32nd ESPU Congress
June 8-11th, 2022 in Ghent, Belgium

About Ghent

Ghent is the capital and largest city of the East Flanders province in Belgium, and the third largest in the country.

The city originally started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Leie and in the Late Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of northern Europe, with some 50,000 people in 1300.

Much of the city's medieval architecture remains intact and is remarkably well preserved and restored. Its centre is a carfree area. Highlights are the Saint Bavo Cathedral with the Ghent Altarpiece, the belfry, the Gravensteen castle, and the splendid architecture along the old Graslei harbour. Ghent has established a blend between comfort of living and history; it is not a city-museum. The city of Ghent also houses three b├ęguinages and numerous churches including Saint-Jacob's church, Saint-Nicolas' church, Saint Michael's church and St. Stefanus.

In the 19th century Ghent's most famous architect, Louis Roelandt, built the university hall Aula, the opera house and the main courthouse. Highlights of modern architecture are the university buildings (the Boekentoren or Book Tower) by Henry Van de Velde. There are also a few theatres from diverse periods.

The beguinages, as well as the belfry and adjacent cloth hall, were recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites in 1998 and 1999.

 

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