Europe has an interesting way to offer grand panoramic views of a city. Netherlands and parts of Belgium also have the challenge of being flat, so hills and mountains are usually ruled out. Not that many skyscrapers, especially in the the more historical towns. What usually stands out in the background? churches and cathedrals, and in many of those you can take very narrow stairs up to the bells almost all the way to the top. Lovely Ghent has the Het Belfort van Gent (Belfry of Ghent), the tallest belfry in Belgium (91m) and a UNESCO heritage site dating back to the 14th century. On the way, before going up, is an interesting exhibition about the bells, how they’re created and maintained, also covering some of the local legends, such as the gilded dragon and the “breast sucker” (Mammelokker) annex 



Let’s go in…



See some dragons…



And bell players…



And go all the way up…






A good way to kick off the Ghent explorations, and after that perhaps follow with a boat tours around the city canals.

Tags: belfry; Belfry of Ghent; Belgium; breast sucker; cathedral; church; city views; Ghent; heritage site; Het Belfort van Gent; observation deck dragon; unesco;

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An extra tip if you are in the area and you don’t mind a crowd, in july each year Gent has a 10 days free festival with a lot of music, theater and lots of things to do all in a typical Gent alternative style. This is worthwhile if you are closeby.

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