Photographer's Note

I planned to post a more original picture from Ghent, but strange enough no one climbed the tower in Ghent in last few years. So it is not so classic picture as it could seem.

High towers built in the heart of urban areas, often dominating the principal square, the belfries are essential elements in the organization and representation of the towns to which they belong. The site inscribed on the World Heritage List comprises 33 belfries located in Belgium (26 in Flanders and 7 in Wallonia) and 23 belfries located in northern France.
A symbolic element in the landscape in ancient Netherlands and the north of France, the belfry represents, in the heart of urban areas, the birth of municipal power in the Middle Ages. A practical building housing the communal bells, conserving charters and treasures, where city council meetings were held, serving as a watch tower and a prison, the belfry has, over the centuries, become the symbol of power and prosperity of the communes.
The belfries are, together with the market hall, significant representatives of civil and public architecture in Europe.

So many belfries and I climbed only a few!
The 91-metre-tall belfry of Ghent is one of three medieval towers that overlook the old city centre of Ghent, Belgium, the other two belonging to Saint Bavo Cathedral and Saint Nicholas' Church. Its height makes it the tallest belfry in Belgium. The belfry of Ghent, together with its attached buildings, belongs to the set of belfries of Belgium and France inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List.Construction of the tower began in 1313 after a design by master mason Jan van Haelst. His plans are still preserved in the Ghent City Museum. After continuing intermittently through wars, plagues and political turmoil, the work reached completion in 1380. It was near the end of this period that the gilded dragon, brought from Bruges, assumed its place atop the tower. The uppermost parts of the building have been rebuilt several times, in part to accommodate the growing number of bells.

Better to see beta version.

A bit of vertigo? One can look . almost straight down

a view in other direction

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13605 W: 141 N: 35278] (158936)
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