Uw Kapitool, helaas! eene onvoltooide kroon, / Uw Belfroot, met den draak der kruisvaart overkronkeld, / En Bavo’s tempel, als zijn kunstjuweelen schoon.

Prudens van Duyse (1859)

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[John Barrow (jr.)]: A family tour through south Holland: up the Rhine, and across the Netherlands, to Ostend (ed. 1839), p. 268-270

An excellent college and art academy, open to all the world [Universiteit Gent]

De universitaire aula aan de Voldersstraat imponeerde John Barrow zo sterk, dat hij er een zeer specifieke beschrijving aan wijdde:

There is an academy for the fine arts, which possesses a good collection of pictures, a public library, and a very good botanical garden, which was founded under the republican government of France, out of the gardens and grounds of a suppressed convent. The present king, not to be behind-hand with the French in beneficence to his good subjects of Ghent, has founded and built for them the above-mentioned college, or university as it is called, which does great honour to the care and paternal love for his people, displayed in no way more than in his desire, manifested in every part of his dominions, to instil a taste for literature, science, and fine arts among them. The building is magnificent; the façade, with its eight Corinthian columns, and noble pediment intended to be decorated with allegorical sculpture, in bas-relief, does credit to the architect. Already, we understood, it has about six hundred students, and it possesses very valuable collections in the several departments of natural history, and a library of fifty or sixty thousand volumes.

We regretted much that time would not allow us to visit the interior of this splendid monument dedicated to the arts and literature.
When a traveller finds a free and easy access to these and similar institutions, which are open to all the world in almost every city on the Continent, an Englishman’s pride ought to suffer some little humiliation if he only reflects that, when a foreigner comes into England, he cannot have access, even in the capital, to any one collection of pictures, nor to any scientific society, without a special introduction. As to pictures, indeed, we have no public collection, save only the few that are huddled together in a small shabby house in Pall Mall, which we ridiculously call a National Gallery.
On the Continent, the churches are open to everybody, and should any of them happen to be closed, the person in the neighbourhood who holds the key is always most ready to attend. He may know, perhaps, that he will be recompensed for his trouble, but the odium of making a regular demand at the door is unknown.

Lees het volledige reisverhaal op GoogleBooks (exempl. UGent, 1839): (John Barrow): A family tour

Interne links

[Auteurs] Barrow, John (jr.)