St Bavo’s Cathedral


The Saint Bavo Cathedral (also known as Sint-Baafs Cathedral, or in Dutch Sint Baafskathedraal) is an 89-meter-tall CatholicGothic cathedral in GhentBelgium. It is the seat of the diocese of Ghent, is named for Saint Bavo of Ghent, and contains the well-known Ghent Altarpiece.


Ghent Altarpiece

The cathedral is noted for the Ghent Altarpiece, originally in its Joost Vijd chapel. It is formally known as: The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by Hubert and Jan van Eyck. This work is considered Van Eyck’s masterpiece and one of the most important works of the early Northern Renaissance, as well as one of the greatest artistic masterpieces of Belgium.

Other religious art

The cathedral is home to works of other artists of note. It holds the painting Saint Bavo enters the Convent at Ghent by Peter Paul Rubens. There are also works by or after Lucas de Heere, one of which is a View of Gent. Frans Pourbus the Elder painted 14 panels representing the History of Saint Andrew (1572) and a Triptych of Viglius Aytta (1571). Caspar de Crayer is represented by paintings of St Macarius of Gent, The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist and The Martyrdom of Saint Barbara.

Local Ghent painter Petrus Norbertus van Reysschoot painted a series of 11 grisailles which decorate the choir of the cathedral, above the stalls. Five of these panels represent scenes from the Old Testament while the other six episodes from the New Testament. These paintings were placed in the cathedral between 1789 and 1791.

Treasury and crypt

In the Chapel of the Holiest an important Calvary Triptych is on display. This 15th-century work is attributed to Justus van Gent. Finally, there is a valuable collection of important liturgical plates, reliquaries, and liturgical vessels dating from the 15th century onward. Among the important reliquaries are the head of Saint John the Baptist and of Saint Macarius. The important collection of hand-embroidered and brocaded liturgical ornaments is widely known as one of the most important of the country, some of which are put on display.


St Bavo's Cathedral
Sint-Baafsplein 9000 Gent België
+32 (0)9 269 20 45