Saint Bavo's Abbey is a former abbey in the currently Belgian city of Ghent. It was founded in the 7th century by Saint Amand, who also founded Saint Peter's Abbey, Ghent, near the confluence of the Leie and Scheldt rivers. Originally, the abbey was also called Ganda, a name of Celtic origin, meaning "river mouth", referring to the Leie river debouching into the Scheldt river.Plan to see Sint-Pieters-abdij and other attractions that appeal to you using our Ghent trip planner.
In the 9th century, the abbey was raided twice by Vikings, which made the monks flee to Laon. After an absence of nearly 50 years, they came back to Ghent and re-established the abbey. The German emperor Otto II saw the abbey as a strategical defense point on the Scheldt river in his eternal conflict with Louis V of France.
John of Gaunt, the fourth son of Edward III of England, was born in the abbey in 1340.
In 1540 Charles V ordered the destruction of the abbey. A coercion castle, with its cannons directed at Ghent, was built on the location of the abbey.
We took the 'Alison' audio guide to the Abbey. It was far too long, and although there was video on the hand-held screen much of it was Alison gazing into space and sighing. It was presented as a... more »
4€ is all it costs to get the 'Alison'self-guided tour tound the old abbey. Be warned, there are lots of steps, but you go from underground wine cellars, to organ lofts, to being above (as in, on top.... more »
Very very fun place to go to! It's full of surprises. We did the big tour with an audio guide. We got some kind of little old computers, very fun!!!
Very nice abbey to stop and visit. The church hall is vast and decorated like most Catholic churches, they have a 'treasure room' with old church artifacts to behold. Next door there's some options to eat, a breakfast (buffet) or at a restaurant. There's a small, free exhibit which leads to a nice big garden. They have the option now to have parties or celebrations in the abbey, which I find positive that the building is being used still instead of just being a sight. Friendly staff inside make for a pleasant experience altogether.
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