Ghent ( Dutch: Gent, ; French: Gand), Belgium, the capital of East Flanders province. It lies at the junction of the Leie and Schelde rivers, some 30 miles (48 km) northwest of Brussels. Ghent has been a noted textile center since the 1300's. Cotton fabrics, linen, and lace are produced for export. Petroleum refining and the manufacture of plastics and chemicals are also significant industries. A ship canal links Ghent with the Wester Schelde, an arm of the North Sea.
In St. Bavon Cathedral, built 942–1559, is The Adoration of the Lamb (1432), the masterpiece of the painters Hubert and Jan van Eyck. The Castle of the Counts was built in 1180 by the counts of Flanders. Ghent became a major city with powerful merchant guilds in the 14th and 15th centuries. In 1830, after rule by the Spanish, Austrians, French, and Dutch, it became part of Belgium. Population: 224,545.