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Ghent

Ghent – Gent – Gand

A beautiful place in Flanders, Belgium is Ghent! Just like Bruges this place offers a lot of old manors and middle aged churches. Ghent was in the late mediaeval times the second largest city in North West Europe, after Paris, and It can be no coincidence that Ghent, the capital of East Flanders, was given several pretty names:

‘Historic heart of Flanders’

‘A city of all times’

‘One of the most beautiful historic cities in Europe.’

Since January 2005 Ghent also bears the title of  ‘Most pleasant city of Flanders.’

This last title was given by the Tourist Office of Flanders after winning a contest in which Flemish towns and cities showed their assets. If you walk trough the city you will see why they deserve this title. I must say that Ghent is indeed a nice view of the middle ages and the people of Flanders are pleasant in social intercourse. The inhabitants love the Burgundian way of live. If you don’t know what this means, you have to take a taste of live in Ghent. Where Brussels is an international metropolis, Ghent stayed typical Flemish. You’ll find the pleasance of Ghent in its cultural life, by walking along the monuments, the historical or modern buildings and by enjoying the gastronomy.

A nice view of the medieval centre of ghent.

(One of) The best and largest open air cultural and popular festival in Europe is the ‘Festivals of Ghent.’ The whole city Ghent becomes a place with music, art, drinks, food, comedy and all kinds of amusement. Each year 1.5 million people are attracted to this party, and everybody is swarm around the city enjoying the festivals. It’s called festivals of Ghent, because of the different festivals on the same moment. There are 4 different festivals going on at once in the centre of Ghent: The Blue Note Festival (jazz), the International Street Theatre Festival, the International Puppetbuskersfestival and the 10 Days Off dance festival. Hot spot during the festivals is the big stage above the river in the main centre of Ghent. It has a beautiful view, especially by night when you see the medieval mansions enlightened to become the most beautiful place in Europe. Standing there, listening to live music, drinking a Belgian beer, looking to that panorama sight makes you fall in love with the city Ghent! You have to see this! The data is the third week of Juli each year. The first ‘festivals of Ghent’ is: Saturday 15 July till Monday 24 July 2006.

Facts
-Ghent is located 55 km to the west of Brussels, and covers 156 sq. km of which 36 sq. km is port area.
-Gent is the second largest city of the region 'Flanders', and the third centre in Belgium.
-Gent has in total 515,000 inhabitants, but 290,000 people live in the villages outside the city Gent and only 225,000 live in the centre.

Way to get there
Ghent is situated at the intersection of the motorways E17 and E40 and can easily be reached by car. Just follow the E40 from Brussels to Ghent and you be there. National and international trains stop in Ghent at stations Sint-Pieters and Dampoort.

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