Ghent is noted for its many beautiful medieval and Renaissance structures, among which are the ruins of the Abbey of St. Bavo (founded 631) and of the imposing castle (begun 867) of the counts of Flanders, the Cathedral of St. Bavo (10th–16th cent.), the cloth weavers' hall (16th cent.), an unfinished 14th-century belfry (c.300 ft/91 m high) with a celebrated carillon, and the churches of St. Nicholas (13th cent.) and St. James (13th–16th cent.). Flemish painting flourished in Ghent under the Burgundian dynasty (15th cent.); Hugo van der Goes worked there most of his life, and the world-famous masterpiece of the Van Eyck brothers, The Adoration of the Lamb, is in the Cathedral of St. Bavo. The cathedral also contains a noted Rubens painting. The poet and dramatist Maurice Maeterlinck was born in the city.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.