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Flemish Masters In Situ: masterpieces of art at their original locations.

When it comes to artworks, everyone thinks about museums. But despite centuries of war and destruction, many classic Flemish masterpieces can still be admired at their original locations. Throughout the summer, from 1 June to 29 September 2019, you can admire these masterpieces in all their splendor thanks to the Flemish Masters In Situ art trail.
Six locations were selected in Ghent. They are not immediately the most famous monuments, so at the same time it is an opportunity for the traveler to discover a lesser known side of Ghent. First of all you can go to the Ghent city museum STAM. The core of this impressive museum about Ghent’s history and culture are the buildings of the former Bijloke abbey. Especially for the exhibition the 14th-century refectory is restored to its original arrangement. Beautiful murals depicting the Last Supper decorate the walls of the refectory. Touchscreens immerse you in the world of medieval monastic life.

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A second monastery on the itinerary is the Augustine monastery in the Sint-Margrietstraat. After the destruction during the iconoclasm, the monastery was rebuilt in the early 17th century. The Ghent painter Melchior de la Mars, a contemporary of Rubens, made the baroque canvas "The Circumcision of Christ" for the main altar.

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The neighborhood of the Sint-Jacobs church is mainly known for its Sunday markets and antique shops. In the church itself you will find a beautiful triptych of Christ on the cross, painted in 1579 by Michiel Coxcie, who brought the Italian Renaissance to the Southern Netherlands. Fifty years later Antoon Van Dijck painted his version of Christ on the cross, which you will find in the Sint-Michiels church.

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One of the most characteristic neighborhoods of Ghent is the Heilige Kerst Parish, popularly called "Seleskest". The Saint Salvator Church, also known as the Heilige Kerst Church or the Skippers Church, is the heart of this neighborhood. As the latter name indicates, this is the traditional church for the Ghent skipper families and on the square in front of the church you will find a fragment of a ship. The colorful and atmospheric murals by Theodoor Canneel from the 19th century give the interior of the church its own unique flavor.

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Finally, you can go to the Klein Begijnhof in the Lange Violettestraat. This well-hidden gem was founded in 1235 and is the best-preserved beguinage from before the French Revolution. Behind the long façade you will find a hundred houses, a meadow (the former graveyard) and a baroque church. The church itself contains "The Source of Life", a remarkable panel painting from 1596 by Luke II Horenbout.

More information about the entire route can be found here. Do you want to feel like a masterpiece on location afterwards? Then book a room at the Astoria hotel to make your day a perfect work of art.
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