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About the History of Ghent....

Around the year 867, Baldwin Iron Arm, the first Count of Flanders, decided to build a castle at the meeting of the Lieve and Leie rivers in order to thwart the raiding Norsemen. A town soon grew up around the castle, and Baldwin adopted it as the seat of his domain. By the 12th century, the castle had been enlarged and strengthened and the town of Ghent was rapidly growing into a prosperous city. The cloth trade flourished here like nowhere else and within a century Ghent had become an industrial city with a population greater than that of any city in Europe. Such prosperity brought the workers and citizens into conflict with the ruling nobility; and the city experienced frequent clashes between the two for the next several centuries.

By the late 15th century, the cloth trade had begun to wane, though Ghent remained prosperous by shifting its economy to the shipping trade along the Leie and Scheldt rivers. In the latter part of the century, however, the closing of the Scheldt brought commercial decline, not to be reversed until the revival of cloth working during the industrial boom of the 19th century.
story....


(extracted from www.visitbelgium.com)

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