Its location is striking, on a 19-metre-high natural hill, despite the flatness of the surrounding landscape. It is a graveyard where many famous Catholics, well-known atheists, writers, painters and composers have been laid to rest. Ghent’s Campo Santo was inspired by Père Lachaise, the largest cemetery in Paris. The cultural, financial and ecclesiastic elite chose it as their burial place, and it soon became an elite graveyard with monumental gravestones for its eccentric, deceased residents. The cemetery now has more than 131 protected tombs.
Tombs in an oasis of peace
The Campo Santo cemetery is beside the hill where St Amand is said to have preached in the 7th century, with the Late Baroque St Amand’s Chapel on the summit (1780). The traditional, Catholic Ghent bourgeoisie erected magnificent sculpted tombs and family mausoleums here, paying a considerable price for the privilege. This is a place of rest in more than one sense. Discover this oasis in Ghent in words and images, as an ideal end to your weekend trip in Ghent.
The popular heroes of Ghent
Track down several popular heroes of Ghent, such as the art curator and ‘art pope’ Jan Hoet, Luc De Vos, the singer of rock group Gorki, author, columnist, philosopher and mischievous folk hero, Marc Sleen, the comic artist who penned Nero and Wilfried Martens, the politician who served as prime minister of Belgium for several terms.
The Campo Santo walking map
Where is Jan Hoet’s last resting place? Which tree does the popular hero Luc De Vos lie under? Be sure to take a walk through Ghent’s history during your city trip. This walking map guides you to 49 famous graves at Campo Santo, with information about the stories of all these famous people. Obtain the map for free at the Visit Gent Tourist Office.