Ghent

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Ghent (English pronunciation: /ˈɡɛnt/; Dutch: Gent, pronounced [ʝɛnt]; French: Gand, pronounced: [ɡɑ̃]; and formerly Gaunt in English) is a city and a municipality located in the Flemish region of 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 in the Middle Ages became one of the largest and richest cities of northern Europe. Today it is a busy city with a port and a university.

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 240,191 inhabitants in the beginning of 2009,[1] 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.[2][3] The current mayor of Ghent, Daniël Termont, leads a coalition of the sp.a, Open VLD and Pro Gent.

Every year the ten-day-long "Ghent Festival" (Gentse Feesten in Dutch) is held. About two million visitors attend every year.

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