On the way from the train station to the center, we visit the Hotel D’Hane-Steenhuyse in Veldstraat and the Hotel Clemmen opposite.
But these are not hotels in today’s sense, in those days one called a townhouse a hotel. Today they serve as museums.
After Emperor Napoleon I returned from Elba and began his reign of one hundred days, the French King Louis XVIII had to flee into exile to Ghent in 1815.
In 1814, Tsar Alexander I of Russia was already a guest here. At the Hotel D’Hane-Steenhuyse King Louis XVIII the stay granted.
You can visit the King’s residency and presentation rooms as well as the economic rooms such as the kitchen and storerooms.
After an extensive renovation in the 90s of the last century, the premises look like having just been abandoned.
Particularly worth seeing is the Italian ballroom, which extends over two floors.
King Louis XVIII was notorious in Ghent for his excessive and lavish lifestyle.
The well-kept garden in the inner courtyard can also be visited.
Hotel Clemmen is located diagonally opposite Hotel D’Hane-Steenhuyse. Judocus Clemmen, one of the first textile barons in Ghent, bought and renovated the house in the 18th century. Today it houses the Arnold Vander Haeghen Museum.
Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington before the battle of Waterloo against Napoleon I, stayed here to keep an eye on King Louis XVIII.
Arnold Vander Haeghen was a passionate Street Life photographer who documented the life and people of Ghent in the early 20th century. Particularly noteworthy is the Chinese Salon. Original Chinese silk wallpaper and Chinese porcelain characterize this room.
The museum also houses the cabinet of Maurice Maeterlinck, a native of Ghent and Nobel Prize winner for literature. Although he last lived in Nice, he bequeathed his working room to the city of Ghent after his death. Therefore, his working room is in this house.
The Hotel D’Hane-Steenhuyse and the Hotel Clemmen are open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Please read on > The Belfry of Ghent
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