Graslei and Korenlei, in Ghent

Korenlei and Graslei in Ghent

Graslei and Korenlei were the main quays of the old port of the city of Ghent, and therefore at the time were the centers of a great commercial activity. Next to the shore of the channels you can see some very traditional houses. Each one of them was devoted to a guild in particular.

Today, the Graslei and Korenlei are the names of two streets that are located along the banks of the old port of Ghent, in the center of the city. Graslei means “street of herbs and vegetables”, and Korenlei means the “street of wheat”. Both names indicate that these were the products that were stored in this area.

Along the street you can see that the area is much larger than it had been in the Middle Ages. And that is because the level of the river grew little by little, and then it was neccesary to enlarge the street, covering of sand, and winning space to the water.

Walking along the Graslei and the Korenlei

In the Graslei you can observe beautiful houses of that time, restored and rebuilt, as the Eerste Korenmetershuis, dating back to the fifteenth century, the first house that existed to weigh the grain that came to the city. We can also see the Gildenhuis van of Metselaars, or house of brotherhood of the masons in 1527, with its high and elegant facade, crowned with beautiful pinnacles.

The Castle of the Counts or Gravensteen is to a few minutes to the north of the Graslei. Its interior has a lounge with a beautiful fireplace, and a collection of instruments of torture. To the north of the castle, along the Braderijstraat, is the Lievekaai, the second oldest harbor of Ghent. On the other side of the castle, we can get through the alleyways of Patershol.

At the beginning of the Graslei is the Bridge of San Miguel over the river Leie, from where you can have a breathtaking view of the main monuments of the city, in particular the towers of San Nicholas and the Cathedral.

You’ll love the houses of this street because all of them are from the medieval era. They are the trading living history of a city so important at that time as Ghent. Walking along the Graslei and Korenlei is like doing a long journey of centuries in which Ghent became one of the most important commercial centers of Europe in the Middle Ages.

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