Hometown tourist: climbing the Belfry of Ghent
It’s been almost four years since I’m living in Ghent and there are still so many new things to do. Every few weeks a new restaurant pops up or I finally visit a restaurant that has been on my to do list for ages. A few weeks ago I finally went to a wine bar I was passing every day on my way to work, and ever since I visited it three other times. The same with the Belfry; after having it passed a gazilion times we finallyyy climbed the Belfry a few weeks ago. No idea why we postponed it that long, because it was certainly worth it!
We had been wanting to climb the Belfry of Ghent several weekends before finally climbing it, but every time the weather had been cloudy. So our first free Sunday of the year with good weather we went up. I was so glad I was wearing my alpaca wool head band because up high it was definitely colder.
The Belfry is almost 100 meter high, so climbing the 250 small steps was quite heavy. I really have to start working on one of my goals of 2020, starting to run again. The stairs were also quite steep, so I was just looking down with every step I took and kind of got dizzy. Not my favorite part of the belfry, to be honest. 🙂
If you go all the way to the top, you get to see the mechanical clockwork. But before that, you pass several small museums where you can learn more about the history of the tower, the bells, …
And of the history of the dragon! On top of the Beflry stands a giant dragon. It used to spit fire for special occasions, and the original one is in one of the museums. Nowadays the dragon doesn’t spit fire that often anymore, but they did make it work for 10 days in a row during the 2018 Gentse Feesten. So glad I could watch it back then, even though I wasn’t fully grasping how unique it was back then. 🙂
So yes, all that makes getting to the top even more worthwhile. You can relax a bit after all the heavy steps while watching the city from all four corners. It’s so cool when you live in the city and get to see some familiar buildings from above.
And of course you have the best view on the Saint Nicholas Church and the Saint Bavo’s Cathedral!
We had so much fun climbing the many steps of the Belfry, learning more about the (history of the) building and watching the city from above. 😀
Let’s see what we’ll visit next! 😀