The brilliant summer of Ghent


Colors of the wind

Time has passed fast. This is my first blog in the new year of 2022.Now due to the spreading of covid-19, I have to stay in Singapore but I always miss my trips in the last two years. During my graduation trip in 2020, I have visited many fairy-tale cities in Europe. Ghent is one attractive, ancient and splendid city in north Belgium which is a tale of the Flemish Region. It owns numerous medieval buildings that are now still well preserved and restored. The belfry and town hall, were listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites in 1999. Its name derives from Ganda, the Celtic word which means ‘confluence’.

时光荏苒,岁月如梭。转眼到了2022年,这是我在新年的第一篇博客。目前由于 covid-19新冠的肆虐,我不得不苟且在新加坡,但我总是心念过去两年的旅行。 尤其是2020年的毕业旅行,我曾踏足欧洲众多童话般的城市。 根特就是比利时北部一座迷人、古老而充满活力的城市。ta记录了佛兰德地区的历史并拥有许多中世纪建筑,时至今日仍然保存完好。 古城的钟楼和市政厅于 1999 年被联合国教科文组织列为世界遗产。根特的名字来源于凯尔特语甘达,意思是“汇合”。

River  Leie

I took the train from Antwerp and got off at the station Gent-Dampoort which was the nearest station to the city area. Illuminated by the warm sunlight of September, the River Leie reflected the silhouette of the colorful houses arranged orderly along the river side. This is my first glimpse of this ancient city. I will say I would love it at the first sight. In the first half of the 20th century, this section of riverside was known as a favorite place for numerous painters.

我从安特卫普乘火车,在距离市区最近的车站 Gent-Dampoort 下车。 在九月暖阳的照耀下,Leie河倒映着沿岸排列整齐的五颜六色房屋的轮廓。 这是我与这座古城的首次邂逅,确实令我一见倾心。在20世纪上半叶,这一段河边盛景也是无数画家的最爱取景之地。

Geeraard de Duivelsteen

It is a pleasure to walk along the Scheldt and Leie Canals that surround the city center. The handrails on the river bank are decorated with beautiful flowers. The high rising ancient steeple-roofed castles just stand in the other side of water silently. This castle named Geeraard de Duivelsteen was built in the 13th century and was named after the knight Geeraard Vilain. It served as defense of the city’s port for hundreds years.

沿着环绕老城区的Scheldt和Leie运河漫步是一种享受。河岸上的栏杆上装饰着灿烂的花朵。 高高耸立的古老尖顶城堡静静地矗立在河的彼岸。 这座名为 Geeraard de Duivelsteen 的城堡建于 13 世纪,以骑士 Geeraard Vilain 的名字命名。 它曾作为城市港口的防御工事而存在几百年。

This castle has a grim and intimidating appearance. Through the centuries in the medieval time, it has been used as an arsenal, a monastery, and a bishop’s seminary. In 1623, it became a madhouse for the mentally ill people. This anecdote creates a quaint and eccentric atmosphere to this building with name of devil (Duivelsteen in Dutch means devil).

这座城堡有着冷峻而令人生畏的外观。 在中世纪过去的几个百年,它一直被用作武器库、修道院和主教的神学院。 1623年后,这里成为精神病患者的疗养院。 这些成年轶事也为这座名为恶魔的建筑营造了一种光怪陆离的氛围。

Statue of Lieven Bauwens

During my trip in Europe, I was always interested in the statues of celebrity because they usually represent one brilliant piece of story of the city. At the end of the canal, there was a bronze statue of Lieven Bauwens. He was a Belgian entrepreneur and industrial spy who brought a spinning mule and skilled workers to Belgium during the booming industrial revolution. He was largely respected by the Flanders because he started textile plants in Ghent in 1800 and promoted the textile industry in the area.

在欧洲旅行期间,我一直对名人雕像特别留意,因为它们通常代表了这座城市的时代剪影。 在运河的尽头,有一尊列文·鲍文斯的铜像。 他是一位比利时企业家和商业间谍,在风起云涌的工业革命时代他曾将纺纱骡子技术和纺织技术工人带到比利时。 由于 1800 年他在根特开设了纺织厂,并促进了该地区的纺织工业,他也特别受到佛兰德斯人的拥戴。

The Saint Bavo Cathedral 

Most medieval buildings concentrate in the city center. Among them, the tallest is this Saint Bavo Cathedral. The construction of the Gothic church began around 1274. It has two high spires with height up to 89 meters. We can find the two interesting posters on the wall of entrance, stating: Lam gods is here. Van Eyck is here. The cathedral is noted for the famous religious art piece Ghent Altarpiece created by Hubert and Jan van Eyck. It is also called The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb.

大多数中世纪建筑集中在市中心的老城区。 其中,最高的就是圣巴沃大教堂。 这座哥特式教堂的建造始于 1274 年左右。它有两个直达云霄尖顶,最高可达 89 米。 在教堂入口的墙上我发现了两张有趣的海报,上面写着:神的羔羊在此。 范艾克在此。 这座大教堂以休伯特和扬·范·艾克创作的著名宗教艺术作品《根特祭坛画》而闻名。 它也被称为神秘羔羊的崇拜。

The Ghent Altarpiece 

In Flanders area, Dutch is the most language used. The Ghent Altarpiece is called Het Lam Gods in Dutch. The famous Flemish painters and brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck completed this masterpiece in 1432. It consists of twelve interior panels which measures 5.2m x 3.75 m. It depicts the scenes of the God flanked by the Virgin Mary and John the Baptist. The central panel of the lower shows a religious ceremony of an adoration of the Lamb. Lamb of god is a title for Jesus that appears in the Gospel of John. In that part, John the Baptist sees Jesus and exclaims, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. So it is why the art piece is called Lamb Gods.

在佛兰德地区,荷兰语是使用最多的语言。 根特祭坛画在荷兰语中被称为 Het Lam Gods(就是海报里的Lam Gods)。 著名的佛兰德画家休伯特和扬·范·艾克兄弟于1432 年完成了这幅杰作。它由 12 个内部面板组成,尺寸为 5.2 米 x 3.75 米。 它描绘了上帝,和两侧的圣母玛利亚和施洗约翰。 下部的中央面板显示了崇拜羔羊的宗教仪式。 神的羔羊是约翰福音书中的对耶稣的称呼。 在那个章节,施洗约翰看到耶稣并感叹道:“看,神的羔羊,除去了世人的罪孽。这就是为什么这件艺术品被称为神的羔羊。

The Belfry

There are three medieval towers overlooking the old city center. Another extremely tall building is the belfry of Ghent. It is the symbol of the city, memorizing the city’s independence. In north France and Belgium, there are numerous bell towers with the similar style. They represent the architecture arts of Flanders and Wallonia under the influence of the former County of Flanders. The construction of the tower began in 1313. There is a gilded dragon installed at the top of the building in 1377. At medieval time, the ringing bell was to remind the citizens of Ghent of enemy or a battle won.

根特有三座中世纪塔楼可以俯瞰老城区。 另一座高耸入云的建筑就是根特钟楼。它是根特标志性建筑,以纪念城市的独立。 在法国北部和比利时,有许多类似风格的钟楼。 它们代表了受前佛兰德公国影响的佛兰德和瓦隆的建筑艺术。钟塔的建造始于 1313 年, 并于1377 年在建筑物的顶部安装了一条镀金的龙。在中世纪,钟声长鸣是为了提醒根特的公民有敌人入侵或战斗胜利。


Now I was standing in the square of Sint-Baafsplein which was the heart of the city. In Europe, square is always the cultural and historical place for leisure and assembly. From this square, visitors could sit at the terrace of cafeteria and look up at the top of the bell tower. This is very popular place for tourists. There are some small shops selling postcard around the square. The gothic building adjoining the belfry is the Cloth Hall. It used to be the meeting place of the wool and cloth traders. It is really an amazing experience to sit in the square under the warm sun light peacefully and keep my eyes on the flowing fountain and the roaring trams passing by.

此刻我站在市中心的圣巴夫广场上。 在欧洲,广场一直是休闲和集会的文化和历史场所。 从这个广场上,游客可以坐在餐厅的露台上,仰望钟楼的顶部。 它是非常受游客欢迎的地方。 广场周围有一些卖明信片的小店。 毗邻钟楼的哥特式建筑是织物馆。这里曾经是棉毛商人的交易地。 在温暖的阳光下安然坐在广场上,注视着面前流淌的喷泉和轰鸣经过的有轨电车,真是一种奇妙的体验。

NTGent and Miryzaal

Under the belfry’s shade, the tourists could have a drink in front of the Gent theatre. Its façade contains some beautiful sculptures in the niche and some colorful frescos. The theatre NTGent is the home of the Royal Dutch Theatre. It is the ideal place for the classic music lover. In the center of the square, the fountain with the statue of Jan-Frans Willems is just in front of the theatre. As a cofounder of the Flemish Movement, Jan-Frans Willems opposed the government’s language policy in favor of the French-speaking people.

在钟楼的阴影下,游客们可以在根特剧院前小酌一杯。 它的正立面含有一些壁龛中美丽的雕塑和色彩缤纷的壁画。根特剧院是荷兰皇家剧院的所在地。 是古典音乐爱好者的理想去处。 在广场的中心,装饰着扬-弗兰斯·威廉斯雕像的喷泉伫立在剧院的前面。 作为佛兰芒语运动的联合创始人,扬-弗兰斯·威廉斯一直反对政府的有利于法语群体的语言政策。

Town Hall (Stadhuis)

I enjoyed relaxingly walking around the city center with so many old buildings in this cozy afternoon. Without notice, I passed by their city hall where parked many bicycles. It is one historical monument of the city and reflects the brilliant history and evolution of the city starting from the late 15th century until present. It combines many architectural styles like Gothic ornaments and Renaissance design elements. It has a unique rooftop with many triangle windows. The city hall is indeed an impressive building but my attention was drawn by the man blowing bubbles. In the small cities in Europe, I could always see some people playing instruments leisurely or having fun in the street. The rhythm of carefree life style in these cities is totally different compared with the metropolis that I have lived.

在这个舒适的下午,在如此多古老建筑环绕的市中心漫步真是令人愉悦的放松。 不经意之间经过了根特的市政厅,那里停着许多自行车。 市政厅是这座城市的历史古迹之一,反映了这座城市从 15 世纪末到现在的辉煌历史和演变。 它结合了各异的建筑风格,如哥特式装饰和文艺复兴时期的设计元素。 市政厅有一个独特的屋顶以及许多三角形窗户确实令人印象深刻,但我的注意力却被被那个吹泡泡的艺人所吸引。 在欧洲的小城市里,我总能看到一些人悠闲地弹奏乐器,或者在街上玩耍。这种悠闲的生活节奏和我一直住过的大都市截然不同。


Next I followed the track of tram and stepped on this arch stone bridge. I had to say that this city always gave me infinite surprise. Along the river bank, there was an amazing view close to the fairy-tale world that I always imagined in my mind. From the Saint Michael’s Bridge, I could see many stylish houses, the Ghent’s iconic bell tower and the massive Gothic church.

接着我沿着电车的轨道,踏上了这座拱形石桥。 不得不说,这座城市总是给我无限惊喜。 河岸两边,一直在我脑海中浮想联翩的童话世界在我眼前栩栩展开。 从圣迈克尔桥上,众多极具特色的小房子,根特标志性的钟楼和巨大的哥特式教堂映入我的眼帘。

 Saint Michael’s Church

The history of this magnificent church called Saint Michael could be traced to 11st century. The construction of the current Gothic church started from 1440. Due to a series of delays and fund deficiency, the tower could not be finished. Until 1828, a flat roof was built over the unfinished tower. The church includes many paintings by Baroque artists like van Dyck. It was located at the west of the Saint Michael’s Bridge. Many boats passed through the bridge and arrived at the famous Graslei.

这座宏伟的圣迈克尔教堂的历史可以追溯到 11 世纪。 如今的哥特式教堂的始建于1440年。由于一系列的延误和经费不足,最终塔楼始终无法完工。 到 1828 年,最后在未完工的塔楼上建造了一个平顶。 这间教堂里有许多巴洛克艺术家如著名的范戴克的画作。 它位于圣迈克尔桥的西边。 许多小船经过此桥,抵达了著名的格拉斯莱码头。


The most iconic view of Ghent must be the Graslei which is always displayed on postcard. Graslei is a vibrant quay in the right bank of river Leie. It’s a medieval port which history dated back to fifth century when Ghent was the center of the wheat trade in the County of Flanders. It is a well known landscape of the well preserved medieval houses with stepped gable and cafeteria. Most local people prefer to relax at the riverbank, dangling their legs over the quay comfortably and bask themselves in the pleasant sunlight. It is definitely a romantic experience to sit down here with the lover appreciating every detail of the city, isn’t it?

根特最具标志性的景观一定是在明信片上反复出现的格拉斯莱。 格拉斯莱(Graslei)是一个充满活力的码头,位于 Leie 河的右岸。 这是一个古老的港口,它的历史可以追溯到五世纪,当时根特是佛兰德郡小麦贸易的中心。 这一片区域是中世纪保存完好的阶梯式山墙房屋的著名景点。众多当地百姓也喜欢在两岸放松身心,双腿舒适地悬搭在码头岸上,沐浴在宜人的阳光下。坐在这里和挚爱欣赏城市的每一个细节绝对是一种浪漫的体验。

It is recommended to take a boat trip from the Graslei. Along the Leie River, you must admire the Flemish Renaissance buildings at the banks. Most of them are the guild houses in the medieval times. The canal in Ghent is not so long compared to the Grand canal in Venice so the boat trip usually takes just 40 minutes.

非常推荐从格拉斯莱乘船游览根特。 沿着Leie河便可欣赏河岸边的佛兰芒文艺复兴时期的建筑。 其中大部分是中世纪的商会房屋。 与威尼斯的大运河相比,根特的运河并不长,因此乘船游览通常只需 40 分钟。


In the north of Graslei, there is a little bridge called Grasbrug. It’s an intersection of waterway here. Visitor could stand on the bridge at dusk and take the pictures of the appealing façade of the buildings along the Graslei. You could totally immerse yourself in this poetic ambiance of the misty scene.

在格拉斯莱以北,有一座小桥叫格拉斯布鲁格。 这里是水路的交汇处。 黄昏时分,游客站立桥头,纷纷拍下格拉斯莱沿岸迷人景色。 水光潋滟,景色空濛,人们完全沉浸在根特的诗情画意中。


Following the babbling river, next I stopped in front of one castle built at the river side. At its top I could find the yellow dragon flag of the Flanders county. The Gravensteen which means Castle of the Counts was a medieval castle dating from 1180. It was a unique castle with the style of Syrian crusader. It was the residence of the Counts of Flanders until 1353 and subsequently converted to prison and cotton factory. It is now a museum. The castle is fortified by an oval-shaped enceinte with 24 small round watch towers.

顺着潺潺的河流,接下来我驻足在河边的一座城堡前。 它的顶部,佛兰德公国的黄龙旗清晰可见。 Gravensteen 意为伯爵城堡,是一座建于 1180 年的中世纪城堡。这是一座独特的叙利亚十字军风格的城堡。 1353 年之前它一直是佛兰德伯爵的住所,随后被改建为监狱和棉花工厂。 它如今是一个博物馆。 城堡由一个带有 24 个小圆形瞭望塔的椭圆形 城廓加固而成。

Sint-Veerleplein square

The castle overlooks this small square called Sint-Veerleplein. This square was a marketplace but also the site of executions and burnings of the victims of the Inquisition in the medieval time. Now visitors could have a rest in the cafés and taste the pancakes here. The architecture of the surrounding is quite exceptional.

城堡俯瞰着这个名为 Sint-Veerleplein 的小广场。 这个广场曾经是一个市场,也是中世纪宗教裁判所处决和焚烧受害者的地方。 游客可以在咖啡馆休息,品尝这里的煎饼。 广场四周的建筑非常独特。


Everyone will no doubt notice this extraordinary building with Neptune sculpture. It is the old fish market, built in 1689. The two reliefs at the gateway depict allegorically the two main rivers in the city, Scheldt (male) and Leie (female). In the city’s history, fishmongers sold their goods here. The old Ghent people seem to be reminiscent of their passes. The poster at the gate is an advertisement in Dutch saying: Toch zomerbar oude vismijn which means still the summer bar, the old fish market.

大家无疑都会注意到这座装饰有海王雕塑的神奇建筑。 这其实是旧鱼市,建于1689年。门口的两幅浮雕寓意着城市中的两条主要河流,Scheldt和Leie。 在根特的历史上,鱼贩在这里出售他们的商品。老根特人似乎很怀旧, 门口赫然可见的是荷兰语的广告:Toch zomerbar oude vimijn,意思是这里是夏日酒吧,曾经的老鱼市。


Kraanlei is a riverbank at where the fish market is located. It took its name from a wooden crane (kraan). In the 16th century, it was used for unloading barges. At that time, the region of Flanders is one of the most prosperous in Europe. There are frequent commerce in the riverbank. Ghent is also called Mediaeval Manhattan during that period.

Kraanlei是鱼市所在的河岸。 它的名字来自木制起重机(荷兰语:kraan)。 在 16 世纪,这里是被用于卸载驳船的地方。 当时,佛兰德地区是欧洲最繁华的地区之一。 沿河商业频繁。 在那个时期,根特也被称为中世纪的曼哈顿。

At Kranlei, there are two stylish baroque houses ‘The Flute Player’ and  ‘the Seven Works of Mercy’. The two fresco decorated houses stand with each other. There is a red relief of flute player at the top of the gable of the house at right. For the house at left, only six paintings are created on the façade. They represent 7 compassionate acts in Catholic belief. It is said that since this was originally an inn, the fourth work (hosting the strangers) was done in the building itself.

在 Kranlei,有两个别具一格的巴洛克风格房屋“长笛演奏家”和“七种慈善”。 两座壁画装饰的房屋互相倚靠。 右侧房屋山墙顶部有吹笛者的红色浮雕。 左侧的房子,只在立面上创作了六幅画。 它们代表了天主教信仰中的 7 种慈善的行为。 据说由于这里原本是客栈,所以第四项慈善行为(收容陌生人)对应的就是这座建筑本身。


Next I arrived at a large square which is not far away from the Kraanlei. Every Friday morning the square is filled with market stalls. It is a local tradition dating back to 1199 so this square is called Vrijdagmarkt which means Friday market in Dutch. In the center of square, it is the statue of Jacob van Artevelde. He was a Flemish statesman and political leader, known as The Wise Man and the Brewer of Ghent during the Hundred Years’ War. He was remembered due to his exploit of revitalizing the trade and industry of Ghent.

接下来我来到了离Kranlei不远的一个大广场。 每个星期五早上,广场上都挤满了熙熙攘攘的摊位。 这是一个上至1199 年的当地传统,因此这个广场被称为 Vrijdagmarkt,在荷兰语中意为周五市场。 广场中央是雅各布·范·阿特维尔德的雕像。 他是一位佛兰德政治家和政治领袖,在百年战争期间被称为“智者”和“根特缔造者”。 他因振兴根特的贸易和工业而被人们铭记。

St James Church

In Europe there is a pilgrims’ way leading to the shrine of the apostle Saint James in Santiago de Compostella, Spain. There are many churches dedicated to St James in different countries. They become meeting places for local residents and pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostella. This Saint James church in Ghent is one of them which history could be traced back to 11th century. This church contains many Baroque elements and art. It locates near the Vrijdagmarkt.

在欧洲,有一条通往西班牙圣地亚哥孔波斯特拉的使徒圣詹姆神殿的朝圣之路。 在不同的国家有许多纪念圣詹姆的教堂。 它们成为当地居民和朝圣者前往圣地亚哥德孔波斯特拉中途的聚会场所。 根特的这座圣詹姆教堂就是其中之一,其历史可以追溯到 11 世纪。 这座教堂包含许多巴洛克元素和艺术。 它位于 Vrijdagmarkt 附近。

King Albert Park

Except the old buildings, city parks in Ghent worth a visit as well. Most parks are in the south of the city. The King Albert Park was a neo-baroque park built on the former Gent-Zuid train station in 1930. After the death of King Albert I, it was officially called King Albert Park. In the center of square, it is the War memorial.

除了古老的建筑,根特的城市公园也值得一游。 大多数公园都位于城市的南部。 阿尔伯特国王公园是一座新巴洛克风格的公园,于1930年在原根特南火车站建立。阿尔伯特一世国王去世后,他被正式称为阿尔伯特国王公园。 广场中央是战争纪念碑。

The Citadelpark

The last place I visited in Ghent is this Citadelpark which is extremely near the Gent-Sint-Pieters station. At the last moment, I just sat here cozily and waited for the arrival of the train. I enjoyed its relaxing environment, the white swans swimming in the lake and the doves pecking on the green grass. Ghent is not a well-known travel place but it has its unique charm and elegance that deserves to be explored by travelers. Even today I still immerse myself in the memory of this city full of aesthetic feeling. There is no need to look for its beauty specifically. Its pulchritude exists in every corner of the city.

我在根特参观的最后一个景点就是这个城堡公园,它非常靠近圣彼得火车站。 最后时刻,我唯有安逸地坐在这里,等待火车的到来。 这里放松的环境,湖中自在嬉耍的白天鹅和啄食绿草的鸽子令我赞叹不已。 根特并不是一个知名的旅游胜地,但它有着独特的优雅和魅力,值得旅行者去一探究竟。 时至今日,我仍然沉浸在对这座充满美感的城市的美好回忆中。 无需特意追寻它的美, 它的动人存在于城市里的每一个角落。