The 5 strangest lost and abandoned churches in Ghent

1) The Green Church

The old abbey church of Sint-Baafs has vanished. It was demolished by the Spanish in the 16th century, leaving behind an empty space. But then in 2006 the city gardens department decided to plant tall clipped hornbeam bushes to mark the outline of the vanished 12th-century church.

ruins of the Green Church near Ghent

at: Coyedanspark, Voorhoutkaai 43

2) Kapel Drongenhof

The early 17th-century Drongenhof Chapel was once a sad, abandoned place in the heart of the Patershol. It has slowly been turned over to artists, beginning with Wim Delvoye, who installed a stained-glass window decorated with X-ray pictures of couples having sex. The striking, bare space then became a temporary gallery space for the artist Berlinde De Bruyckere. The chapel occasionally hosts classical concerts, art exhibitions and guided tours. The agenda is posted next to the door, and on the website.

Wim Delvoye artwork at Kapel Drongenhof

More hidden secrets of Ghent?

This guide takes you to hundred of hidden gems and lesser-known places in Ghent, allowing you to explore the city off the beaten track.

Buy the book

3) Parnassus

A beautiful baroque church that once belonged to the Franciscans has been turned into a social restaurant and concert hall. You can eat a healthy and inexpensive lunch amid the beautiful baroque confessionals and Catholic statues.

restaurant inside Parnassus church

4) Sint-Antonius Abtkerk

An isolated 18th-century baroque church in the Ghent docklands was acquired by the city in 2017. This rather strange building with its skinny tower is due to be restored. The city then plans to create a contemporary cultural centre with a programme of concerts, exhibitions and book fairs.

Ghent - Kerk Meulestede

5) Weaver's Chapel

From the outside, the store at Kortedagsteeg 12 looks fairly ordinary. But you are in for a surprise when you step through the door. The shop occupies a former 14th-century chapel with whitewashed walls and a high vaulted roof. Built for the Guild of Wool Weavers, the chapel has served in the past as a cinema, reading room and garage. It was converted into a shop by the Antwerp architect Christine Conix. It is currently occupied by the Danish design store Bolia.

Kortedagsteeg 12

Join the community

Sign up for free to gain unlimited access to the website. Plus, you'll receive a 10% discount in our online bookshop.

Sign up