Gent or Ghent (Depending on where you look, most maps list it as Gent) is a city and a municipality located in Flanders, Belgium.
It is the capital and biggest city of the East Flanders province.
The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt and Lys and became in the Middle Ages one of the largest and richest cities of northern Europe.
Today it is a busy city with a port and a university.
The city is connected to the sea by the Ghent-Terneuzen Canal, it lies at the intersection of the European highways E17 and E40 and it has the third busiest railway station in Belgium.
The municipality comprises the city of Ghent proper and the towns of Afsnee, Desteldonk, Drongen, Gentbrugge, Ledeberg, Mariakerke, Mendonk, Oostakker, Sint-Amandsberg, Sint-Denijs-Westrem, Sint-Kruis-Winkel, Wondelgem and Zwijnaarde.
With 233,120 inhabitants in the beginning of 2006, Ghent is Belgium's third largest municipality and the country's third largest conurbation.
Archeological evidence shows human presence in the region of the confluence of Scheldt and Lys going back as far as the Stone Age and the Iron Age.
Most historians believe that the older name for Ghent, 'Ganda' is derived from the Celtic word 'ganda' which means confluence.
There are no written records of the Roman period but archeological research confirms that the region of Ghent was further inhabited.
When the Franks invaded the Roman territories (from the end of the 4th century and well into the 5th century) they brought their language with them and Celtic and Latin were replaced by Old Dutch.
Around 650 Saint Amand founded two abbeys in Ghent: the Saint Peter Abbey and the Saint Bavo Abbey.
The city grew from several nuclei, the abbeys and a commercial centre.
Around 800 Louis the Pious, son of Charlemagne, appointed Einhard, the biographer of Charlemagne, as abbot of both abbeys.
In 851 and 879 the city was however attacked and plundered twice by the Vikings.
The city recovered and flourished from the 11th century on.
Until the 13th century Ghent was the biggest city in Europe after Paris; it was bigger than London, Cologne or Moscow.
For a more information about Ghent see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This page was retrieved and condensed from (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghent) see Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, January 2007
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License (see Copyrights for details).
This information was correct in January 2007. E. & O.E.
Hui Chin and I visited Gent or Ghent if you prefer, after we spent some time in in Valenciannes visiting the Little Sisters of the Poor Hospital there.
Mother Imelda, the 'house mother' at Valenciannes was the The 'house mother' at Auckland for a few years, and overseed the Hospital rebuilding program and was Hui Chin's boss and good friend.
So while travelling around France we had to go and her.
Well, of course otherwise my name would be mud or something similarly unpleasent.
Anyway, we came to visit and spend some time in Gent.
While in town, I checked out the nice new trams too.
The place was nice and much bigger than I imagined.
Neither of us ever been here to stop and visit.
In 1978 we briefly stopped here to change trains etc. and had a quick nosey around, but that's all, not like now and we actually walked around and bussed around, argh and trammed around for some while.
You can click on these photos for an enlargement.
Thanks for coming, I hope you
have enjoyed it, will recommend
it to your friends, and will come
back later to see my site developing