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Ghent... Saint Bavo Cathedral and Van Eyck brothers. | by egold.
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Ghent... Saint Bavo Cathedral and Van Eyck brothers.

Ghent met me not so friendly... cloudy sky and strong wind. Probably will be a storm. But now I still see some blue spots between clouds and hope on the best... Saint Bavo Cathedral and Van Eyck brothers were waiting for me...

The Saint Bavo Cathedral (also known as Sint-Baafs Cathedral, or the Dutch Sint Baafskathedraal) is the seat of the diocese of Ghent. It is named for Saint Bavo of Ghent. The building is based upon the Chapel of St. John the Baptist, a primarily wooden construction; it was consecrated in 942 by Transmarus, Bishop of Tournai and Noyon. Traces of this original structure are evident in the cathedral's crypt. The chapel was subsequently expanded in the Romanesque style in 1038. In the subsequent period from the 14th through 16th centuries, nearly continuous expansion projects in the Gothic style were executed on the structure. Construction was considered complete June 7, 1569. The cathedral is noted for the Ghent Altarpiece, originally in its Joost Vijd chapel. It is formally known as: The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by Hubert and Jan van Eyck. This work is considered Van Eyck's masterpiece and one of the most important works of the early Northern Renaissance, as well as one of the greatest artistic masterpieces of Belgium. Several of the painting's wings were bought in 1816 by the English collector in Berlin, Edward Solly. They were bought in 1821 by the King of Prussia, Frederick William III and continued to be kept in Germany. During World War I, other panels were taken from the cathedral by Germany. As part of mandated compensation in the Versailles Treaty after the end of the war, Germany returned the pilfered panels along with the original panels that had been legitimately bought by Solly, to help compensate for other German "acts of destruction" during the war. The Germans "bitterly resented the loss of the panels", and at the start of another conflict with Germany in 1940, a decision was made in Belgium to send the painting to the Vatican to keep it safe. The painting was en route to the Vatican, in France, when Italy declared war as an Axis power alongside Germany. The painting was stored in a museum in Pau for the duration of the war, as French, Belgian and German military representatives signed an agreement which required the consent of all three before the masterpiece could be moved.[1] In 1942, Adolf Hitler ordered the painting to be seized and brought to Germany to be stored in a Bavarian castle Neuswanstein. After Allied air raids made the castle too dangerous for the painting, it was stored in a salt mine and was returned back to Saint Bavo only after WWII...

The monument in honor of the brothers Hubert and Jan Van Eyck, the painters of the Lamb of God altarpiece was solemnly unveiled on August 9, 1913. The architecture is designed by Valentin Vaerwyck, the sculpture of Geo Verbanck.


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Taken on May 10, 2010