July 29, 2018
Located not far to the southwest of Ghent on the Leie stream, Sint-Martens-Latem is an artist’s colony that also happens to the wealthiest and most sought-after place to live in Belgium. Modest and small in scale, its wooded environs are filled with sprawling brick mansions set alongside a labyrinth of narrow, undulating country lanes that are a pleasure to get lost in. Further to the west in the direction of Waregem, the rural countryside of Flanders returns to its drab, triste self, reminiscent of the sense of abandonment found in the suburban Midwest.
But for those with the money and hankering for a life of affluence in a country setting, the bucolic and well-appointed lifestyle available in Sint-Martens-Latem is a welcome antidote to the stresses of urban life, complimented by the opulent housing available, the verdant, pastoral setting, and the luxurious restaurants and boutiques to indulge in.
Consistent with its artistic pedigree, the village features several museums and galleries, including the Municipal Museum Gevaert-Minne, which contains a collection of art from the classical period of the Leiedorp Sint-Martens-Latem group, the Municipal Museum Gust De Smet, the last residence and studio of the great Flemish expressionist Gust De Smet (1877-1943), as well as the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens.