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Ghent Altarpiece

by danize.com@gmail.com

The Ghent Altarpiece is a masterpiece of Renaissance art that was created by the brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck in the 15th century. It is also known as The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, because of the central panel that depicts a lamb surrounded by worshippers. The altarpiece consists of 12 panels that can be opened or closed to show different scenes. It is located in the Saint Bavo Cathedral in Ghent, Belgium.

The ticket price for visiting the Ghent Altarpiece is 6 euros for adults and 4 euros for students and seniors. Children under 12 years old can enter for free. The ticket also includes access to the cathedral and its crypt. You can buy tickets online or at the entrance of the cathedral.

The Ghent Altarpiece is open every day from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., except on Sundays and public holidays, when it opens at 1 p.m. The last admission is at 4:30 p.m. The altarpiece is closed on January 1st, May 1st, November 1st and December 25th.

To get to the Ghent Altarpiece, you can take public transportation or drive to the city center of Ghent. The cathedral is within walking distance from several bus and tram stops, such as Korenmarkt, Sint-Baafsplein and Sint-Jacobs. If you drive, you can park your car in one of the nearby parking lots, such as Vrijdagmarkt, Sint-Michiels or Ramen.

Some tips for visiting the Ghent Altarpiece are:

  • Book your tickets in advance to avoid long queues and ensure your preferred time slot.
  • Use the free audio guide that is available in several languages to learn more about the history and symbolism of the altarpiece.
  • Respect the silence and sacredness of the cathedral and do not disturb other visitors or worshippers.
  • Take your time to admire the details and colors of the paintings, which are considered among the finest examples of oil painting in history.

You can also join a guided tour of the Ghent Altarpiece, which lasts about an hour and costs 10 euros per person. The tours are offered by certified guides who can explain the artistic and historical aspects of the altarpiece. You can book a tour online or by phone at +32 (0)9 269 22 57.

The Ghent Altarpiece has many things to see and admire, such as:

  • The closed view, which shows four scenes from the life of Christ: the Annunciation, the Visitation, the Nativity and the Presentation in the Temple. The panels also feature portraits of the donors who commissioned the altarpiece, Joost Vijdt and his wife Lysbette Borluut, as well as statues of Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist.
  • The open view, which shows a heavenly vision of God, Mary, John the Baptist, angels, saints, prophets and martyrs. The panels also depict Adam and Eve, who represent original sin and human nature. The central panel shows a lamb standing on an altar, symbolizing Christ’s sacrifice for humanity. From its chest flows a stream of blood into a chalice, representing the Eucharist.
  • The lower register of the open view, which shows a landscape with various groups of people approaching the lamb. These include representatives of different religious orders, such as popes, bishops, monks and nuns; knights and soldiers who fought for Christianity; hermits and pilgrims who sought spiritual enlightenment; and righteous judges who upheld justice.

The Ghent Altarpiece is a precious and fragile work of art that needs to be protected and preserved. Therefore, there are some prohibitions that visitors must follow, such as:

  • Do not touch or lean on the panels or their frames.
  • Do not use flash photography or video cameras inside the cathedral.
  • Do not bring food or drinks into the cathedral.
  • Do not bring large bags or backpacks into the cathedral.
  • Do not smoke inside or near the cathedral.

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