Kortrijksepoortstraat does not immediately strike you as the most beautiful street that Ghent has to offer. What’s more: perhaps the street can rightly be regarded as a grey, somewhat bleak zone along the main axis between St. Peter’s Station and the city centre. The street has no immediate attractions, but you will definitely have passed along it at some point: on the way to the city centre on Tram 1 or by car, on the way to park under the Kouter. Nevertheless, this unremarkable street hides a secret.
You would not suspect this when you stroll along this grey, slightly chaotic street, but behind the western facades of Kortrijksepoortstraat you will find one of the most beautiful parts of the city that Ghent has to offer. Behind the houses, just a few metres below street level, the Leie flows towards the city centre here, parallel to the street, gently touching the unexpectedly exuberant, lush, spacious gardens extending behind the manor houses of Kortrijksepoortstraat. At intervals they can be reached via the unique stairways connected to the street by alleys, but these are unknown to the public, with the exception of those leading to the well-presented Veergrep city garden.
The best view of the treasures of Kortrijksepoortstraaat is from Bijloke Quay. The waterfront is also home to the Bijloke Site. This was once the location of a hospital in medieval times, but these buildings have in recent years been occupied by the City Museum, the Royal Academy for Fine Arts and the Bijloke Music Centre, apart from smaller venues such as the LOD Musical Theatre, the dance group Les Ballets C de la B and the Vlaanderen Opera Studio. On a mild summer evening, when the breeze comes from the west, you can sometimes hear snatches of song from future opera singers in the gardens and on the patios of Kortrijksepoortstraat.
Most of the properties in Kortrijksepoortstraat offer a sloping view over the roofs and peaks of the Neogothic Bijloke Complex. Then there is the more colourful Rommelaere Complex nearby and a row of huge plane trees along the waterfront – the view of the sunset every evening from the gardens and patios of Kortrijksepoortstraat is an event to look forward to. The best news is that all this is only for residents. Exclusive.