As my tour guide said, “Ghent is not a city of romance. It is a city of struggle.” I was so fortunate to have a personally guided six-hour tour of the city, and it was awe-inspiring. My tour guide was an incredibly knowledgeable 78 year old man who’s lived in Ghent his entire life. He speaks the Ghent-ish dialect, and is active in the folk singing and dancing culture. In his spare time, he’s taking classes to learn to speak Russian! It was a privilege to spend time with him and learn about his beautiful city.
As you can see, some part of Ghent is always under construction, but my favorite thing about this city is the way it continually reinvents itself while still maintaining its historical integrity. On this tour, Guy paid special attention to architectural details, pointing out the differences in building styles from the 14th-21st centuries.
It was fascinating to hear about buildings begun in the 15th century, added onto in the 16th, and then completed in the 17th. I especially loved seeing the eighteenth-century buildings, of course.
And in general, I was blown away by the way old and new mingled together in unexpected harmony.
There’s always a new detail to marvel over and new sights to appreciate in this beautiful city. I can’t wait to discover more.