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OMG! Visit Ghent in the steps of the Dukes of Burgundy and Van Eyck

The power, the art and the money in the city of Ghent in the 15 th century during the reign of the Dukes of Burgundy

What did Ghent look like in the 15th century during the reign of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy? Who was alderman Joos Vijd and why did he commission such an expensive altarpiece from the brothers Van Eyck? Where did he get the money from?

More about this tour

Between 1363 and 1506 the Dukes of Burgundy reigned over the territories of Burgundy, Nevers, Picardy, Artois and Flanders. Philip the Good strived to establish a centralized government and was eager to collect taxes in the wealthiest and most populated region north of the Alps. The opulent lifestyle of the court of Burgundy was legendary. It was at this court that Jan Van Eyck was appointed court painter and personal chamberlain to the Duke.

Joos Vijd, an alderman in Ghent and a social climber who married Elisabeth Borluut, the daughter of a rich patrician family, commissioned the brothers Hubert and Jan Van Eyck to paint a monumental polyptych, or altarpiece painting, depicting the ‘Adoration of the Mystic Lamb’. On May 6, 1432 the altarpiece was presented to the public in the church of Saint John, now the cathedral of Saint-Bavo.

Practical information
  • A visit to the Cathedral with guide is NOT included in this 2 hour walk.
  • The entry to the Cathedral is free of charge. The Cathedral is not accessible before 13:00 on Sundays or Church holidays. 
  • A visit to the Mystic Lamb can be made without a tour guide
  • Please make your reservation and payment in advance through the website 
  • You can choose a timeslot.
Meeting point Tourist Information Center, Veerleplein (pedestrian area - no coaches)
Point of arrival St. Bavo's Cathedral
Languages Dutch, French, English, German, Gents
Price from € 115
Duration 2 h