St James’ Church

St James’ Church has a rich history. The people used to call it “Sint-Jacobs-in-de-meerschen” or St. James’ in the marsh after the marshy area where the first parish church was founded in 1093. The choice of St James was probably inspired by the growing interest in pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela. As well as being the patron saint of shippers, St James also possibly suited the needs of an urban population that rapidly grew under the influence of the nearby harbour. The oldest material traces of the building date from the twelfth century. The remarkable variety in the architectural elements bears testimony to the various transformations that the church has since undergone. The interior is equally heterogeneous. As such St James’ Church is a unique witness of almost 900 years of church architecture in Ghent. Besides paintings by Jan Boeckhorst and Michiel Coxcie, St James’ Church also has a unique church tabernacle and two funerary monuments dedicated to Jan Palfijn.

In one word: diverse

History of a church

History of a place



Bij Sint-Jacobs

From April till September open

  • on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday ,Friday  and Saturday: from 14.00h till 18.00h
  • on Friday: from 10.00h till 13.00h
  • the 3th Saturday of the month closed

From October till March open

  • on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday: from 13.30h till 17.30h
  • the 3th Saturday of the month closed



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