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Visiting Ghent   by Joushua James

Ghent is Belgium's fourth largest city with about 250,000 inhabitants. 
The older name for "Ghent" which is "Ganda" comes from the Celtic word '"Ganda" which means confluence, according to historians. Rightly so, there is archeological evidence that this city has a history dating back to the stone and iron age in the region where there is a confluence of Rivers Scheldt and Lys. 

Touring around the city you will see lots of medieval architecture which is remarkably well preserved and restored. Places that are a must see for tourists in Ghent are the "Saint Bavo Cathedral" with the Ghent Altarpiece, the "Belfry", the "Gravensteen castle", and the splendid architecture along the old "Graslei" harbor. The important museums to visit in Ghent are "Museum voor Schone Kunsten" or Museum of Fine Arts which houses paintings by Hieronymus Bosch, Jean Fouquet, and other Flemish masters, "Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst" or City Museum for Contemporary Art which displays works of the 20th century such as those by Joseph Beuys and Panamarenko and the "Design museum". 

Gabled Buildings with Distorted Facade of Bricks, North of the Centre of Ghent, Belgium
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Merchants' Premises with Traditional Gables, by the River, Ghent, Belgium
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You can also visit the museum which presents the Ghent's industrial history known as "Museum voor Industriële Archeologie en Textiel" or shortly MIAT. This museum showcases recreations of workshops and stores from the 1800s.

You will find Ghent to be a place with some of the most beautiful churches like "Saint-Jacobs Church" and the "Saint-Nicolas Church". Alongside ancient buildings you can also see modern architecture displayed through the city's university buildings. Ghent's harbor is significant for the city as it allows sea-going vessels to supply products to the city and its industrial regions. Ghent is witness to the regular holding of the "Flanders Technology" fair and it is also host of big cultural events such as the "Gentse Feesten", "I Love Techno", "Flanders International Film Festival Ghent" and "Festival van Vlaanderen". These festivals are known to attract a lot of tourist to this city. Find out from your tourist guide, the specific dates for the festivals so that you can also be part of the fun and festivities. You can tour the city at night using the bus service which is free of cost on weekend nights. 

Ghent is also known as the flower city of Belgium, and flowers like Begonias and Azalea are sold all over the world from Belgium. Once in every five years, the 'Gentse Floraliën" (Ghent Flower Show) is held in Ghent attracting thousands of visitors to the city.
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About the Author - Joushua James - http://www.travels-belgium.be/
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