St. Bavo's Cathedral (Sint-Baafskathedraal)

St. Bavo's Cathedral (Sint-Baafskathedraal)

St. Bavo's Cathedral (Sint-Baafskathedraal)
4.5
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
1:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
Duration: 1-2 hours
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  • Thomas V
    Oakland, California17,059 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    View the Mystic Lamb
    The cathedral is immense and impressive. But the best experience was the tour of the Mystic Lamb altar piece by Van Eyck. From the early 14th Century, it apparently was revolutionary in its use of 3-D and realism. It has been beautifully restored and now has very bright colors. You also get to tour behind the altar.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 9, 2023
  • Leonhkny
    Hong Kong, China14,549 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beyond the Mystic Lamb
    While most of the visitors come for the Mystic Lamb, Sint-Baafskathedraal is itself an impressive cathedral that deserves more attention. It is an encompassing structure in downtown Ghent with a spacious and solemn interior. Taking a seat inside is like a spiritual sublimation.
    Visited June 2023
    Written June 11, 2023
  • swoodruf
    Muskegon, Michigan1,400 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Ghent Cathedral - Worth Peeking Your Head In!
    This is a very beautiful cathedral, and it dominates the town. It is well preserved and well taken care of. The Ghent altarpiece is found inside this cathedral, but you have to have a ticket to see it. The stained glass in the cathedral is quite lovely, and there are some interesting art pieces as well.
    Visited May 2023
    Written June 28, 2023
  • Michelle B
    Orlando, Florida50 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Amazing experience...would absolutely do again
    It's hard to describe what this was actually like. I came in with low expectations but my entire family was blown away (including the 4 kids aged 18-23). All of us said we would do it again. The history lessons were interesting and appropriate lengths. The augmented reality was incredibly realistic and engaging. Unlike most other artwork where you just look at it and don't quite know what you're seeing, you learn so much about it ahead of time that you feel like you can actually appreciate it. The Cathedral is stunning as well. I'm so glad we purchased tickets ahead of time because the line to get in was long but we were able to walk right up because of having tickets. Phenomenal experience. I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
    Visited May 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written September 15, 2023
  • Oldfart1939
    Billings, Montana361 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    View the Lamb of God Altarpiece!
    Went to this Cathedral in order to view the "Lamb of God" Altarpiece executed in 1436 by the Van Eyck brothers, but principally the younger Jan Van Eyck after the death of the elder brother. This is a landmark in early renaissance art in depiction of the true human face and bodily details, and it "starred" in the film "The Monument's Men." What struck both my daughter and I was the intense color rendering and it's preservation after almost 600 years. The rest of the Cathedral is also exquisite, and is enough to visit Ghent for no other reason than experiencing the artistic masterpiece of the Altarpiece.
    Visited September 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written October 4, 2023
  • KMLondon22
    London, United Kingdom208 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Exceeded expectations
    intrigued to see what the altarpiece was like, I paid for the 1 hour virtual reality tour. Not a great appreciator of art, the tour perfectly set out the history & intended meaning of Jan van Eyck's masterpiece the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. So that when I finally got to see it I found the painting visually stunning, helped by its painstaking restoration. The VR images of people on the tour are not the best, but otherwise the visit was an unexpected treat.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written November 19, 2023
  • Thomas V
    Oakland, California17,059 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The City's Magnificent Cathedral
    This is a grand cathedral, overwhelms this modest sized city. Very tall and beautiful inside. This is where you can often find the famous altarpiece, when it is not out for restoration. Set on a beautiful square and the trams run past it.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 25, 2023
  • LeBeauxVoyager
    Balboa Island, California167 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not like a Roman week, but really worth it and no crowds. Enjoy one of the smaller treats.
    You don't have to be Catholic to feel the deep spiratuality Sint Baafs. (Bavo) You are surrounded with sculptures, paintings and stained glass. Saint Baafs (589–654), was patron saint of Ghent. An added Plus is the fact that the Alterpiece "Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" is one of the oldest oil paintings in the world. There is a slight fee to see it, but well worth the price to behold its beauty. Paintied before Columbus sailed for the New World by the Van Eck brothers. A focus of the movie "Monuments Men". But St. Baafs is more thatn that. Many former Popes and princes lie in repose, entomed in marble with statary on top. Scroll the 2000+ photos (ignore the selfies) to see what you might be missing. Yes, there are other better known Cathedrals in Europe, but this one is a little bit special, out of the way. After you can enjoy a fine "Trappist" beer. The darker the better. After all the walking I was so thirsty my disappeared before my Brother in law could sip his. One was pleanty for me, but if you ar a real beer drinker, you will enjoy the variey.
    Visited January 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written January 20, 2024
  • Rugbynugget
    Nottingham, United Kingdom338 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Charge to see the altar piece
    If youre wanting to visit the Ghent altar piece be prepared to have to pay, contrary to what some guide books say. There is a charge to get into the higher part of the Cathedral. There was a quite unhelpful guy on the desk who informed us that you can only pay by car and made us go to the Cathedral shop, pay there and then produce a receipt. The altar piece itself is behind glass so be prepared to have people stood right up the glass blocking everyone's view. However, if you wait long enough you get the odd gap. After all that its worth viewing.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written March 1, 2024
  • LNHOOT
    Davis, California157 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    AR experience worth it
    Really glad we did the paid experience which included the back of the cathedral and the AR experience. It was also much quieter relative to the busy main church area. AR quality wasn't amazing but it was fun. Would recommend.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled with family
    Written March 30, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles3,340 reviews
Excellent
2,023
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1,070
Average
207
Poor
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Worldwide Traveller
London, UK107 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
I guess this is a must visit when in Ghent, however, there are other religious buildings that have more interest in Ghent and other places in Belgium. While a visit is certainly granted just do not expect an over-the-top cathedral. A visit to the famous painting costs 4 euros yet entrance to the Cathedral is free.
Written February 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

05095coc
5 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
The newly restored Sacred Lamb altarpiece is a delight to behold - even behind the glass, the colours and reflections glow with divine splendour. I went around 10.30am and had no trouble enjoying the altarpiece in peace, even with 12 or 15 other people. Easily worth the price of admission to witness a world class masterpeice in all it's intended glory. I would recommend to bring tissues or antibacterial wipes if you are concerned about the audioguides and hygiene, however... The rest of the cathedral is a relatively unremarkable but serene space, with the other great curio being the hyperbaroque pulpit.
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BradJill
Hong Kong, China160,060 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
St. Bavo's is medieval cathedral in Ghent where you find one of the most important artworks in the world - Jan Van Eyck's The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (1432) also known as the Ghent Altarpiece. The cathedral is open from 8.30am to 5pm (Mon to Sat), 8.30am to 1pm (Sun) and much of the interior is free to visit.

Importantly, the back half of the main nave as well as the crypt are now reserved for those with ticketed entrance for the Ghent Altarpiece and Augmented Reality (AR) tour experience. Tickets can be purchased through the church website or at the ticketing booth while opening hours are 10am to 5.30pm (Mon to Sat) and 10am to 1.30pm (Sun). Note that ticket prices have increased substantially in recent years now €12.5 per adult to see the Ghent Altarpiece and €16 with the AR tour experience.

As for the cathedral, its history dates back around 1000 years while the building you see today is Gothic architecture from the 14th to 16th centuries. In addition to the Ghent altarpiece, there are other outstanding works of art, stained glass windows, altarpieces, wood carved choir stalls, confessionals, pulpit and other medieval splendour. It is well worth a visit even if Jan Van Eyck's Adoration of the Mystic Lamb triptych was not here.

In the end, if you are visiting Ghent, this is must do sightseeing and should be included with any itinerary, especially for first time visitors. If you are staying in Bruges, Antwerp, Brussels or elsewhere within short distance to Ghent and are a fan of art and history, you may also want to consider making the day trip to Ghent so that you can visit St. Bavo's and view the Ghent Altarpiece.
Written February 27, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SayCheese
Trenton, NJ409 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
St. Bavo Cathedral (aka (Sint-Baafskathedraal)) is free to tour. However, to view the esteemed "Adoration of the Lamb" masterpiece is 12 euros. Highly recommend doing the augmented reality tour for 16 euros which includes the high altar, the Adoration of the Lamb, and the crypts, and to understand the painting in more detail. Visited in early February. We had the painting to ourselves for over 30 minutes and had the crypts to ourselves. The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb is the central panel of the groundbreaking Ghent Altarpiece completed by Jan van Eyck and his brother around 1432. Having been restored, it is far more beautiful than any photos I have seen on the web.

Make sure to visit the small devotion room in the front of the church - to the far right of the altar through a little door. Plan to spend about 1.5-2.5 hours. It was empty when we visited around 2:30 pm on a weekday in early February.
Written February 6, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John B
Brussels, Belgium353 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020 • Couples
We were visiting Ghent for the day and mostly for the art. Thanks to COVID you have to book a time slot to visit the altarpiece and this means there are fewer people in the chapel so you get a good view

There is a helpful little film before you go in which will help you interpret the artwork. In the chapel I found it quite overwhelming to see this beautiful triptych with such beautiful colours and amazing detail. The lamb itself is very small, despite being what everyone talks about. The recent renovation and cleaning has been very successful

There was a mass in the cathedral when we visited meaning that religious music and chanting was in our ears as we visited. Very worthwhile
Written October 22, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alexandra V
Belgium81 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Couples
The Van Eyck expo in the MSK museum made us want to see the Lamb of God panels the in the Cathedral as well. Beautifully exhibited behind a glass Wall where you can come closer than ever to the magnificent works ...
BUT the audio device passed from one to another without being disinfected and we were all too closely packed together. On hindsight, I should maybe nor have visited this venue so easy for a virus to be passed on.
Written February 28, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Katharine186300
Winchester, UK290 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
Disappointing. We had visited the van Ecyk exhibition that morning and been very impressed by the whole experience. We had good views and learnt a great deal.The pictures were well displayed and the exhibition was well policed.
It then seemed logical to go to the Cathedral and see the the front of the Altarpiece the Mystic Lamb itself. The Cathedral was quite busy but the altarpiece was not where we would have expected to see it.Looking round we saw a queue and joined it.
It was not an orderly queue.We paid 4 euros entry into what seemed to be a makeshift area where the altarpiece was being exhibited.There were so many people in this area that getting a good view or indeed any kind of view was difficult.Everyone was allowed in regardless of how many people were all ready in there. We stayed for a few minutes and then left disappointed. It should be better placed and managed.
Written March 31, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

82Shad
Baton Rouge, LA167 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2022
This cathedral is absolutely beautiful! Entry is free to see the front half of the cathedral, but to see the famous altarpiece and the more interesting portions require a reservation.

Reservations can be secured online. There was quite a line to get into this portion of the cathedral, so give yourself some time when planning.

There are a number of restaurants & establishments around the cathedral, so plan plenty of time to explore!
Written July 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Verodegonz
Panama City, Panama96 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022 • Solo
Impressive inside. The altar, the Organ, the paintings all around and the impressive rococo pulpit (made of wood, blank and white marbles) are free to visit an totally worth it. The replica of the adoration of the Lamb is now inside and you must pay to see it.
Written May 28, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

awshuj
Jacksonville, FL20 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Friends
LOVED IT.

The cathedral itself is stunning. Gorgeous stained glass windows, interesting paintings, amazing architecture. The augmented reality tour was very well done, it is an additional cost, but you can get a 10 euro discount with the city pass. They do not accept the museum pass.

The augmented reality tour is paced to keep groups from bunching together, if you step outside your zone it will warn you, which I found hilarious, but so useful! Allows everyone to enjoy without getting crowded.
Written April 5, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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St. Bavo's Cathedral (Sint-Baafskathedraal), Ghent

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