Named for a local saint, Saint Bavo's Cathedral, with its Gothic tower, rises high above the town center. A church or abbey has stood on the site since 942 CE, playing a pivotal role in European history, including the baptism of Charles V. The cathedral is home to a number of masterworks by local artists, such as Hubert and Jan van Eyck, as well as Justus van Gent. Don't miss Van Eyck's masterpiece "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb," displayed in a prominent position inside the chapel, and "Saint Bavo enters the Convent at Ghent" by Peter Paul Rubens, on the cathedral's walls. Visit the cathedral's website for notifications of choral concerts and regular services. To visit Saint Bavo's Cathedral and other attractions in Ghent, use our Ghent online journey planner.
Tours To Saint Bavo's Cathedral
Ghent City Walking Tour ENGLISH BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $7
Duration: 2 hours
Discover historical + authentic Ghent & taste world-famous Belgian chocolate BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $29
Duration: 2 hours
Walking food tour: Introduction to Ghent through food BOOK WITH VIATOR FROM $74
Duration: 2 to 3 hours
Saint Bavo's Cathedral Reviews
I always marvel at the technology behind medieval buildings such as this. A great space and the monumental adornments fitting. more »
The MSK exhibition leaves us in limbo where the original Ghent altarpiece is - it is in St Bavo Cathedral! In the exhibition there are the originals of the back side, but the most important front... more »
Absolutely stunning! Do not miss it on your visit to Ghent. To see the Adoration of The Mystic Lamb you'll have to pay 4 euro (audio guide included). Please do note that the tower is open only during the Ghent festival in July! If you want to see the city from above during the rest of the year, you can climb the belfry tower (8 euro).
(Detailed review below) Ambience - 5/5 Accessibility - 3/5 Cost - 4/5 Service - 4/5 Ambience - This church is really grand with beautiful carvings, statues, sculptures, stained glass. There’s a certain majestic feel with this as you enter through the huge doors. And of course, it houses the Gent Altarpiece which has such an interesting story behind it. The ticket to enter the viewing gallery also covers the rental of the audio guide which is really useful in understanding the symbolism of the paintings. If you like art and history, don’t give this a miss. Accessibility - For the most part, the cathedral is accessible with a wheelchair but towards the back, there are steps to raised floors leading towards the crypts. Cost - Entry to the view the Altarpiece is ticketed but the cost goes towards an audio guide too so it’s not too bad. The viewing gallery is literally a small room in the corner that houses the Altarpiece and not much else. The rest of the church is free to explore. Tip - There are multiple signs prohibiting the taking of photos/videos in the church but strangely enough, none of the staff was enforcing that rule and all the tourists were busy snapping away. Obviously, please refrain from using flash. Service - No issues with staff but it wasn’t entirely clear at the beginning that the ticket entry included the audioguide. The ticket seller could have been a bit friendlier and pointed that out or welcoming visitors.
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