Sint-Baafsabdij vrouw leest in tuin
© Tini Cleemput

Green splendour on the edge of the city

Are you looking for a green and quiet spot in the city? If so, look behind the walls of our St Bavo's Abbey. You will find some magical green spaces, all with their own stories and traces of a distant past.

Ghent's best-kept secret

On the site where St Bavo’s Abbey once impressed the surrounds lies one of Ghent’s best-kept secrets. A medieval courtyard amid overgrown ruins and a green church. Five-metre-high hornbeam pillars evoke the lost church, once the biggest Romanesque church in the Low Countries. Do you like mystique, romance, and rare plants? If so, be sure to take a stroll inside the best-kept secret in the city!

A medieaval courtyard

Amid the overgrown ruins lies a medieval courtyard with a vast array of flora. Today, on the site where monks once strolled and mumbled, there are over 210 different plants growing between the age-old stones, including some very rare ones. Yellow corydalis, milk thistle, narrow-leaved ragwort, erigeron, and birthwort; all tasteful names of plants, each with their own colours. A unique sample of biodiversity in the city!

Een uniek staaltje biodiversiteit

Tussen de begroeide ruïnes schuilt een middeleeuws pandhof met een waardevolle muurflora. Op de plek waar ooit monniken kuierden en prevelden groeien vandaag tussen de eeuwenoude stenen meer dan 210 verschillende planten, waaronder enkele heel zeldzame. Gele helmbloem, mariadistel, bezemkruiskruid, fijnstraal, pijpbloem… tongstrelende namen van planten elk met een eigen kleurenpalet. Een uniek staaltje biodiversiteit in de stad!

Violet and grey, the stones can crumble away peacefully, while ferns grow on the walls in emerald and green which may perish in future ages when we’re no longer here.

Luc De Vos, Ghent singer, columnist, and writer (1962-2014)