"Bellfry" Belfort - Belfry Tower Tip by ealgisi

Belfort - Belfry Tower, Gent: 41 reviews and 80 photos


At one side of the Place Saint Bavon in the center of Ghent, Belgium, rises the impressive carillon tower with its fifty-two singing bells. On the largest bell, which is taller than a tall man, is a Flemish inscription that reads:

"My name is Roland. When I toll there is fire. When I ring there is victory in the land."

This great bell might vie with the horn carried by that other Roland, the knightly champion of Charlemagne--a horn that was heard twenty miles. On top of the belfry, is a weather vane, of dragon shape, that presides over all the winds, hot or cold, and rejoices when Roland rings.

A long, long, time ago, before the dragon began to live on the tower, he lived near Aleppo, one of the chief cities of the Saracens in northern Syria. He was such a tender-hearted old dragon that he was called The Weeping Dragon, because he wept large bucketfuls of tears whenever the Belgian crusaders and the Saracens fell to fighting.

Now, as the Saracens and Belgians fought at the slightest provocation, the tears of the sympathetic dragon flowed with such abundance into the ground that the soil became unusually fertile, and there soon grew up, from this rich soil, a rare flower. The Belgian crusaders, delighted with the bright-colored flower, called it The Turk's Turban, though it is a pity they didn't know The Weeping Dragon well enough to name it for him. Buccoleon was the dragon's name.

When the last Saracen war was over, one of the crusaders, Taff, a lover of flowers, brought back the seeds of The Turk's Turban to Flanders and planted them in his own garden. Beautiful tulips rewarded him, tulips of brilliant color, that brought him high praise and much money, too.

Address: Place Saint Bavon
Website: http://www.belfortgent.be/

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Nov 2, 2007
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