Ghent

 

Ghent is a city in Belgium and the capital of the province of East Flanders in the region of Flanders. People from all over the world come to Ghent for its city center, the Gentse Feesten (also the many beers) or just for fun. Many people think Ghent is the most pleasant city in Flanders. The traffic-free historic center makes walking in the city center very pleasant and unforgettable.

The least that can be said of Ghent is that it is an authentic city. It is also a compact city. Ghent is divided into two quarters and each quarter has a number of important sites.

Historic Center : Gravensteen site, Vrijdagmarkt site, Portus Ganda site, Graslei site, Torens site and finally the Kouter site.
Arts Quarter : Bijloke site, Sint Pietersplein site, South site and Citadel Park site.
Everywhere in Ghent arrows point to the various sights, sites and bus stops. Getting lost in Ghent is therefore unlikely.

 

History

Ghent (old name Ganda, which means confluence) originated from Celtic settlements located at the confluence of the Leie and the Scheldt, in other words in a very swampy area. At the time, the settlement consisted of 72 islands and numerous wooden bridges between the different areas. This is also where the name de Kuip van Gent comes, because the center used to be like a tub in the water. Nevertheless, it is mainly due to the two large abbeys in Ghent, namely the Sint-Baafsabdij and the Sint-Pietersabdij, that the city grew. Around the end of the 10th century, Ghent was the largest city in the Netherlands and larger than London. It remained this until around the 16th century. In 1500 Emperor Charles V was born in Ghent, who would not only become ruler of the Netherlands, but also Spanish king and Holy Roman emperor and prince of numerous overseas territories. To Charles V thank the Ghent their nickname of sling carriers . After a tax revolt, Charles V had the rebellious Gentenaars dressed in a shirt and barefoot with a noose around their necks on 3 May 1540, in a procession from the town hall to the Prinsenhof.

During the Eighty Years' War, Calvinist Ghent opted for the Union of Utrecht against the Spanish king. However, the southern areas of the Union of Utrecht were recaptured by the Spaniards, including Ghent. Ghent ended up in the Southern Netherlands, roughly what later became Belgium .

In the 17th century, Ghent became the largest city in the Southern Netherlands again and remained so until the famine of 1745-1748. It was conquered by the Republican armies during the French Revolution and annexed by France. Afterwards, Ghent, along with the rest of the Southern Netherlands, joined the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, where it benefited from the Dutch colonies and the construction of the Ghent-Terneuzen canal. Under Dutch rule, Ghent got its own university in 1816. During the Belgian Revolution of 1830, enthusiasm in Orangist Ghent was much lower than in the rest of the Southern Netherlands. Ghent became an important city in Belgium.

In 1913 a world exhibition was opened in Ghent. During the two world wars, Ghent had little trouble with bombardments, so that almost all of the heritage was preserved. A walk through Ghent is therefore a walk through hundreds of years of history.

Neighborhoods
Muide - Meulestede : the working-class quarter of the dock workers, one can still view the old (renovated) harbor sheds.
Bloemekenswijk : the multicultural district around the "Edmond Van Beverenplein", known for its market on Sundays.
Brugse Poort : a busy working-class neighborhood where a lot happens on the street. You will find a mix of Moroccan and Turkish shops, cafes and restaurants.
Sluizeken-Tolhuis-Ham : a densely populated multicultural neighborhood with many old industrial buildings, including the SPE power plant.
Rabot - Blaisantvest : a busy working-class neighborhood where a lot happens on the street. You will find the New Courthouse and the Rabot (a fortified castle).
City center : the historic center, the area frequented by most tourists.
Nieuw Gent - UZ : high-rise district with the UZ hospital where the Arteveldestadion will be built.
Dampoort : busy district with train station where several access roads converge (better avoided during rush hour because of the long traffic jams).
Macharius - Heirnis : here is the St. Bavo's Abbey where the St. Bavo's village used to be built around (now a street).
Canal zone : the modern port of Ghent with docks and industry.

Watersportbaan - Ekkergem : best known for its sports infrastructure (Huis van de Sport, Topsporthal Vlaanderen, etc.).
Stationsbuurt Noord : the better area of ​​Ghent where the prices for real estate are a lot higher than average.
Stationsbuurt Zuid : the district between the Sint-Pietersstation and Flanders Expo with many schools along the "Voskenslaan".
Moscou - Vogelhoek : Moscou is known as the terminus of tram 4 (tourist attraction: many tourists want a picture of the tram that goes to "Moscow") and of the movie "Collision in Moscow".
Elisabeth Begijnhof - Parrot : as the name suggests, the Elisabeth Begijnhof (UNESCO World Heritage Site) is located in this district.