The 5 most inspiring museums Ghent

MUSEUM DR. GUISLAIN

Jozef Guislainstraat 43
Western Ghent
+32 (0)9 216 35 95
museumdrguislain.be

Here is a strange and haunting museum on the edge of town. It occupies one wing of a model psychiatric institution founded in the 19th century by Dr. Jozef Guislain. Visitors can wander through chilling deserted wards still furnished with iron beds and old medical equipment. One room contains a terrifying mechanical saw used in operations to remove the top of the skull. The temporary exhibitions are always fascinating, as is the extensive collection of outsider art. Almost no one leaves this museum untouched.

HUIS VAN ALIJN

Kraanlei 65
Central Ghent
+32 (0)9 269 23 50
www.huisvanalijn.be

This captivating museum of local life is located in a 14th-century almshouse on the Leie waterfront. The 77 tiny almshouses are filled with old toys, funeral relics, reconstructed shop interiors and pigeon racing mementoes. The museum also has a collection of family snapshots and home movies from the 1960s, as well as a puppet theatre and an old Flemish tavern where you can drink a Ghent beer.

DESIGN MUSEUM

Jan Breydelstraat 5
Central Ghent
+32 (0)9 267 99 99
designmuseumgent.be

One of the world’s most inspiring design collections lies hidden behind an 18thcentury mansion. The older rooms have creaking wooden floors and historic furniture, including a magnificent wooden chandelier and two armchairs owned by Catherine the Great. But the real delight of this museum lies in the modern building added at the back by the Ghent architect Willy Verstraete in 1992. Here you find several sublime Art Nouveau rooms along with striking modern objects acquired for the collection by the director Lieven Daenens.

S.M.A.K.

N. De Liemaeckereplein 2
Citadelpark
+32 (0)9 240 76 01
www.smak.be

Ghent’s contemporary art museum opened in 1999 in the Citadelpark with a boxing match organised by the curator Jan Hoet. The museum organises temporary exhibitions in a series of white rooms, as well as major art events that can take over the entire city.

MIAT

Minnemeers 9
Patershol
+32 (0)9 269 42 00
www.miat.gent.be

Located in an old textile mill, miat is an inspiring museum of Ghent factory life with an impressive collection of industrial relics. The most striking feature is a reconstructed textile factory floor with rows of working machines that create a deafening noise during demonstrations.

part of 55 places to discover Ghent

The 500 Hidden Secrets of Ghent