'the story of ghent' update


STAM is ten years old this year... time for a make-over for the permanent exhibition. From November 21st you will 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 will see and feel the city grow and change shape. You will discover some of the city’s secrets and of course there will also be a fresh version of our (still gigantic) aerial photograph.

Stroll through the new Story of Ghent from November 21st 2020.

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’s 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 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.

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

Feel free to touch! We are 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’. The snapshots he took in 2020, ten years after Carl De Keyzer’s series, are accompanied by beautiful, personal and sometimes poetic captions.

the novelties:

  • new (collector’s) items
  • new aerial photograph
  • interactive maquettes and tactile building materials
  • fun children’s activity trail through the galleries
  • animated history of the Bijloke as a hospital
  • 'Ghent today', series of photographs by Michiel Hendryckx

the old favourites:

  • the history of Ghent on a chronological circuit
  • the fourteenth-century Bijloke Abbey as a major historic monument
  • LEGO-building around Ghent’s towers (corona permitting)

and also:

  • detailed explanations in NL FR EN
  • benches in every gallery
  • free section of the museum with changing mini-exhibitions
    and ‘The square kilometre’
  • new shop
  • new STAMcafé by Coeur Catering with delightful sun terrace
  • Bijloke gardens all around

the square kilometre: stories from the neighbourhoods

STAM is burning with curiosity when it comes to the people of Ghent and goes in search of the little-known stories that bring the city to life and make it real. Historian Tina De Gendt speaks to people within one square kilometre (the size of a tile on our aerial photograph) and unearths tales that usually remain under the radar.

From November 21st 2020 you’ll be able to see two instalments of ‘The square kilometre’ in the new, free section of the museum: Neuseplein and Brugse Poort.