The cool thing about Ghent is that it is not centered around tourists like Brugge is. Real people, real shops mixed in with all the historical things.
First thing I saw after parking the car was this incredible construction site. You may not think it is cool but I do and if Blanka is going to take me to "shops" she will have to wait until I see this cool building site.
|I was amazed at the scale of this project. They demolished the interior of the building but built supporting scaffolding to save the exterior facade. Two whole sides of the large, old building are being preserved.|
This is my favorite photo of the day!
|As you can see the entire inside is now a big hole.|
|Not only did they have to keep the walls from falling over, but they had to build reinforcements |
under them to keep them from falling straight down.
|The Kouter (a large square) hosts the flower market every Sunday. |
Music in the bandstand and lots of flowers make this a lively square, but not today.
|Several of these large brass leafs can be found in the square.|
|In the Vrijdags Markt, not too far away, is a sculpture of more heroic proportions.|
Jacob van Artevelde seems to be summoning up a rain storm and sure enough he was successful!
|As you see in the following pictures this is William Sonoma on steroids. Virtually everything you can imagine|
for the kitchen and dining room and a lot more that you would never imagine.
There was a shop right across the street that specialized in selling vinegars and oils of all kinds. And not too far away was this mustard shop. The mustard shop, called Tierentijn, has been around since Blanka was a little girl and a long time before that, since 1790 to be precise.
|Blanka ordered their house specialty, a very fine and strong mustard that is scooped right out of the barrel.|
|Come visit us in Phoenix and you can taste it.|
|At the heart of 9th century Ghent lies the castle, Gravensteen. Previously there was a moat all around it, but now it serves to move cars, trams, bikes and people in and around the castle. (The moat is still on the other two sides.)|
|Over time the city grew around the castle. Certainly an imposing site!|
|One of the "chapels" at Sint Niklaas Church|
|Sint Niklaas Church (early 13th century) as seen from the castle.|
|Directly across from the castle is the Fishermen's Guild. Directly behind it is one of the canals that|
connect Ghent to all the other major cities and the coast. In past centuries these were the arteries
of commerce and power.
|It seems like all day we had bit of sunshine, bits of rain and a lot of cloudy.|
|We ducked into this 13th century building for lunch and to get out of the rain.|
|On the ground level they have some of the original 13c walls visible.|
|The folklore museum is located in the alms houses that were originally|
built in the 16th century to settle a dispute between two very wealthy families.
As settlement they had to build housing for the poor.
|No Rubens or Rembrandt in these humble rooms but displays showing |
every day life from different time periods like this Apothecary shop.
|Interesting collections of artifacts grace the wall |
of this connecting hall between rooms.
|They even had room showing typical artifacts for each|
decade from 1920 to 1980! I think this is 1950s.
|Yes, we stopped for Belgian Waffles in the afternoon!!!|
|To think that these ladies and gentlemen have been looking down on the comings and goings of many generations.|
|Not new, not old, but very fun to look at.|