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Saint Bavo's Cathedral in Ghent
Ghent and surrounding
Architecture,  Temples, Churches
Temples, Churches

The majestic Saint Bavo's Cathedral towering over Ghent is the main religious building of the local diocese and the result of many years of work, which took centuries to complete.

In ancient times, there was a wooden chapel of St. John the Baptist on the site of the present-day cathedral. It was consecrated in 942 by the Bishop of Tournai and Noyon and stood in its initial form for about a century. In 1038, the wooden chapel was expanded and rebuilt in the then-popular Romanesque style. Traces of those ancient structures can still be seen in the richly decorated crypt of the shrine.

Being one of the most important cities in Western Europe in the Middle Ages, Ghent could easily afford the construction of new majestic religious buildings. In the 14th century, the Romanesque chapel began to be constantly rebuilt and expanded. In the following two centuries, it got the features of the Brabantine Gothic and a look close to the modern one.

In 1539, after the citizens' rebellion against Charles V, the centuries-old Abbey of St. Bavo was destroyed. Twenty years later, the Diocese of Ghent took its place. So the ancient chapel was finally turned into a cathedral.

The rich interior of the shrine in the elaborate Baroque style recalls the significant and long-lasting influence of Anthonius Triest, the fifth bishop of Bruges and the seventh bishop of Ghent.

The Saint Bavo's Cathedral is adorned with many great works of art, including the "Ghent Altarpiece." It was created in the first half of the 15th century by the Northern Renaissance painters Jan and Hubert van Eyck, commissioned by Jodocus Vijd for his wife's private chapel in the Church of St. John. It is the real masterpiece that made the cathedral famous all over the world. The altarpiece includes more than two dozen panels, depicts about 260 human figures, and shows worship of the lamb from the Revelation of Saint John.

Address: Sint-Baafsplein

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Praskovia Ko

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