Flights to Gent
Known as Gent, though often spelt as Ghent, this city is in the Flemish region of Belgium and is a popular tourist destination. Ghent offers some wonderful old architecture in the old city, including some UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Flights to Ghent usually arrive at the Brussels Airport (airport code: BRU) because it is just 45 kilometres away from the city. Many airlines have 1-stop flights to Brussels from South Africa, so you can take your pick. Turkish Airlines stops in Istanbul, Ethiopian Airlines stops in Addis Ababa, and Swiss Air makes their connection in Zurich. You can also get a flight to Gent that goes through Cairo, with either Egyptair or South African Airways.
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The Tourist Attractions of Gent:
The Dutch spelling is Gent without an ‘h’ while the English spelling is Ghent with an ‘h’. Either way, Gent is a beautiful city and has plenty to see and do. The medieval architecture is usually the main attraction for many visitors to the city, and includes some of the following landmark buildings:
Meaning Castle of the Count, Gravensteen has its origins in the Middle Ages. This current castle was built in 1180 and stands on the site of an earlier wooden castle. Gravensteen was formerly the home of the Counts of Flanders, hence the name, until they abandoned it in the 14th century. The castle’s fate was on the line when it was decided it should be demolished at the end of the 19th century, but the city of Gent bought it and set about renovating. Today you can tour the inside of the castle and climb up to the higher levels, as well as visit the museum inside.
Saint Bravo Cathedral
Saint Bravo Cathedral (also known as Sint-Baafs, or Sint Baafskathedraal) is one of the tallest buildings in Gent It stands in the city centre and was named for Saint Bravo of Ghent. The original wooden church was consecrated in 942 and some parts of today’s cathedral date from as far back as 1038 though it mostly dates from between the 14th and 16th centuries. The Cathedral is famous for its altarpiece, now known as the Ghent Altarpiece it as originally named The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb.
Other Churches in Gent
There are numerous churches in addition to Gent’s cathedral of which two of the most beautiful are Saint Nicholas’ Church and Saint Michael’s Church. The latter may not look quite as beautiful from the outside, but inside it has a very rich neo Gothic style and includes Rococo statues and Baroque paintings. Saint Nicholas’ Church is actually one of the oldest buildings in the city of Gent and is grand enough and large enough to be a cathedral.
Museums in Gent
Once you’ve seen the main landmarks you can find out more about the city in Gent’s museums. The Ghent City Museum is the best place to learn more about the history and culture of Gent while other museums focus their displays on art, such as the City Museum for Contemporary Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts.
When Should You Visit?:
There are no months in the year that particularly stand out as the best time to visit Gent as temperatures are mild all year round, and rainfall should be expected at any time of year too. For warmer weather come in July and August when the average highs are in the low 20’s C.