The Provinciaal Cultuurcentrum Caermersklooster

The Caermersklooster complex is located in the Patershol district of Ghent, famous today for the numerous restaurants concealed behind its historical facades. The area’s current appearance is a phenomenon of the late 20th century, however. In the 12th century the Patershol was mainly populated by skilled craftsmen such as ‘cordwainers’ (shoemakers). Later on, lawyers and magistrates built their luxurious townhouses here. Their work required them to live close to the Gravensteen castle, which, until the 18th century, housed various legal and administrative bodies. The Patershol fell on hard times during the industrial revolution and became an area housing workers from the nearby textile factories. That changed in the 1980s with an extensive revamp which restored the Patershol’s characteristic traditional appearance.

The friary church was purchased by the City of Ghent in 1881. The municipal authorities used it at various times as an archaeological museum, a folklore museum and even as a store for opera scenery. When the Province of East Flanders bought the rest of the friary complex, the City exchanged the church in 1981for the second quadrangle and the sacristy. In 1998 the Provincial Council opened the church to the public as an exhibition venue under its present name, the Provinciaal Cultuurcentrum Caermersklooster.