14 Facts About Ghent


Ghent is a city and a municipality in the Flemish Region of Belgium.

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Ghent was the leading city for cloth during the Middle Ages.

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Ghent was the birthplace of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.

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High taxes led to a rebellion and eventually the Battle of Gavere in 1453, in which Ghent suffered a terrible defeat at the hands of Philip the Good.

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Treaty of Ghent, negotiated here and adopted on Christmas Eve 1814, formally ended the War of 1812 between Great Britain and the United States .

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Ghent was occupied by the Germans in both World Wars but escaped severe destruction.

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Ghent is home to many people of foreign origin and immigrants.

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Ghent has established a blend between comfort of living and history; it is not a city-museum.

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One of the more notable pieces of contemporary architecture in Ghent is De Krook, the new central library and media center, a collaboration between local firm Coussee and Goris and Catalan firm RCR Arquitectos.

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Important museums in Ghent are the Museum voor Schone Kunsten, with paintings by Hieronymus Bosch, Peter Paul Rubens, and many Flemish masters; the SMAK or Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, with works of the 20th century, including Joseph Beuys and Andy Warhol; and the Design Museum Gent with masterpieces of Victor Horta and Le Corbusier.

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The Museum voor Industriele Archeologie en Textiel or MIAT displays the industrial strength of Ghent with recreations of workshops and stores from the 1800s and original spinning and weaving machines that remain from the time when the building was a weaving mill.

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Ghent has an extensive network of public transport lines, operated by De Lijn.

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Apart from the city buses mentioned above, Ghent has numerous regional bus lines connecting it to towns and villages across the province of East Flanders.

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Ghent has the largest designated cyclist area in Europe, with nearly 400 kilometres of cycle paths and more than 700 one-way streets, where bikes are allowed to go against the traffic.

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