Brunch & Culture • Museum of Fine Arts Ghent
Ghent is a wonderful city to visit and I'll surely write some more about it when the sunny days are back, but for now I want to tell you about one of its museums: the MSK, short for 'Museum voor Schone Kunsten'. Thanks to my research I learned the museum had a rich and varied collection spanning centuries, still I had no idea I would enjoy my visit so much! But more about that in a second. First, in true 'Gerrit and the City' fashion, let's have some brunch.
Ghent has many great 'coffee shop' kind of places, among which Gust (Annonciadenstraat 4). The reason why I love this place so much is because you can have breakfast all day long! So it's the dream place for anyone whose favorite meal of the day is composed of granola and pancakes. The staff is friendly and easy-going (with just an inch of that Ghent nonchalance) and the interior is warm and pretty. The menu looks delicious all-over so it's no surprise the place is so popular. This means you should definitely make a reservation (you can do this online) and that the place can get noisy at times. But I'm sure it won't spoil your fun!
After brunch, head South to reach the Citadelpark where the Museum of Fine Arts is located (this will take you approximately 20 min by foot). The visit of the museum is built as a chronological journey through centuries of art, from the Middle Ages to the first half of the 20th century, with a strong focus on Flemish Art. The collection balances lesser known artists from Belgium and the Netherlands and masterpieces such as 'The Peasant Wedding' by Pieter Brueghel the Younger. The entrance fee is €8,00 and gives you access to both the permanent collection and the temporary exhibition on display.
I think the museum owes its pleasant character to its variety, both in its art and in its architecture. As you move from Realism to Impressionism, the decor changes too. I was amazed by the ornamentation of the two semi circle rooms and I loved the paintings with floral themes as well as the Greek Mythology scenes. There's also a great section dedicated to sculpture if you're a fan of that. Last but not least, you can get a glimpse of the restoration of 'The Mystic Lamb' of the Van Eyck brothers, the Ghent Altarpiece, that started in 2012 at the MSK.
Both places mentioned above are open all weekend. The train will take you from Brussels to Ghent in about 30 min (get off at 'Gent Sint-Pieters'), whereas if you come by car the 'Parking Savaanstraat' is the most economic one.