Though it's often overshadowed by nearby Brugge, Ghent has plenty of pleasures on its own, with a similarly beautiful central area that's much less crowded than its big brother. It's especially welcoming to lovers of art, both ancient and modern.
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- The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, van Eyck's masterpiece, is in St. Bavo's Cathedral. The 12-paneled work was completed in 1432 yet looks shockingly modern.
- SMAK is home to some excellent post-1945 art; be sure to check out work by local favorite Panamarenko.
- The 10-day Gentse Festen is the third week in July and features costume balls and even a techno festival.
- Patersholfeesten fills the Patershol Quarter with music and parades in August.