Ghent is the busy capital of the province of East Flanders. It is a city with many faces: not only does it count 65,000 students in higher education, it is also a city where many fairs and conferences are organised, an industrial city with a harbour, a “flower city” and a city in which many cultural events take place.
Ghent, originally named Ganda, arose at the confluence of two rivers. In the late medieval times it was the second largest city in North Western-Europe.
In 1537 Emperor Charles V, who was born in Ghent in 1500, found the inhabitants of Ghent guilty of disobedience and rebellion: they had to walk the streets barefoot, wearing only a shirt and a noose. For that reason the inhabitants of Ghent are called noose-wearers.
Today, the historical centre enjoys the unique atmosphere provided by the rivers and canals. In the pedestrian city centre, the history of Ghent surrounds you. The impressive medieval Castle of the Counts bears witness to an illustrious past. The city of Ghent bathes every evening in the enchanting light of its buildings and monuments - the city was awarded three Michelin stars for its lighting.
Ghent is situated 55 km to the west of Brussels and covers 156 square kilometres. It is the capital of the East Flanders Province and the second largest city of the region Flanders, which is one of the three regions of Belgium. Cities such as Paris, London and Amsterdam are within easy reach.
The greater metropolitan area of Ghent has 515,000 inhabitants.
Knowledge and culture have ever been at the city’s heart and you can still see that today. Ghent is home to a university and 3 university colleges. Over 60.000 students of higher education study here and make of Ghent the education capital of Flanders.
Ghent has 8 museums, 2 art halls, 7 art centres, 5 theatres and 5 concert halls, 1 music hall, 1 opera and 22 film screens. In addition to all this, dozens of organisations are located either in one of the above or elsewhere in the city.
We are also known for our Burgundian nature. In Gent there are 426 restaurants and eating-houses and 346 cafés and pubs; nice places to have a drink with your friends!