The Ghent palace was a reproduction of the former Prince's Court or Prinsenhof. Its origins date back to the 12th century; Louis de Maele had major works carried out there; Philip the Good spent his youth there and had the ogival hall and the chapel built in 1440. On 24 February 1500, the famous Emperor Charles V was born in this palace, where sumptuous celebrations were held and all the major state bodies presented the newborn prince with sumptuous gifts.
This was the inspiration for the architect Armand Janssens to design the Ghent City Palace in 1913. Inspired by Sanderus' Flandria illustrata, the talented architect redesigned the chapel, the great throne room and the room where the emperor was born. The decoration by the herald painter Frans Coppejans, dean of the old crossbowmen's guild of St. George, was inspired by the time of Charles V, around 1530; The motto "Plus oultre" appeared on the walls together with the coats of arms and the names of the princes of Flanders, Burgundy and their allies; at the back of the room, a sumptuous throne bore the imperial coat of arms; stained glass windows completed the decoration in a shimmering note; separated from the throne room by arcatures, the chapel, with its glittering glass windows, had been given a beautifully designed and harmoniously coloured wall decoration; At the back, an altar with an altarpiece completed the setting in which a group represented the ceremony of homage of the Magistrate, the people and the clergy of Ghent, offering a silver vessel and other gifts to the young Charles V lying in the cradle under the eye of his mother and surrounded by the standard-bearer of Flanders, the sword-bearer and ladies in waiting. This group was modelled by Alois de Beule; the clothes were made according to the instructions of the painters Roelandt and Coppejans.
The City Palace of Ghent was a sensation, attracting visitors who were charmed by this evocation of the past, thanks to the faithfulness of the architectural reconstruction and a beautiful page of local history.
©Livre d'Or de l'Exposition Universelle & Internationale de Gand 1913