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Built in 1300, this 95m high belfry was for a long time the symbol of the power of the guilds. Guards used to keep watch for fire from the upper gallery and visitors can now enjoy splendid views from there across the city. The bell tower itself was only completed in 1913, in time for the World Fair, and its spire is crowned with a golden dragon, the symbol of the city. Adjoining the Belfort is the 15th century Lakenhalle (cloth-makers’ hall).
St Baafskathedraal (St Bavo’s Cathedral)
Probably Ghent’s most important sight, St Baafskathedraal started off as a simple parish church in 942, and gradually grew over the years until it reached its present magnificent form in 1628. Housing 27 chapels and one of the largest crypts in Europe, the cathedral is particularly famous as the home of the famous work of art ‘The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’ painted by Hubert and Jan van Eyck. During the Ghent Festival only, it is possible to climb up the 82m bell tower to enjoy the views.
The only large bridge in the city centre, from here you can get a picture postcard view of the historic centre taking in the pretty guildhouses of the Graslei and Korenlei and the impressive towers of St Nicholas’ Church, the Belfry and St Bavo’s Cathedral.