursday. As we are vegetarians we had to visit Ghent at a Thursday. You can get a brochure of restaurants who participate in the Veggie Day. We had dinner at the restaurant Du Progrès at the Korenmarkt. I had a lukewarm pasta salad and Thomas tried a Veggie Burger.

Ghent: World Class Culture and Cuisine

Thursday is Veggie Day

Ghent in one day?

It´s possible to cover a lot in one day. To get an overview of Ghent we took a boat trip. If you want to have enough space and a chat with the guide the best time is early in the morning. At 10 o´clock when the boat tours start you have a chance to have a boat on your own (That´s what happened to us – maybe it was just luck :D). We had fun listening to the stories about the town and got to see the lover´s tree (you should kiss your true love under the lover´s tree) plus lots of ducks and turtles.

Ghent: World Class Culture and Cuisine

kissing under the Lover´s Tree

Watch in HD:

 

Conclusion:

In the Old Town of Ghent almost everything is in walking distance. We covered a lot in a short amount of time. To have more time you should plan at least two days in Ghent especially if you are a museum and art lover.

No wonder the slogan of the City Ghent is:

More than a one night stay.

More about Ghent: Ghent – When houses tell their stories

More about Belgium: Bruges, chocolate and bear, tips for a day trip and more:

Belgium Flanders

Thanks to City Ghent for the invitation. All opinions are ours.

Comments 37

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      If you add Ghent to your bucket list don´t forget Bruges. 😉 It´s close to Ghent and as beautiful. I will soon have an article about Bruges too.

  1. Hmmm…beautiful old buildings, great beer, cool newer art. I think Ghent will do! Love the shot of Graffitistreet, very pretty.

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  2. I visited once briefly on a work trip some dozen years ago, don’t remember much, and have oftentimes said I should return to check out more. You certainly made it look and sound inviting. Who can pass up being served drinks by Santa’s brother?

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      I can highly recommend Ghent too, as well as the UNESCO World Heritage city Bruges, which is only a 45 minutes drive away from Ghent. (Blog post will be released soon 🙂 ).

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  3. I wouldn’t of considered Ghent as a short break destination but your article shows how pretty it is and there is plenty to do. Thanks for the information.

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  4. Wir haben mit unserem (Schul-)Niederländisch-Kurs regelmäßig Holland und Belgien erkundet. Das war eine tolle Zeit. Mein lebhaftestes Erlebnis an Gent hat jedoch nichts Geschichte zu tun, es ist vielmehr ein einstürzendes Bett, auf das sich meine Freundin und ich nach einem langen Sightseeing-Tag geworfen haben : ) Glücklicherweise gab es noch ein freies Zimmer!

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      Na da hattet ihr dann ja richtig Glück, dass es noch ein freies Bett gab. Sowas ist mir noch nie passiert. Dass dies in Erinnerung bleibt kann ich mir lebhaft vorstellen.

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  5. I haven’t been to Belgium but I would love to go sometime. I will definitely visit Ghent when I am there as well. I love the shot of Werregarenstraat, I like seeing good graffiti.

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      Walking through the Werregarenstraat is interesting. But watch out: There are some graffitis not appropriate for children. 😉 (It´s not that bad…)

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  6. Pingback: Ghent - When houses tell their own stories

  7. Pingback: One day in Bruges - What to do in the UNESCO Heritage City

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