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Saint Nicholas Church, Ghent

Categories: Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.3/5 based on 380+ reviews on the web
St. Nicholas' Church is one of the oldest and most prominent landmarks in Ghent, Belgium. Begun in the early 13th century as a replacement for an earlier Romanesque church, construction continued through the rest of the century in the local Scheldt Gothic style (named after the nearby river). Typical of this style is the use of blue-gray stone from the Tournai area, the single large tower above the crossing, and the slender turrets at the building's corners.Built in the old trade center of Ghent next to the bustling Korenmarkt (Wheat Market), St. Nicholas' Church was popular with the guilds whose members carried out their business nearby. The guilds had their own chapels which were added to the sides of the church in the 14th and 15th centuries.The central tower, which was funded in part by the city, served as an observation post and carried the town bells until the neighboring belfry of Ghent was built. These two towers, along with the Saint Bavo Cathedral, still define the famous medieval skyline of the city center. One of the treasures of the church is its organ, produced by the famous French organ builder Aristide Cavaillé-Coll.RestorationThe building gradually deteriorated through the centuries, to a degree that threatened its stability. Cracks were overlaid with plaster, windows were bricked up to reinforce the walls, and in the 18th century, little houses and shops were built up against the dilapidated facades. Interest in the church as a historical monument arose around 1840, and at the turn of the 20th century major restoration plans emerged. The houses alongside the church were demolished and much renovation work has been carried out since then.
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  • From where most shines is from seeing it from the bell tower that is behind it. With typical religious iconography, not I highlight it for nothing in particular.
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  • I am far from religious, but I do enjoy popping into any church or cathedral I find upon my trips away. This property was absolutely no let down and is of the 'took my breath away ' variety. The scale...  read more »
  • This church from inside gives you the best vaulting with fresco fragments, and were my favorite part of the church experience. Majestic long heighten walls, doors , amazing interior wood work. It is o...  read more »
  • This cathedral has some amazing photography opportunities along the outside. We did not venture inside the cathedral itself, but there was an antique market going on inside one of the rooms that was really fun to walk through!
  • Very nice church inside. On some days there is some kind of exhibition inside of the lobby in front of the building
  • Beautiful old gothic church. Yeah, I cannot compare which one is the most beautiful because every church in Gent has own charm. This church will bring you back to 1800's.
  • Beautiful, but has a depressing feeling of disrepair as it has not been as well maintained as some of its brotheren elsewhere in the city. it's still a beautiful piece of history.
  • Beautiful place
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