© James Clark
Travel Blog and Travel Photos.
The Ghent Belfry. Historical notes from the belfry:
Together with 23 belfries in Flanders and 6 in Wallonia the belfry of Ghent has been inscribed upon the World Heritage List of the UNESCO Convention on December 4, 1999. The inscription on this list implies recognition of the outstanding universal value of a cultural or natural site, which deserves protection in the interest of mankind.
Since the Middle Ages, belfries symbolise the deep human urge for freedom and democracy and play an exceptional role in the fields of architecture, urban planning and musical history.
This 14th-century belfry adopted the typology of the Tournai belfry, which dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries.
Originally, it stood on its own, but later it is incorporated in the complex of the 15th-century Cloth Hall and 18th-century town prison or "Mammelokker". The belfry's solid bulk ends in the corner turrets, restored according to the original model and marked by the statues of the famous "Men from Ghent", the stone watchmen. Gilded crockets and the famous dragon-shaped weather vane decorate the elegant spires.
The belfry accommodates, amongst others, the "secreet" (secret chamber) and the 54-bell carillon. Together with the towers of the St. Nicholas Church and St. Bavo Cathedral, it determines the well-known skyline of the city of Ghent.