‘The Ghent Festivities’ is the biggest free cultural event in Europe. For 10 days the city center is one big festival with music, theatre, exhibitions, a lot of friends and too little time to explore it all. I’m born in Ghent so the festival is an obligatory event for me.
There is one thing that I’m looking forward to even more: 10 days a year, during the festival, you can climb the highest tower of the city, the Saint Bavo’s Cathedral. We made it into a tradition to climb the 444 steps and be on top of the tower for the whole afternoon, looking for our house to see if it’s still at the same place it was last year. Here we feel like we’re on top of the world while we are on the rooftop of the city. It’s a unique thing to do and only possible this time of the year, and right next to Van Eyck’s wonderful painting ‘The Ghent Altarpiece’ a highlight of your visit to the Cathedral.
Ghent has a number of viewpoints: the Castle of the Counts, Museum of Industry and the Belfry next to the Cathedral. Only here you can look down over the city and its monuments and discover the secret gardens, swimming pools and secrets of everyone who is living their peaceful live behind an anonymous facade. At this height you can look the dragon on top of the Belfry straight into the eyes and decide who is the true ruler of the city.