The forest in Ghent that never was


Did you know that the origin of a strange building in the Rabot area of Ghent has recently been unearthed by a city historian?

Even in a city as historical as Ghent, some of its infrastructure remains shrouded in mystery. So too, until recently, was a hut in the middle of a big boulevard, seemingly incongruent with all that surrounded it.

Little was known of its conception, until now. Located due north of the famous Gravensteen, it turns out that the humble building with a straw roof is all that remains of plans made in the 1960s by a certain Mr. Redel, a landscape architect.

Redel wanted to plant a forest along what is currently the Blaisantvest, which used to be a canal. The ambitious plan was rejected by the city, but the little hut, which would have been a spot to rest in Redel’s envisioned forest, was nevertheless built.

While the canal near the hut was turned into a street, you can still enjoy the waterways that the city has to offer. Renting a canoe is just one of the many exciting things to do in Ghent.

If you’re more interested in art than old artefacts, check out the city’s Museum of Fine Arts (MSK), which was founded in 1798, making it the oldest museum in Belgium and indeed older than the country itself!