Monday, April 12, 2010

Ghent, Belgium

Ghent is a city at the confluence of Scheldt and Lys rivers in the Flanders region of Belgium. In the 11th and 12th centuries, Ghent became an important trade center thanks to the local production of cloth, made from imported English wool. It was at this time that the city's impressive stone Castle of the Counts (Gravensteen) was built.

The Fish Market with its baroque facade from 1689 stands near to the old Gravensteen on the Saint Veerle square. On top of the facade thrones a statue of Neptune, king of the seas. The other two statues represent the two rivers that flow through Ghent, the Scheldt river and the Lys river.

Near the Gravensteen stands the impressive slaughter house, built between 1407 and 1419. The gothic building was used in the 15th and 16th centuries as the central hall where the butchers of Ghent could sell their meat. It was conveniently located on the river to wash away the blood.

The ‘Three Towers of Ghent’ are St. Bavo’s Cathedral, the Belfry and St. Nicholas’ Church. They form a line pointing towards St. Michael’s Bridge. The St. Nicholas’ Church is one of the oldest and most prominent in Ghent.

Not to be missed is indulging in a Belgian waffle overlooking one of the picturesque squares!
 To view all of our pictures of Ghent, visit http://public.fotki.com/Davis2001r6/italy-2011/gent/