Gentpoort

The Gate of Ghent is one of four remaining medieval city gates. An entrance for foreigners, a border with the outside world for the townspeople of Bruges. The gate was a part of the city’s defenses as well as a passageway for the movement of produce and merchandise. Note the statue in the niche above the roadway: this is Saint Adrian, who was believed to protect the city during times of plague. The Ghent Gate is at its most beautiful in the evening, when it is quite literally in the spotlight.

Collection

As well as a unique weapon collection, touch screens provide the visitor with extensive information about the gates and the city’s defenses.

Museum

Visitors to the museum will discover how the city and her ramparts slowly grew and how important city gates were for the medieval Bruges during wartime. You can imagine yourself as a watchman on the first line of defense and try shooting a crossbow using a modern Wii® application. City gates were also important during peacetime, because they were the only entrances to the city. Quality control checks on goods were performed at city gates, and taxes on imports and exports were collected. The beautiful roof terrace offers the visitor a fresh, unique view over the city centre and the suburb of Assebroek.

History

In the Middle Ages, city walls, canals, and seven gates formed a defensive belt around the centre of the City of Bruges. The Gentpoort, along with the Kruispoort and the Katelijnepoort, was designed by Maarten van Leuven and Jan van Oudernaerde. The gates were all built around the same time, between 1400 and 1406. The Gentpoort, Ezelpoort, Smedenpoort and Kruispoort have all stood the test of time, but only the first one is open to the public.

The Gentpoort is one of Bruges’ four preserved medieval city gates. For outsiders, this gate was the way in to the life of the city, while for the inhabitants it was a gateway to the outside world. The city gates were also the channels through which goods were transported in and out of the city. Naturally, the Gentpoort also had a defensive role, as is clear from its robust architecture. The installation of the Gentpoort was possible with the support of VZW Levend Steen, the Flemish Community, the King Baudouin Foundation and the INTERREG IV A 2 Sees Program, 'Invest in your future', co-funded by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund).