Belfort en Lakenhalle is a medieval bell tower and cloth hall in the city of Ghent, Belgium. It is one of the most iconic landmarks of the city and a symbol of its civic pride and independence. The tower was built in the 14th century and stands 91 meters tall. It houses a carillon of 54 bells that ring every quarter hour. The cloth hall was the center of the prosperous textile trade in Ghent and showcases the Gothic style of architecture.
The ticket price for visiting Belfort en Lakenhalle is 8 euros for adults, 6 euros for students and seniors, and free for children under 19 years old. You can also buy a combined ticket with other monuments in Ghent for 18 euros. The ticket office is located at the entrance of the tower on Sint-Baafsplein.
Belfort en Lakenhalle is open every day from 10 am to 6 pm, except on January 1st and December 25th. The last admission is at 5:30 pm.
You can access the tower by stairs or by elevator. The elevator stops at three levels: the first level has a museum of the history of the tower and the city, the second level has a viewing platform with panoramic views of Ghent, and the third level has the carillon and the dragon weather vane.
There are many things to see and do at Belfort en Lakenhalle. You can admire the architecture and the sculptures of the tower and the hall, such as the Mammelokker, a relief depicting a woman breastfeeding an old man. You can also see the original dragon weather vane that was placed on top of the tower in 1377 and replaced by a replica in 1980. You can listen to the carillon concerts that take place every Sunday from 11 am to 12 pm and on special occasions. You can also climb to the top of the tower and enjoy the views of Ghent and its surroundings.
Some tips for visiting Belfort en Lakenhalle are: wear comfortable shoes and clothes, as there are many stairs to climb; bring a camera or binoculars to capture the views; check the website for updates on opening hours and events; and book your tickets online in advance to avoid queues.
There are several tours available for Belfort en Lakenhalle. You can join a guided tour that lasts about an hour and covers the history and the highlights of the tower and the hall. You can also rent an audio guide that provides information and stories about the monument in different languages. You can also join a thematic tour that focuses on a specific aspect of Belfort en Lakenhalle, such as the carillon, the dragon, or the textile industry.
There are some prohibitions that you should respect when visiting Belfort en Lakenhalle. You are not allowed to smoke, eat, or drink inside the tower or the hall. You are not allowed to bring pets, except for guide dogs. You are not allowed to touch or damage any of the exhibits or objects. You are not allowed to make noise or disturb other visitors. You are not allowed to take photos or videos with flash or tripod.