Having seen a BBC programme about Renaissance art in Europe, we simply had to stop off in Ghent on our yearly trip to Oma’s home in Germany. So this post is about the worlds most stolen painting and Flemish family frolics It is a very long drive from the UK, so a stop-off on the way is very welcome.
As a family of five it is often tricky to find a room for us. We found a brilliant room at the Hotel Onderbergen as it had a six bed room. The bedroom was really modern, with a double bed and two roomy bunk beds. We chose the bed and breakfast option for our one night stay. There was lots of local food on offer as well as a full Irish breakfast. It was really easy to find the hotel when we finally arrived in Ghent it and has secure on site parking which was perfect for us. The location was brilliant. It was only a two minute walk from the old town centre.
During our overnight stay in Ghent we visited the three main churches: Saint Bavo’s Cathedral, Saint Nicholas Church and Saint Michaels Church all with amazing architecture and decoration.
The main reason for our visit was to see the world’s most stolen piece of artwork. It is now protected by bulletproof glass and in a secure room: the altar piece by Jan and Hubert van Eyck It is named the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, and better known as the Ghent Altarpiece of 1432. It is an amazing work of art which illustrates Christian teaching for both the literate and illiterate. It shows people from all nations and backgrounds coming together to worship the lamb who was slain. It was awe-inspiring, simply by its size. The amount of detail was phenomenal. The longer you looked at it, the more there was to see. It kept the attention of my seven and nine year olds for ten minutes, which says a lot. We talked together about what we could see and bought a sticker book of the painting for the children do on the journey home.
In the other churches we looked at very ornate silver and gold chalices and articles used during communion. There was also a beautiful display of very ornate vestments made by very skilled craftsmen and women. The churches in Ghent were a display of the best work by those who were the most skilled of their time in many different fields.
We could not visit Ghent without trying the food and the language. As you need to speak to order food, these go well together. I was so pleased my Flemish is now good enough to order a coffee or two!
“Twee koffie alstublieft”
Although understanding how much money I owe them is still a challenge.
We attempted to order a children’s meal, which resulted in a LOT of hilarity!
„Een kiddie alstublieft.“
Other useful words
alstublieft please (polite)
dank u thank you
waar zijn de toiletten, alstublieft? where are the toilets, please?
spreekt u Engels? do you speak English?
ik spreek een heel klein beetje Nederlands I only speak very little Dutch
For more basic dutch phrases check out https://www.speaklanguages.com/dutch/phrases/basic-phrases
We really enjoyed our short trip to Ghent. Have you visited Ghent? Did we miss any must-see places?