The exterior of St John’s Church, now St Bavo’s Cathedral, has not changed since the 16th century. After the 1539 Ghent uprising, the ancient St Bavo’s Abbey was dissolved. Its chapter went to St John’s Church, which acquired St Bavo as its new patron saint. Twenty years later, the diocese of Ghent was established and the church became a cathedral. The rich, baroque interior of the cathedral we see now has its own powerful identity. Classical music in its purest form sounds at its very best in the stately St Bavo’s Cathedral.
MIRY Concert Hall
The MIRY Concert Hall is literally and figuratively embraced by the Ghent Conservatoire and is a permanent home for culture and music-loving Ghent. The MIRY Concert Hall focuses on a wide array of classical genres. Its concerts are grouped into four series to help provide an overview. These are the MIRY Masters, MIRY Sundays, MIRY Vocal and MIRY Contemporary. With these different series it endeavours to encourage a society with more beauty, nuance and tolerance.
The Minard Theatre, named after the original architect Louis Minard, is a hidden historical gem in the middle of the bustling city. The Italian renaissance façade and the classical details harking back to the 19th century are still in evidence. The theatre has seen quite a number of architects come and go. All of them preserved the historical spirit of the venue. With the arrival of theatre-makers Henri Van Daele and later Romain Deconinck, the Minard Theatre became Ghent’s most popular theatre. However, the building fell into disrepair, and in 1988 the city of Ghent took the building under its wing and together with the architect duo Luc D’hooghe and Rose Werckx turned it into the theatrical space you see today, intended for contemporary and innovative theatre.
Rich Ghent industrialists kicked off the construction of a new, luxurious opera house in the first half of the 19th century. It was designed to serve as a calling card for their newly-acquired wealth, and so no expense was spared. In the stunning, horseshoe-shaped auditorium, seeing was every bit as important as being seen. The impressive chandelier is an attraction in itself, as are the three salons, which together are some ninety metres long!
The Old Fish Market is one of the oldest markets in the Belgian city of Ghent. This market was originally located on the present-day Groentenmarkt. In 1689 it was assigned its current location on the Sint-Veerleplein with its striking gatehouse and permanent, open-air stalls. To the west of the Old Fish Market runs the Lieve, and to the south the Leys. To the north lies the Patershol quarter. The building was embellished with neo-gothic façades in the run up to the World Exhibition in 1913. In the 20th century the building saw a variety of uses (tyre garage, bowling alley, etc.) Now it has been given a fresh lease of life as a top location for events. So we’ll be occupying the Old Fish Market during Méditerra-Nuit!
Rekelingestraat 5, Ghent
De Bijloke Music Centre
De Bijloke Music Centre is a beautifully-preserved historical building situated on the periphery of Ghent’s city centre. Recently thoroughly renovated, this place is an architectural gem, equipped with all the necessary modern infrastructure. It’s always a treat to hang out with our neighbours from De Bijloke Music Centre. Ghent Festival of Flanders recently took up residence in the creative hub of the Bijloke site. Here we share a beautiful city garden with HoGent, School of Arts, MIRY Concert Hall, Kask Cinema, STAM and of course De Bijloke Music Centre. In this green oasis of tranquillity, you can forget all about the pressures of city life. De Bijloke Music Centre originates from a gigantic hospital ward (now the concert hall) dating from the 13th century. In 1983 the hospital moved and the space was freed up for the construction of a music centre. The historical parts of the site were restored and a modern infrastructure was added, including artists’ dressing rooms and rehearsal rooms. In addition to the large concert hall there is also the Kraakhuis, the library and an auditorium.
In the middle of the 1990s, the inhabitants of the urban periphery of Ghent and surrounding districts were crying out for a natural setting. An accessible green space was needed. On the basis of a localisation study (1996–1998), the castle site at Zwijnaarde was chosen, and transformed into the Parkbos (Park Wood). The Parkbos is an ongoing project, its aim being to create a multifunctional green cluster. The Parkbos, more than 1200 ha in area, is located on the territory of Ghent, De Pinte and Sint-Martens-Latem. A green oasis of calm to wander around in, it’s the permanent base for our musical Indian Summer during Parklife, a free open-air music festival for young & old!