St. Bavo's Cathedral, Ghent, Belgium

St. Bavo's is one of the famous "Three Towers of Ghent". The tall, slim tower of the Cathedral dating to the 15th Century. The whole Cathedral is actually quite slim and the facade when seen from St. Baafsplein (as pictured above) is one of the elegance and simplicity.

The interior is no less striking, particularly the black and white marblework around the altar area which gives the Cathedral a very unusual monochrome appearance.

The glory of this Cathedral though is not the architecture, but a painting: The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by Jan and Pieter van Eyck. The painting dates to 1432 and is one of the earliest oil paintings to still exist (indeed Jan van Eyck is credited with inventing oil painting). The painting, which was originally an altarpiece, is a tryptych on a grand scale with figures larger than life-size.

Despite being stolen, vandalised, removed, hidden in a salt mine and nearly destroyed on numerous occasions the painting is still magnificent and is housed in it's own chapel these days (for which an admission fee is charged - it's worth it).

Photo - Andrew J. Müller

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