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Gent (in Dutch)
Belfry o Ghent. Ahint it the Saunt Nicholas church is visible.
Belfry o Ghent. Ahint it the Saunt Nicholas church is visible.
Banner o Ghent Gent (in Dutch)
Coat of airms o Ghent Gent (in Dutch)
Coat airms
Ghent Gent (in Dutch) is located in Belgium
Ghent Gent (in Dutch)
Gent (in Dutch)
Location in Belgium
Ghent in the province o East Flanders
Coordinates: 51°3′N 3°44′E / 51.050°N 3.733°E / 51.050; 3.733Coordinates: 51°3′N 3°44′E / 51.050°N 3.733°E / 51.050; 3.733
CommunityFlemish Community
RegionFlemish Region
ProvinceEast Flanders
 • Mayor (leet)Mathias De Clercq (Open VLD)
 • Govrenin pairty/iessp.a, Open VLD, Pro Gent
 • Total157.77 km2 (60.92 sq mi)
 (1 January 2017)[1]
 • Total259,083
 • Density1,600/km2 (4,300/sq mi)
Postal codes
Area codes09

Ghent (Inglis pronunciation: /ˈɡɛnt/; Dutch: Gent, pronounced [ʝɛnt]; French: Gand, pronounced [ɡɑ̃]; an umwhile Gaunt in Inglis; frae the Classic Laitin term Candia or Gandia meanin landlock bi the confluence o rivers bi the union o the Celtic term "Cand" an Laitin "ia" land) is a ceity an a municipality locatit in the Flemish Region o Belgium. It is the caipital an biggest ceity o the East Flanders province. The ceity stairtit as a dounset at the confluence o the Rivers Scheldt an Lys an in the Middle Ages became ane o the lairgest an richest ceities o northren Europe. The day it is a busy ceity wi a port an a universite. Awtho mony o Belgium's visitors owerleuk Ghent, its beauty is aften compared tae the mair well-kent Bruges.

The municipality comprises the ceity o Ghent proper an the touns o Afsnee, Desteldonk, Drongen, Gentbrugge, Ledeberg, Mariakerke, Mendonk, Oostakker, Sint-Amandsberg, Sint-Denijs-Westrem, Sint-Kruis-Winkel, Wondelgem an Zwijnaarde. Wi 262,219 indwallers in the beginnin o 2019,[2] Ghent is Belgium's seicont lairgest municipality bi nummer o indwallers. The metropolitan aurie, includin the ooter commuter zone, covers an aurie o 1,205 km2 (465 sq mi) an haes a tot population o 594,582 as o 1 Januar 2008, which ranks it as the fowert maist muckle in Belgium.[3][4]


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Ghent in 1775

Airchaeological evidence shows human presence in the region o the confluence o Scheldt an Lys goin back as far as the Stane Age an the Iron Age. Maist historians believe that the aulder name for Ghent, 'Ganda', is derived frae the Celtic wird 'ganda' which means confluence.[5] Thare are nae written records o the Roman period but airchaeological research confirms that the region o Ghent wis further inhabitit.

When the Franks invadit the Roman territories (frae the end o the 4t century an well intae the 5t century) thay brocht thair leid wi them an Celtic an Laitin wur replaced bi Auld Dutch.

Aroond 650 Saunt Amand foondit twae abbeys in Ghent: the Saunt Peter Abbey an the St. Bavo's Abbey. The ceity grew frae several nuclei, the abbeys an a commercial centre. Aroond 800 Louis the Pious, son o Charlemagne, appointit Einhard, the biographer o Charlemagne, as abbot o baith abbeys. In 851 an 879 the ceity wis housomeivver attacked an plundered twice bi the Vikings.

The ceity recovered an flourished frae the 11t century on. Till the 13t century Ghent wis the biggest ceity in Europe efter Paris; it wis bigger than Lunnon, Cologne or Moscow. Athin the ceity waws lived up tae 65,000 fowk. The day, the belfry an the touers o the Saunt Bavo Cathedral an Saunt Nicholas' Kirk are juist a few ensaumples o the skyline o the period.

The rivers flowed in an aurie whaur a lot o land wis periodically inundatit. Thir richly grassed 'meersen' ("water-meadows": a wird relatit tae the Inglis 'marsh', but no meanin exactly the same: a 'meers' is no permanently unner water) wur ideally suitit for herdin sheep, the oo o which wis uised for makkin cloth. In fact, Ghent wis, durin the Middle Ages, the maist important ceity for cloth.

The oo industry, orieeginally established at Bruges, creatit the first European industrialized zone in Ghent in the Heich Middle Ages. The mercantile zone wis sae heichlie developed that oo haed tae be importit frae Scotland an Ingland. This wis ane o the reasons for Flanders' guid relationship wi Scotland an Ingland. Ghent wis the birthplace o John o Gaunt, Duke o Lancaster. The tred wi Ingland (but no Scotland) suffered significantly durin the Hunder Years' War.

The ceity recovered in the 14t century, while Flanders wis unitit wi neighbourin provinces unner the Dukes o Burgundy. Heich taxes led tae a rebellion an eventually the Battle o Gavere in 1453, in which Ghent suffered a terrible defeat at the haunds o Philip the Guid. Aroond this time the centre o poleetical an social importance in the Law Kintras stairtit tae shift frae Flanders (Bruges–Ghent) tae Brabant (AntwerpBrussels), awtho Ghent wad continue tae play an important role.

Biggins alang the Leie river in Ghent
Justitiepaleis, Ghent, ca. 1895

In 1500 Juana o Castile gae birth tae Charles V, who became Holy Roman Emperor an Keeng o Spain. Awtho native tae Ghent, he punished the ceity efter the 1539 Revolt o Ghent an obliged the ceity's nobles tae walk in front o the emperor barefuit wi a noose (Dutch: strop) aroond the neck; syne this incident, the fowk o Ghent hae been cried "Stroppendragers" (noose bearers). The Saunt Bavo Abbey wis abolished, torn doun, an replaced wi a fortress for Spainyie troops. Anerlie a sma portion o the abbey wis spared demolition.

The late 16t an the 17t century brocht devastation acause o the Releegious wars. At ane time Ghent wis a Calvinistic republic, but eventually the Spainyie airmy reinstatit Catholicism. The wars endit the role o Ghent as a centre o internaitional importance. In 1745 the ceity wis captured bi French forces durin the War o the Austrian Succession afore bein returned tae Austrick follaein the Treaty o Aix-la-Chapelle.

In the 18t an 19t century the textile industry flourished again in Ghent. In 1800 Lieven Bauwens, haein smuggled the plans oot o Ingland, introduced the first mechanical weavin machine on the European continent.

Ghent wis the steid o the signin o the Treaty o Ghent which formally endit the War o 1812 atween Breetain an the Unitit States an aw. Efter the battle o Waterloo Ghent became a pairt o the Unitit Kinrick o the Netherlands for 15 years. In this period Ghent established its awn universite (1817) an a new connection tae the sea (1824–27).

Efter the Belgian Revolution, wi the loss o port access tae the sea for mair nor a decade, the local economy collapsed an the first Belgian tred-union oreeginatit in Ghent. In 1913 thare wis a Warld exhibition in Ghent. As a preparation for thir festivities, the Sint-Pieters railway station wis completit in 1912.


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Efter the 1965 an 1977 fusions the ceity is made up o:

Neighbourin municipalities

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The Graslei is ane o the maist scenic places in Ghent's aild ceity centre. The brig tae the richt is the Sint-Michielsbrug, the biggin on the corner is the umwhile postal office an in the distance tae the richt the three touers o Ghent can be seen.


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The Gravensteen



Ghent at Nicht



Riverside in Ghent

|} Hintle o the cety's medieval airchitectur remains intact an is remarkably well preserved an restored. Its centre is the lairgest carfree aurie in Belgium. Interestin heichlichts are the Saint Bavo Cathedral wi the Ghent Altarpiece, the belfry, the Gravensteen castle, an the splendid airchitectur alang the auld Graslei harbour. Ghent established a nice blend atween comfort o livin an history – it is no a ceity-museum. The ceity o Ghent hooses three béguinages an numerous kirks an aw, amang which the Saunt-James' kirk, the Saunt-Nicolas' kirk an the Saunt Michael's Kirk are the maist bonnie ensaumples.

In the nineteent century Ghent's maist famous airchitect, Louis Roelandt, biggit the universite haw Aula, the opera hoose an the main courthoose. Heichlichts o modren airchitectur are the universite biggins (the Boekentoren or Beuk Touer) bi Henry Van de Velde. Thare are an' a' a few theatres frae diverse periods.

The beguinages, as well as the belfry an adjacent cloth haw, wur recognised bi UNESCO as Warld Heritage Steids in 1998 an 1999.


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Important museums in Ghent are the Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Museum o Fine Airts), wi paintins bi Hieronymus Bosch, Peter Paul Rubens, an mony Flemish maisters; the SMAK or Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (Ceity Museum for Contemporary Airt), wi wirks o the 20t century, includin Joseph Beuys an Andy Warhol; an the Design Museum wi maisterpieces o Victor Horta an Le Corbusier. The Huis van Alijn (Hoose o the Alijn faimily) wis oreeginally a beguinage an is nou a museum for fowk airt whaur theatre an puppet shows for childer are presentit. The Museum voor Industriële Archeologie en Textiel or MIAT displays the industrial strength o Ghent wi recreations o wirkshops an stores frae the 1800s an oreeginal spinnin an weavin machines that remain frae the time when the biggin wis a weavin mill. STAM, the new Ghent Ceity Museum, is committit tae recordin an explainin the past o the ceity an its indwallers, an tae preserve the present for futur generations.

Restaurants an culinary traditions

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As wi maist Belgian ceities, Ghent affers a rich variety o local an foreign cuisine. The ceity centre an quarter cried "Patershol" haes a huge concentration o restaurants. The "Sleepstraat" a little bit further north hooses a nummer o Turkis restaurants an fuid bars. Bi contrast, restaurants are rather spairse ayont the "historic centre".

In Ghent an ither regions o East Flanders, bakeries sell a donut-shaped bun cried a "mastel" (plural "mastellen"), which is basically a bagel. "Mastellen" are cried "Saunt Hubert bread" an aw, acause on the Saunt's feast day, which is 3 November, the bakers bring thair batches tae the early Mass tae be blessed. Tradeetionally, it is thocht that blessed mastellen immunize against rabies.

As wi mony auries o northren Belgium the diet centres aroond herty stews an soups. Flemish beef stew (stoverij) is available amaist aawhere as is "Waterzooi", a local stew oreeginally made frae freshwater fish caught in the rivers an creeks o Ghent, but nouadays aften made wi chicken insteid o fish. It is uisually served nouvelle-cuisine-style, an will be supplemented bi a lairge pot on the side.

The ceity promotes a meat-free day on Thursdays cried Donderdag Veggiedag[6][7] wi vegetarian fuid bein promotit in public canteens for ceevil servants an electit cooncillors, in aw ceity fundit schuils, an promotion o vegetarian eatin options in toun (throu the distribution o "veggie street maps"). This campaign is linked tae the recognition o the detrimental environmental effects o meat production, which the Unitit Naitions' Fuid an Agricultur Organization haes established tae represent nearly ane-fift o global greenhoose gas emissions.


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The ceity is host tae some big cultural events sic as the Gentse Feesten, I Love Techno, "10 Days Off" muisical festival, Flanders Internaitional Film Festival Ghent (wi the World Soundtrack Awards) an the Gent Festival van Vlaanderen. Ivery five years, a huge botanical exhibition (Gentse Floraliën) takes place in Ghent an aw, attractin numerous visitors tae the ceity.

The Festival o Flanders haed its 50t celebration in 2008. In Ghent it opens wi the OdeGand Ceity festivities that takes place on the seicont Seturday o September. Some 50 concerts tak place in diverse locations throughoot the medieval inner-ceity an some 250 internaitional artists performs. Ither major Flemish ceities haud seemilar events, aw o which form pairt o the Festival o Flanders (Antwerp wi Laus Polyphoniae; Bruges wi MAfestival; Brussels wi KlaraFestival; Limburg wi Basilica, Mechelen an Brabant wi Novecento an Transit).


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The port o Ghent, in the north o the ceity, is the third lairgest port o Belgium. It is accessed bi the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal, which ends near the Dutch port o Terneuzen on the Wastren Scheldt. The port hooses, amang ithers, big companies lik Arcelor-Mittal, Volvo Cars, Volvo Trucks, Volvo Parts, Honda, an Stora Enso.

The Ghent University an a nummer o research orientit companies are situatit in the central an soothren pairt o the ceity, sic as Ablynx, Innogenetics, Cropdesign, Bayer Cropscience.

As the biggest ceity o East-Flanders, Ghent haes mony hospitals, schuils an shoppin streets.

Tourism is increasingly becomin a major employer in the local aurie.


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As ane o the lairgest ceities in Belgium, Ghent haes a heichlie developed transportation system.

  • Bi caur the ceity is accessible bi twa o the kintra's main roads:
  • In addition Ghent haes twa ringways an aw:
    • The R4: connects the ouotskirts o Ghent wi ilk ither an the surroondin veelages, an an' a' leads tae the E40 an E17 roads.
    • The R40: connects the different dountoun quarters wi ilk ither, an provides access tae the main avenues.
  • The municipality o Ghent comprises five train stations:
    • Gent-Sint-Pieters Station: an internaitional train station wi connections tae Bruges, Brussels, Antwerp, Kortrijk, ither Belgian touns an Lille. The station affers a direct connection tae Brussels Airport an aw.
    • Gent-Dampoort Station: an interceity train station wi connections tae Sint-Niklaas, Antwerp, Kortrijk an Eeklo.
    • Gentbrugge Station: a regional train station in atween the twa main train stations, Sint-Pieters an Dampoort.
    • Wondelgem Station: a regional train station wi connections tae Eeklo ance an oor.
    • Drongen Station: a regional train station in the veelage o Drongen wi anerlie a leemitit nummer o trains a day.
  • Ghent haes an extensive wab o public transport lines, operatit bi De Lijn:
    • Ghent Tram (see picturs belaw):
      • Line 1: Flanders Expo - Sint-Pieters-Station - Korenmarkt (ceity centre) - Evergem
      • Line 21: Zwijnaardebrug - UZ - Sint-Pieters-Station - Zonnestraat (ceity centre) - Zuid - Melle Leeuw
      • Line 22: Zwijnaardebrug - UZ - Sint-Pieters-Station - Zonnestraat (ceity centre) - Zuid - Gentbrugge
      • Line 4: Sint-Pieters-Station - Muide - Korenmarkt (ceity centre) - Zuid - Moscou
    • Ceity buses (see pictur belaw):
      • Line 3: Mariakerke - Korenmarkt (ceity centre) - Dampoort-Station - Gentbrugge (umwhile Trolleybus (see pictur belaw))
      • Line 5: Van Beverenplein - Sint-Jacobs (ceity centre) - Zuid - UZ - Zwijnaarde
      • Line 6: Watersportbaan - Zuid - Dampoort-Station - Wondelgem - Mariakerke
      • Line 8: Zuid - University - Sint-Pieters-Station - Blaarmeersen
      • Line 9: Mariakerke - Malem - Sint-Pieters-Station - Gentbrugge
      • Line 17/18: Drongen - Korenmarkt (ceity centre) - Dampoort-Station - Oostakker
      • Line 38/39: Blaarmeersen - Korenmarkt (ceity centre) - Dampoort-Station - Sint-Amandsberg
    • At Sint-Pieters-Station an the Zuid bus station thare are several regional buses as well.

When arrivin in Ghent, it is best tae leave caurs in Pairk & Ride zones next tae the road. The actual ceity centre is a caur free aurie, an pairkin is difficult an expensive in the ceity. On weekends, nicht buses provide free transportation throu the nicht.

In the Belgian first fitbaa diveesion Ghent is representit bi K.A.A. Gent. Anither Ghent fitbaa club is KRC Gent-Zeehaven, playin in the Belgian fowert diveesion.

Ivery year the Sax Days o Flanders, a sax-day track cyclin race, is held in Ghent. It takes place in the Kuipke velodrome.

The ceity hosts an annual track an field meet at the Flanders Sports Arena an aw: the Indoor Flanders meetin. It is ane o the IAAF's foremaist indoor track an field events an twa-time Oleempic champion Hicham El Guerrouj set a warld record at the event in 1997.

Internaitional relations

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Twin touns — Sister ceities

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Ghent is twinned wi:[8]


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  1. Population per municipality as of 1 January 2017 (XLS; 397 KB)
  2. Statistics Belgium; Werkelijke bevolking per gemeente op 1 januari 2009 (excel-file)[deid airtin] Population of all municipalities in Belgium, as of 1 January 2009. Retrieved on 2010-11-28.
  3. Statistics Belgium; Werkelijke bevolking per gemeente op 1 januari 2008 (excel-file) Population o aw municipalities in Belgium, as o 1 Januar 2008. Retrieved on 2008-10-19.
  4. Statistics Belgium; De Belgische Stadsgewesten 2001 (pdf-file) Definitions o metropolitan auries in Belgium. The metropolitan aurie o Ghent is dividit intae three levels. First, the central agglomeration (agglomeratie) wi 278,457 inhabitants (2008-01-01). Addin the closest surroondins (banlieue) gives a total o 423,320, includin the ooter commuter zone (forensenwoonzone) the population is 594,582. Retrieved on 2008-10-19.
  5. "History of Gent". www.gent.be. Archived frae the original on 18 August 2005. Retrieved 5 Mey 2006.
  6. "Ghent's veggie day: for English speaking visitors" on Vegetarisme.be
  7. "Belgian city plans 'veggie' days" on BBC News (2009-05-12).
  8. Gent van A tot Z: Zustersteden Archived 2014-10-27 at the Wayback Machine.

Freemit airtins

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