On to Flanders for a Visit to Ghent and Brugge
In these cities you will find art treasures of the late Middle Ages.
Flemish painters of the late 15th century left their mark in Flanders, enjoying the opportunity provided by the wealth of the weaving trade.
Ghent is only 33 miles northwest of Brussels, an easy day trip, if for no other reason than to visit the masterpiece painting, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by Jan van Eyck in St. Bavo's Cathedral. People come from all over the world to witness this profound work of art and we highly recommend it to you. It has been called one of the great wonders of Christendom - a huge polyptych. For any art lover, a must see. The town itself has beautiful guild houses and two wonderful Bosch's in the Museum of Fine Arts - but don't miss the van Eyck.
Brugge is a fairy tale city 58 miles northwest of Brussels. Here is where Flemish oil painting began, invented by van Eyck in the 15th century and taken to Italy by one of his students. Spend at least one night in Brugge and take in the wonders of this beautiful walking town, built on canals. The Groenine Museum is a hugely important one in the history of art, again, highlighted by a van Eyck painting of the Madonna. April-Sept. daily 9:30-5:30; off-season 9:30-12:30 and 2-5. Also see the Memling Museum, the Lace Center, the Beguinage, the Town Hall and the Burg (by day and night).
Where to stay:
Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza - (96 rooms) don't be fooled by the name. It has been built with loving care to fit into its surroundings. Health club and pool as well, parking. Expensive but worth it. Tel: 50-345-834; Fax: 50-345-615
De Tuilerieen - (26 rooms) converted to a hotel from a mansion merely ten years ago, on the canal, a quiet spot off the beaten path, furnished tastefully. Can be a bit noisy in season from the canal, so ask for a courtyard room. Tel:50-343-691; Fax: 50-340-400
Where to dine:
A host of good restaurants in all price ranges from the very expensive (De Karmeliet, DeWitte Poorte), the latter with a number of fish specialities which the health-conscious diner would savor, to t'Paardje, moderately priced, specializing in mussels, eel and steak.
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