Again, Ghent. As I already told you, one of my favorite cities in Belgium. Museums a plenty. – Hurray for me, I love museums. They make me travel back in time. Sort of. – Since I heard a lot of good things about the House of Alijn, I decided to give it a shot and see what’s happening over there.
No Art with capital A in this museum. What’s on display here is everything everyday life. Toys. Wedding pictures. Clothing. A whole classroom. Domestic electronics. The culture of daily life on display. Mainly from the beginning of the 20th century until now. How Belgian people used to live. – Believe me, I’m glad we took a huge step forward. – How catholicism dominated the majority of life’s crossover points. How people were wedded. How they died. How they got buried after they died. – At least, I hope they died before getting buried. – How they cooked, how they ate, where they shopped. How classes looked like. What they wore. Where they went on holidays. How they spoke. – There’s a pretty cool audio part where you can listen to different dialects. Believe me, there are a lot of them. Not always comprehensible. – You know, the whole shebang of living your life.
Next to the main collection, a museum visit includes a temporary exhibition as well. When I visited, the House of Alijn focused on the ‘Six-days’ in track cycling. Cycling is huge in Belgium and the ‘Six-days’ track cycling in ‘t Kuipke in Ghent is one of the oldest competitions in Belgium. As a matter of fact, it remains the only one of a once extremely popular sport. Not really my cup of tea, but I still admired the bicycles and luckily for me, the collection contained some nice fin-de-siècle posters.
Whoever is interested in daily life, traveling back in time and ordinary beauty is on the right address with a visit to the House of Alijn. Beware, the whole organization seemed a bit chaotic and there’s not always enough background information on hand. Nevertheless, give it a shot if you’re in Ghent and curious about the daily life of Belgian citizens, now and 100 years ago.