The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheidt and Leie in 1300.
In the late Middle Ages, the city became one of the richest and largest cities of northern Europe.
The city was the leading city for cloth because the rivers flowed in an area where much land was flooded periodically. So, it was perfect for keeping sheep. They used the wool of them to make thousands of cloths.
Throughout the years the city was often plundered by the Vikings, which wasn’t good for the cloth industry.
In the 19th century they had the first mechanical weaving machine on the European continent, so the textile industry flourished again.
In both world wars Ghent was occupied by the Germans but escaped severe destruction.
Every year there is a ten-day-long festival. The festival is hosted in the city center and there are some concerts. It’s great for everyone, there is even something for kids.
There are always a lot of different artists. They draw, sing and dance on different stages and every day there are different performances. In the streets, where people go to work on other days, you can find different kinds of food from other countries.
Also, the view is spectacular. The city shines at night and during daytime you can see crowded streets and squares.
People from all around the world comes together to celebrate the festival.
Places of Interest
There are a lot of places you should see when you decide to visit Ghent.At first, I want to show you the
Belfry and Cloth Hall of Ghent
A beautiful symbol for the city’s prosperity is the Ghent Belfry. In 1907 a cloth hall was built on top of the Belfry. The Brabant Gothic style of the cloth hall is an ode to the industry. An old jailer’s house is on the corner of the cloth hall. Every Sunday between 11am and 12 noon you can hear the carillonneur* at work. Also there are carillon concerts every first Friday of each month in the evening. In the summer the concert is on Saturday.
Gravensteen is a big castle in Ghent. Built in 1180, it was owned by the counts of Flanders. After it was the residence of the counts of Flanders it was used as a court and prison until the 18th century. During the Industrial Revolution, it was converted into a cotton mill. It was even scheduled for demolition. Also, the Gravensteen was the centrepiece of the “Ghent World Fair” of 1913 during which the city centre was significantly reshaped. Now the owner is the City of Ghent and it is open for the public. It is a beautiful place in Ghent, which you should definitely visit.