Friday, June 22, 2018

Virtual Tour of Ghent, Belgium - Day 4 of Our Europe Trip

You can read-

Summery of Trip through Paris, Ghent and Amsterdam - http://harshad-datar.blogspot.com/2018/05/trip-to-europe-summary-of-trip-part-i.html

Day One (at Paris) Blog - http://harshad-datar.blogspot.com/2018/05/three-days-in-paris-self-planned-europe.html

Day 2 (at Paris) Blog - http://harshad-datar.blogspot.com/2018/06/three-days-in-paris-self-planned-europe.html

Day 3 Blog (Paris and Ghent) - http://harshad-datar.blogspot.com/2018/06/three-days-in-paris-self-planned-europe_12.html

Virtual Tour of Ghent, Belgium - Day 4 of Europe Trip

Ghent in Belgium is a mid size town. It is said that once upon a time Ghent was the second biggest towns in Europe after Paris. Well, not any more. This may be a mid size town but it is a famous education center with  few very reputed universities.

Ghent was also a very important trading post and therefore was quite rich place (once u on a time). It has historical monuments and the beauty is, they all are located in a very compact area except a few which are away. So lets start our tour.

Since its a small place, we had no requirement to start very early. We started off after finishing a hearty breakfast at our B & B which was located at Rabot strat (more about Rabot Strat later). SInce this city can be seen on foot, we started our walk. The street of the town beyond city center were not very crowed. Walking was a pleasure and the weather was balmy.

As we walked towards city center we consulted the tourist map and found a Church very close to our location. It is Sint Elesabeth Anglican Church )originally a Roman Catholic Church but later handed over to Anglican Church in 2016). An old but almost plain building (from outside, we did not go inside as the service was going on) but it is part of an old site called "beguinage or holy corner which ad convents and four churches.

The neighbourhood through which one reaches church too was colourful with beautiful houses and a public garden. For balance part on this place let the Photos do the talking.


The Sint Elisabeth Anglican Church


Statue on the door of Neighbouring household


Stylish houses
After a quick look at this church we continued our walk towards city center. On Brugastraat (which leads to City Square, we came across yet another old church. Building of this church was typical Belgian in its facade. It also had the only parking lot that we saw in this area.

The Church


Carved Door


Brugstraat

Typical Belgian Architecture 
A few minutes of walk took us to Gravensteen Castle. It is  castle which built in Middle Age (Around 1180). Gravensteen means "Castle of Counts" in Dutch language. This castle stands at the same location where there was a wooden castle of 900 AD. This was a seat of counts of Flanders (Dutch speaking Northern Part of Belgium) for few centuries. Once the counts abandoned it, it went through many roles and finally fell into disuse till it was renovated by City Council of Ghent around 1885.


It is not as big as a Indian Fort but it is big as a castle compared to standard castles that we see in Europe with its own fortification and some bit of open ground. Let the photos do balance of the talking about Gravensteen Castle.

Gravensteen Castle in full Glory

Closer View

Inside the Compound

One of the hall inside

Exhibition 

The Armour



Cross Bow

Weapons


Model who is generally behind the camera

Tower

Another view
Main Castle Enterance

Just inside, at Reception Area

After Gravensteen visit and a quick tasting of Belgian waffle (it was actually invented in Ghent) we strolled further on Korenmarkt (street) enjoying the market scenes  crossing a beautiful building (which in itself looked as if it is a grand Church, etc) we reached Church of Saint Niklaas (Nicholas). It is yet again a grand building. It is beautiful also. Unfortunately I don't seem to have main facade photo of this church.


Korenmarkt


Inside Nicholas Church



A Stained Glass Panel

Another One


As we walked down further, we reached the most famous monument of Ghent. Ghent Belfry (or watch tower) with attached Merchant's hall. Completed in 1380, this 91 meter tower served as watch tower and a secure vault to store important documents of the city government. There is a merchants hall attached to it where cloth was traded (Ghent being a major trading post) which was added later in the year 1445.

Ghent Belfry,First Look

Inside, Statues of the Protectors

Belfry with Merchant's hall

Ghent Belfry is one of the few places in Europe where there is a lift to reach the top. This lift is from first floor. There are intermediate floors where one can get down from lift while going up or down. The aerial view from top is grand. The other two towers of the three famous towers of Ghent (St Nicholas Church and St Bavo's Cathedral) and the churches on which they stand can be viewed from here.
Aerial View, Saint Nicholas

Bavo's Cathedral from top of Belfry


Street Scene


View of Ghent

The bells of Belfry originally served only religious purpose but soon acquired a state of controller of daily life as they started tolling daily to indicate the time. There was a famous bell named Roland which was removed by a victor who defeated Ghent. Now the belfry has a Carillon built with combination of bells.

The bells of Belfry

Finishing our trip of belfry we moved on and came across Sintbaafspline (Saint Bavo's square). It has a beautiful fountain where that day some children were enjoying a dip. This place also  has a Theater where performances are held. There are few  food trolleys that are parked in this square. We spent some time there basking in the sun.
SintbaffsSplein

Children enjoying in the pond



Theater





Saint Bavo's cathedral is what gives the square its name. The Saint Bavo's cathedral is a 14th century church which stands at the place were a church existed from 942 AD. Its grand and worth visit. The most important is the artwork of Jan Van Eyck titled "Adoration of Mystic Lamb", only public work of the artist. Its a panel of paintings which are in Chapel.  I did not photograph it as at that time there were too many people around it.



Saint Bavo's Cathedral
After visiting the cathedral we had a ice cream from one of the food truck at the square and then had our lunch. Post lunch we visited the last place on our list, Saint Michael across a romantic bridge named after Saint Michael (Sint Michielsburg). The bridge is considered romantic as this is here that you can click photograph with Saint Michael Church towers. Also on the city side all major monuments provide a good backdrop.

Saint MichealBurg (Bridge)

Saint Michael church is very grand from out side. We could not visit inside as the Church was closed.



Saint Michael Church
After this visit we returned to our B & B. After getting fresh and a cup of tea, I visited Rabot, a Spanish time fortification with sluice gates to flood certain areas to bog down the invading army. Today it is just a simple building.

Our day ended after this trip. We have a morning 6 am Flixbus to catch fro Amsterdam.


1 comment:

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