One writer has described the city as "historical without being fossilized, small without being provincial and lively without being boisterous". It is formerly the second largest and most important city in Belgium; it was the home of Holy Roman Emperor and Hapsburg Spanish King Charles V who ruled the Spanish empire with an iron fist - at least until the citizens of Ghent revolted against him. Ghent became prosperous in the Middle Ages thanks in large part to the textile industry as well as the lucrative custom of taxing all ships using the Scheldt River to trade further inland with Paris and, in turn, the rest of Europe. Today, Ghent is a lively student city, which has still maintained its medieval charm, and is dominated by its imposing medieval towers along with the 12th century Gravensteen Castle.
Through this excursion, students will understand some of the factors that let Ghent to become one of the largest and most influential of European capitals of the early Modern period. Also discover some reasons why this city's prestige and influence would later diminished. Students will also learn the names and see the masterwork of some of the several Flemish painters who made their mark on art history in and around this city.
Available in the following sessions
Optional in the following sessions