Home City Search Gent Tour of Gent's Landmarks
Tour of Gent's Landmarks, Gent
Tour of Gent's Landmarks
Guide Location: Belgium » Gent
Guide Type: Self-guided city tour
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Werneuchen
Author: vickyc
This self-guided walking tour is included in the iOS app "City Maps and Walks (470+ Cities)" in iTunes and the Android app "Gent Map and Walks" in Google Play.
Gent is one of the most beautiful historic cities in Belgium. The city's many medieval buildings, breathtaking squares and impressive monuments attract thousands of tourists from around the world. Take this self-guided tour to see Gent's most famous landmarks.
Tour Stops and Attractions
Friday Market Square
1) Friday Market Square
On many occasions in the past the fate of Gent was decided on this beautiful market square, called Vrijdagmarkt. The name translates from Dutch as 'Friday Market' because on Fridays the market is held here. Throughout centuries the square has witnessed countless celebrations and bloody battles. All that have taken place here was in one way or the other related to the activities of the corporations, among which the weavers and the merchants were the most influencial. Back in the Middle Ages, the wellbeing of Gent was largely dependent on the wool trade and industry. When the latter flourished, so did the rest of the city. The square holds many architecturally important buildings reflecting the styles popular in the 18th century. In the middle of the square stands the statue of Jacob Van Artevelde.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and SAK
Gravensteen Castle
2) Gravensteen Castle
Gravensteen, or "Castle of the Count" in Dutch, dates back to the Middle Ages. The present castle was built in 1180 by Count Philip of Alsace and was modeled after the crusaders' castles the count encountered when he participated in the second crusade. In 1885 the city of Gent bought the castle and started a renovation project. Gravensteen attracts a huge number of tourists. The castle has been repaired enough to allow people to travel through it and climb to the top. It is still partly surrounded by a moat. Inside is a museum with various torture devices (and a guillotine) that were once used in Gent.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Karelj
Sight description based on wikipedia
Butcher's Hall
3) Butcher's Hall
The Great Butcher's Hall, or Vleeshuis, is located in the heart of the city. It dates back to the early 15th century when the meat sales were centralized and held indoors to ease monitoring the freshness and quality of meat. Complete with a remarkable open wooden truss roof, the building features a unique architectural style, typical of Gent in the Middle Ages. It is set on the bank of the river, which makes it look all the more impressive. Adding to its appeal, is the sight of Gent’s specialty—Ganda Hams—hanging overhead and whetting visitors' appetite.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Werneuchen
Gent Town Hall
4) Gent Town Hall
Gent Town Hall, commonly referred to by locals as Gent Stadhuis, is one of the most impressive buildings in the city, and is situated close to the Belfry in the historic downtown area. Of the multitude of medieval buildings found in Gent, the Town Hall stands out as the one reflecting most vividly the history and the evolution of the city starting from the late 15th century until the present. It consists of several connected buildings that were added in different periods, and that represent a mixture of architectural styles, featuring Gothic ornaments and Renaissance design elements. In the early 19th century, on the occasion of visit by Napoleon, the Hall's front staircase was renovated.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Werneuchen
5) Belfry
The 91-meter-high Belfry of Gent is one of three medieval towers that overlook the old city center. Over the centuries, it has served not only as a bell tower to announce the time and various warnings, but also as a fortified watchtower and town treasury. Construction of the tower began in 1313 to the design of master mason Jan van Haelst, whose plans are still preserved in a museum. After continuing intermittently through wars, plagues and political turmoil, the work reached completion in 1380. It was near the end of this period that the gilded dragon, brought from Bruges, assumed its place atop the tower. The uppermost parts of the building have been rebuilt several times, in part to accommodate the growing number of bells.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and PetrusSilesius
Sight description based on wikipedia
Royal Dutch Theater
6) Royal Dutch Theater
The Royal Dutch Theater is a great historic building situated in Sint-Baafsplein Square. The theater was constructed at the end of the 19th century. Its facade is decorated with a multi-colored mosaic that depicts Apollo and the Muses. Presiding at the very top is Lady Harmonia that majestically looks over things. Inside the theater combines neo-Renaissance and eclectic styles.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Dogfael
Castle of Gerald the Devil
7) Castle of Gerald the Devil
In spite of its name and grim appearance, no devil has ever lived in the Castle of Gerald the Devil. Built in the 13th century, this ancient castle and fortress features Romanesque style. It carries the name of the knight Gerald the Great, nicknamed "the Devil", who once lived here. For centuries, the castle has served as a home to knights, an arsenal, a monastery, a school and a bishop’s seminary. In 1623, it provided a refuge for the mentally ill and accommodated male orphans. Partially, the building was also used as a prison or detention centre. Since the early twentieth century, the castle has been housing the State Archives.
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Torsade de Pointes
King Albert Park
8) King Albert Park
King Albert Park, also known as South Park, is an urban park located in the southeastern part of the city. It is a neo-Baroque park. The park has a large oblong shape. Several monuments and statues decorate the park, including a monument to King Albert, a statue of a wounded swordsman and many more.
Image Courtesy of Flickr and Luc De Jaeger
Attractions Map
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