The Citadelpark is a park in Ghent on the brow of a hill between the rivers Scheldt and Lys. This city park was created in 1875 on the place where the Dutch citadel of Ghent formerly stood, built between 1819 and 1831. The citadel, one of the largest and most modern in Europe at the time, was later used as an infantry and artillery barracks. It was in use until 1870.

Weekend trips and chill in Ghent

Today it is a great place to enjoy botanical abundance. Spot the name tags that were placed in front of all the remarkable trees in 2005. Kids aged 10 and under can have fun in the playground. When the sun is shining, this spot is where Ghent residents and students come to chill out and have a picnic. Enjoy!

World class Ghent: a park in a city

Ghent’s citadel was demolished to make way for the 1913 World Expo in Ghent. Many buildings were constructed in its place to accommodate this World Expo. The Floralies Palace is doubtless the most famous pavilion. In 1930, the appearance of the park changed again, this time as part of the centenary celebrations for 100 years of Belgian independence.

Casemates, bunker and botanical rarities

When the park was landscaped, the existing slopes and remaining architecture of the former citadel were used. Here and there, parts of these casemates can still be found. The 780 trees in the park, including some rare specimens, are an added attraction for those who are green at heart.

The park has been a protected landscape since 1984. In 1938, a bunker was built in anticipation of the Second World War, but it was not yet ready when the Germans invaded the country. The university’s Botanical Gardens and Ledeganck campus are on the edge of the Citadelpark.

Music and art

In the Citadel park, you never have to look far to find references to art and music. The statue of the painter Emile Claus (1849-1924), Lys painter and founder of luminism, is located opposite the Botanical Garden. It depicts the painter with a palette in his hand. Two of the artist’s paintings can be seen on either side of him: ‘The Orchard’ and ‘The Flax Field’. At the beginning of his career, he was influenced by Renoir and Monet. He later became the leading impressionist in Belgium.

The northern part of the Citadel park features a magnificent wrought iron construction on an octagonal base made of natural stone. This music kiosk was built in 1885 under the supervision of the Ghent city architect Charles Van Rysselberghe.  You can find another authentic music kiosk on the Kouter.

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