We visited the Belfort Gent, or the Gent Belfry, on our first trip to the city. Belfries are common in historic Belgian cities and are listed (along with France’s) on the UNESCO World Heritage List of sites that have “outstanding universal value”. They served as watchtowers, timekeepers, centers of government, and many other things. Check out the UNESCO site I’ve linked to if you want to learn more of the history and significance of belfries. The specific history of the Belfort Gent is nicely documented on their website, as well as within its walls when you take a tour. Our son particularly enjoyed the fact that a dragon tops the belfry and that some can be found inside.
I recommend a visit to the Belfort Gent to any visitors in the city. It is easily accessible and has an elevator to the top. (This is an important feature I have come to value after our visit. We have since visited another belfry that didn’t have an elevator and thus involved climbing a lot of narrow stairs instead!). It was enjoyable for our six-year-old son and for us adults. It is an important piece of the local history (dating back to 1313!) and offers great views of the city. By chance, we were there at sunset and it was lovely! Visit and enjoy!