: Gent pronounced ( listen)
: Gand pronounced ( listen)
) is a city and a municipality
in the Flemish Region
. It is the capital and largest city of the East Flanders
province and after Antwerp
the largest municipality of Belgium. The city started as a settlement at the confluence of the Rivers Scheldt
and in the Late Middle Ages
became one of the largest and richest cities of northern Europe, with some 50,000 people in 1300. It is a port
The municipality comprises the city of Ghent proper and the surrounding towns of Afsnee, Desteldonk, Drongen, Gentbrugge, Ledeberg, Mariakerke, Mendonk, Oostakker, Sint-Amandsberg, Sint-Denijs-Westrem, Sint-Kruis-Winkel, Wondelgem and Zwijnaarde. With 260,467 inhabitants in the beginning of 2018, Ghent is Belgium's second largest municipality by number of inhabitants. The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 1,205 km2 (465 sq mi) and has a total population of 594,582 as of 1 January 2008, which ranks it as the fourth most populous in Belgium. The current mayor of Ghent, Daniël Termont, leads a coalition of the Socialistische Partij Anders, Groen and Open VLD.
The ten-day-long Ghent Festival (Gentse Feesten in Dutch) is held every year and attended by about 1–1.5 million visitors.
Archaeological evidence shows human presence in the region of the confluence of Scheldt and Leie 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. Other sources connect its name with an obscure deity named Gontia.
There are no written records of the Roman period, but archaeological research confirms that the region of Ghent was further inhabited.
This page was last edited on 26 May 2018, at 11:05.
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