Saint-Bavo's Cathedral - Ghent
A visit to the Sint Baafskathedraal is very easy. Our sole day of closure is the 1st of January.
Summer season (from 1st of April until 31th of October)
Winter season (from 1st of November until 31st of March)
Part of the cathedral can be closed on short notice, for religious services.
The chapel with the famous painting "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb" has its own hours. In our summer season it is open from 9.30 am and closes at 5.00 pm. In our winter season the visiting hours are from 10.30 am until 4.00 pm. On Sundays all through the year the chapel is open from 1.00 pm.
Entrance to the chapel is possible until 30 minutes before closing time. Individual visitors receive an audio guide with an explanation of the painting. These are currently available in Dutch, French, English, German, Spanish and Japanese. Tour and other guides are not allowed to talk inside this chapel. They can prepare a visit to the painting by using the colour copy further in the cathedral.
Our volunteers are present to help and guide visitors to the cathedral, free of charge.
Our 95 meter high tower is accessible for the public during the Ghent festival week each July.
The cathedral does not have its own parking. There is however plenty of parking space in the town of Ghent.
A five-year restoration campaign of the work by the Van Eyck brothers from the 15th century will begin in the Fall of 2012. The cost of the restoration is projected to be 1,4 million euro.
The restoration will be carried out by the “Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage” (KIK – IRPA). The trustees of the Saint-Bavo cathedral have appointed Mrs. Anne van Grevenstein-Kruse, emeritus professor of Conservation and Restoration at the University of Amsterdam, to steer the project. An international advisory committee will monitor its execution.
The restoration of the painting is necessary in order to prevent further hardening of the coats of varnish which may threaten the picture itself. At the same time the panels will be strengthened. Old touchups and paint-overs will be removed. Following that, new touchups will be applied where necessary and a new coat of varnish will be applied.
The treatment of the panels will take place in the Museum of Fine Arts in Gent using a phased approach. Visitors to the museum will be able to follow the work in progress. During the coming months the museum will be setting up a safe space to enable live viewing of the ongoing restoration activities.
During the entire restoration campaign, the Ghent Altarpiece itself will remain on view in the Saint-Bavo cathedral, except for the panel undergoing restoration.
This unique project will be extensively documented. The Province of East Flanders will be taking the lead to provide information to a wider public. Educational programs and special exhibitions relating to this restoration event will be held in the Provincial Cultural Centre in the Caermersklooster in Gent.