CODART, Dutch and Flemish art in museums worldwide

The Story of Ghent

7 December 2020 - 10 October 2030

The Story of Ghent

Exhibition: 7 December 2020 - 10 October 2030

NB Please note that the end date for this permanent exhibition is subject to change. Please check the museum’s website for the latest information.

STAM turned ten in 2020 and therefore it was time for a make-over for the permanent exhibition. Since then you can mingle with parchment abbots, enterprising women, amorous rebels and self-seeking benefactors from the Middle Ages to the present day as you make your way through the new-look ‘Story of Ghent’. You can see and feel the city grow and change shape. You discover some of the city’s secrets and of course there’s also a fresh version of our (still gigantic) aerial photograph.

The new aerial photograph

Ghent is forging ahead. The Bijloke site looked completely different on our last aerial photograph. Now Ghent also boasts a city pavilion (Stadshal), a Parkbos bridge or two, a Ghelamco stadium, the Krook library and an excavated Reep (or Lower Scheldt). Walk across the photograph and see if you can find the Belfry, the Graslei, your house or school. Explore a part of the city on your knees, from the historic centre through the neighbourhoods to the municipalities. There is a street finder to help you.

Time travel museum

You travel back in history and fast-forward through Ghent’s metamorphosis. The Story of Ghent whisks you from a city in-the-making, through a medieval metropolis to a resilient and now irrepressible city. The museum functions as a tele-time machine: press pause whenever you like and prepare to be overawed by handpicked items from the museum’s collection. Linger a while at star attractions like the wire-frame models of St John’s Church and Gravensteen castle. Lose yourself in old, wall-wide maps and in digitally-generated animated images, which also give you a glimpse of the future.

Agnes vanden Bossche (attribution) (1435-1504), City militia’s battle standard with the Maiden of Ghent, late 15th Century
STAM, Ghent

Feel what makes a city a city

A city is all about building, living and being connected. And you feel that in the new Story of Ghent. See the city grow. Hear Ghent speak. Feel the wood and stone from which Ghent was built. Soak up the atmosphere and sense the energy. And learn how Ghent had and still has a connection with the Low Countries, Europe and the world.

Children’s trail

The museum is extending the face-lift to the fun children’s trail that runs through all the galleries in the museum. As merchants, artisans, architects and spatial planners, children help make the city. They sell cloth, clad façades and map out transport routes.

Ghent today through Michiel Hendryckx’ lens

Lining the walls of corridors in Bijloke Abbey is a series of photographs by Michiel Hendryckx entitled ‘Ghent today’.