The Belfry, which is the symbol of the city of Ghent and influences the skyline of the city, was built in 1313, developed day by day to adapt to the increasing number of bells and has been used for various purposes until today.
Protected by UNESCO in 1999 to preserve natural and cultural heritage, the Belfry is 91 meters tall and one of the 3 medieval towers in Ghent. The others are the tower of St. Bavo’s Cathedral directly opposite and the dark tower of St. Nicholas Church on the other side.
The bell tower has been used for centuries to announce the time and various warnings. In addition to this, you can see four statues that were built to guard the tower during the period when it was used as a warehouse where municipal documents were kept and preserved, on the floor of the tower, in the area where the old walls are located. When you look carefully at these statues, you will see that one of them is older. This statue is original, the others are later additions.
The tower was also used as a watchtower. In 1377, a dragon was placed in the tower to watch over the city and protect it from evil. You can also see the dragon, the symbolic protector of the city, on the ground floor of the tower. There were over fifty bells in the Ghent Belfry. These bells played in a regular rhythm and served as musical instruments. This tower is considered to be the ancestor of the bell melody called carillon.
At 91 meters tall, it is possible to climb Belgium‘s tallest bell tower for a panoramic view of the city. Moreover, you do not climb up by stairs, but by elevator. This is a place where you can see Ghent from the top.
The city of Ghent has 3 tall towers, the rest of the buildings are as low as possible. Since Ghent is located on a flat land, you can see the view up to the trees outside the city, and then you leave yourself to nature.
Where is the Belfry of Ghent? How to get there?
To get to the Belfry, you can choose tram or bus if you want to get there by public transportation. You can get off at Ghent Korenmarkt stop with both public transportation. Tram number 1 and 4 and bus number N4 pass through this stop. Entrance to the Belfry bell tower is free with a Museum Pass.