Ghent is a city located in the Flemish Region at the confluence of the Lys and Scheldt rivers. It is one of the most important Belgian cities, the capital of the province of East Flanders and since 1559 the seat of the bishopric of Ghent.
Ghent is the capital of the former county of Flanders and became the second largest European city in the 11th and 13th centuries thanks to its important wool industry. Hometown of Jacob Van Artevelde, Ghent played a major role at the beginning of the Hundred Years War between France and England, during which time it experienced unprecedented economic development.
In 1477, Marie de Bourgogne, granddaughter of Philip the Good, signs the charter of the Grand Privilege. Ghent then recovers the privileges it had obtained in the past. Mary of Burgundy married Maximilian of Habsburg the same year, with whom she has two children: the famous Philip the Fair and his sister Margaret of Austria. This is the origin of the famous Treaty of Cambrai (also called the Peace of the Ladies) of 1529, negotiated with Louise de Savoie
The marriage of Philippe le Beau with Jeanne de Castille, better known as Jeanne la Folle, is the flagship event that links the city to the Spanish crown. From this alliance was born Juan Carlos I of Spain in 1500. The great emperor inherits territories and witnessed great changes in Europe following the wars of religion.
Ghent is a city of protest. Its recent history is still as surprising, especially with the construction of the canal linking the city to the sea. Ghent has played a major role in the cotton industry, the construction of large factories and the birth of the trade union movement. Today it is an important university town with many institutions and the Belgian textile city par excellence. Proud of its past, it also has an important port.