Description of the Belgian city of Ghent

Belgian city of Ghent: more interesting facts, history and infrastructure

Did you know that Ghent is the oldest city in Belgium? Now it is a large economic and social center of the country with developed infrastructure. But for tourists it is an opportunity to see unique historical and natural attractions, visit museums and art galleries. But before that, we recommend learning more about the historical past of this Belgian city.

History of Ghent, from antiquity to modern times

More than 3000 years is the minimum historical period during which the past of an urban conglomeration can be traced. Each stage was reflected in the culture, architecture and social characteristics of the local residents.

Ancient times

Convenient geographical location is the main reason for the emergence of settlements in this territory back in the Stone Age. This is evidenced by archaeological finds.

The ancient history of the city of Ghent, Belgium, begins long before the formation of modern settlement. There were Celtic settlements here before the arrival of the Romans.

Ancient times, history

Key moments of ancient history.

  1. Celtic roots. The area was inhabited by Celtic tribes before the arrival of the Roman Empire. These settlements had trade relations with neighboring regions and tribes. This influence of Celtic culture continues in some aspects of modern Ghent to this day.
  2. Roman era. In the second century BC, the Romans conquered the area and established a settlement here called Ganta. The Romans strengthened their position here and used the region as a strategic point for their trade routes and military campaigns.
  3. Frankish influence. During the Merovingian and Carolingian times, Roman influence gave way to Frankish rule. Ghent became part of the Frankish Empire and underwent further assimilation of the cultural and political aspects of Frankish society.

These early periods in Ghent’s history had a significant influence on the formation of the city and its culture. They formed the basis for the further development of the region, which became famous in the Middle Ages for its thriving trade and cultural influence.

Interesting: before the invasion of Ancient Rome, the settlement was called Condati, which is translated from Celtic as “the confluence of rivers.

Ghent in the Middle Ages

During the Middle Ages, the urban settlement located in Flanders became one of the most prosperous and influential cities in Northern Europe. Its history during this period is one of periodic wars, economic prosperity and cultural development. Economics became the basis for prosperity. Development of trade routes, exchange of cultural traditions.

The Middle Ages in the history of Ghent

Highlights and events from the history of Ghent in the Middle Ages.

  1. Economic prosperity. In the Middle Ages it became a center for the production of textiles, especially wool, which were known throughout Europe. Thanks to trade connections and the quality products produced here, the city became a wealthy and influential center of European trade.
  2. Political conflicts. Ghent was actively involved in the political conflicts of the time. It was often opposed to other Flemish cities and fought for its independence from local rulers. Examples are economic wars with the Counts of Flanders and the Dukes of Burgundy.
  3. Architectural heritage. In the Middle Ages, key architectural structures were built that determined the modern appearance of the city. Such monuments include the Count’s Castle Gravenstein, the Church of St. Bavo and the Old Town Hall, which to this day serve as evidence of the past greatness of Ghent.
  4. Art and culture. During the Middle Ages, Ghent was a center of cultural development, supporting artists, architects and scientists. Famous artists and artisans have made significant contributions to the development of local culture by creating works of art. Most of them have survived to this day in the museums of Ghent.

The history of medieval Ghent serves as an important part of its identity and cultural heritage, making it one of the most attractive historical cities in Europe. Thus, after the invasion of the Frankish tribes in the 5th century, the languages of the region changed – from Celtic to Dutch. In 650 AD. Saint Amand founded the Abbey of Saint Peter and Saint Bavo. The Dutch Revolution of 1539-1540 played an important role in the history of Ghent.

Interesting: In 1338 it became the center of an uprising of the peasant population of Flanders, led by Jacob van Artevelde.

Industrial era

Terneuzen water canal in the first half of the 19th century contributed to the development of the textile industry in Ghent. Additionally, this was helped by the creation of a network of railways that connected the regions of Belgium into a single transport hub. Trade and the industrial component became the basis of Gen’s economic prosperity.

Industrial ages in the history of Gene

This contributed to the rise of the city’s global status in the industrial era.

  1. Industrial development. At the end of the 18th century and during the 19th century, Ghent became one of Belgium’s leading industrial centers. Especially the textile industry, which was the most developed in Ghent, played an important role in the city’s economy. Innovative fabric technologies were created here, which contributed to the further development of the region.
  2. Population growth. Following industrial development, Ghent began to attract a large labor force, and during this period the city’s population increased significantly. The growth of industry and population led to intensive construction and infrastructure development.
  3. Cultural influence. Ghent continued to be a center of cultural development. Literature, art and science flourished here. During this period, various cultural institutions and educational institutions were founded and actively developed.
  4. Political changes. In the 19th century, the city, like all of Belgium, became part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and then after the Belgian Revolution in 1830 it became part of independent Belgium. These events had a significant impact on the political and social situation in Ghent.

As a result of these changes and developments, Ghent became not only an industrial center, but also remained an important cultural and educational center in Belgium. Which he remains to this day.

Important: the industrial boom of the 19th century affected the ecology of Gen. To solve this problem, the authorities have developed a plan to create a unified city water supply and sewerage system.

City of Ghent in the 20th century

The First and Second World Wars had a negative impact on the economy and social component of the city. This time the convenient geographical location played a cruel joke. The warring parties tried to capture and hold this region of Belgium as quickly as possible. The destruction and change of government in the post destroyed the economic potential.

20th century in the history of Gene

In the 20th century, Ghent faced various challenges and changes, including the impact of two world wars, economic changes and a cultural renaissance. Here are some key moments from the region’s history in the 20th century.

  1. World War I. Belgium was heavily damaged during the First World War. Ghent was subject to the ravages of war, which resulted in loss of life and destruction of infrastructure. This had a significant impact on the city and its inhabitants.
  2. Interwar period. Between the two world wars, Ghent became a center of industrial and cultural development. Various industries flourished here, as well as a cultural scene. This period was also a time of intensive construction and development of the city.
  3. The Second World War. During World War II, Belgium again faced occupation. Ghent also felt the effects of the war, including repression, destruction and economic hardship. However, after the war, Ghent began to recover and develop again.
  4. Post-war reconstruction and development. The second half of the 20th century was a time of reconstruction and economic development. Ghent actively restored its infrastructure and also developed new economic sectors such as technology and science. The cultural scene also flourished during this period.

As a result of restoration and development efforts, the region again became one of Belgium’s important cultural and economic centers at the end of the 20th century. This same trend continues into the 21st century.

Interesting: during the Second World War, most of the architectural monuments were destroyed. But now they are almost all restored.

Location on the map of Belgium, how to get there

The city is located in the northern part of Belgium. It is located approximately in the center of the country, in the region of Flanders. Ghent is located between other major Belgian cities such as Brussels to the south, Antwerp to the north and Bruges to the west. This makes Ghent an easy place to visit and an excellent starting point for traveling around Belgium.

Here is a more precise location of Ghent on the map of Belgium:

Location of Gen on the map of Belgium

The transport infrastructure is developed; you can get here in various ways.

  1. It has a developed railway network that connects it with other major cities in Belgium and Europe. Trains run from Brussels, Antwerp and Bruges. They arrive at the railway stations of St. Pieters and Ghent- Sint Pieters.
  2. By car. Highways have been built linking it with other parts of the country. You can reach Ghent by car using the E17 and E40 motorways. The city has a convenient network of free and paid parking lots.
  3. Bus service. Intercity bus routes also connect Ghent with other Belgian cities and regions. There is a network of bus routes connecting the region with other conglomerates in Belgium.
  4. Air travel. The nearest international airport is Brussels (Brussels Airport), from where you can reach Ghent by train or rental car. There are also smaller airports such as Ghent Airport, but these usually serve regional and private flights.

Tourists and independent travelers are recommended to rent a car to explore the sights of the city. The average rental cost is 30 Euro per day. To do this, you must leave a cash deposit and present a European driving license.

Important: to purchase air tickets, you can contact the airport ticket office, or place an online order on the website of the selected airline.

Infrastructure Ghent

Ghent has a well-developed infrastructure that provides residents and visitors with a wide range of amenities and services. For this purpose, a municipal management system has been developed, consisting of several divisions. This approach made it possible to organize work in all social areas.

Social infrastructure Gen

Social services:

  1. Municipal government. The city government of Ghent is responsible for organizing local services, including land use, city planning, waste collection, management of public spaces and other municipal tasks.
  2. The municipality ensures the functioning of schools and other educational institutions, and also manages the education system in the city.
  3. Health services are provided through municipal hospitals, health centers and other health care facilities that serve the local population.
  4. Transport and infrastructure. The municipality ensures the development and maintenance of transport infrastructure, including the management of the road network, public transport and other means of transport.
  5. Social services. The city provides social services, including assistance to the poor, support programs for local communities, and services for migrants and refugees.
  6. Cultural and entertainment events. The municipality supports the organization of various cultural and entertainment events, festivals, concerts and exhibitions for residents and visitors to the city.

Trams are one of the main means of public transport in Ghent. They cover most of the city and provide convenient and fast connections between different areas. A network of bus routes also covers most of the city and its surrounding areas. Buses provide additional travel options and also connect Ghent with neighboring cities and towns.

Ghent is a bike-friendly city and many residents and tourists have the opportunity to rent bicycles to get around the city. There is also an extensive system of bicycle paths providing safe and convenient cycling.

Tip: Tickets for public transport can be purchased at ticket offices, train stations or online. Tariffs and travel ticket options have been developed for various categories of passengers.