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Welcome receptionWednesday, 1 June 2016
19.00 - 22.00
Welcome reception for delegates and accompanying persons at Ghent City HallPunctuated by narrow bays, the 1618 façade of the Magistrate’s Chambers was influenced by the Gothic style. Only the capitals of the superimposed columns derive from the Italian Renaissance, inspired by those of the Roman Coliseum. Other buildings were added in the 18th century, forming an enormous quadrilateral with interior courtyards.
Charles the Fifth abdicated in the Throne Room in 1555 in favour of his son Philip II.
There followed a reign and a moment of history that the people of Ghent will never forget, marked by the religious intolerance of the absolute monarch. Above the throne hangs the portrait of Joseph II, the sovereign of enlightened despotism, against whom they also revolted.
The City Hall of Ghent is the centre of political power of the city. Our reception at the invitation of the Mayor will take place in the “Pacificatie zaal”, referring to the signing of a peace treaty between Spain and the Low Countries in 1576.
Gala dinnerThursday, 2 June 2016
20.00 - 22.30
Gala dinner at the Ghent OperaGhent in 1836 was in the middle of its Industrial Revolution and a number of captains of industry decided that they needed a place to be seen and to meet their colleagues outside the context of work. The Opera building or “Franschen schouwburg”, as it was called in the city, was created by architect Roelandt. As Ghent had very good relations with Paris, everything started with artists from Paris. A romantic dream realised by the Parisian artist Philastre and Cambon ... The Opera House of Ghent became the centre of the night life of the city for the rich and famous of a very young country: Belgium, that was born in 1830.
The Gala dinner will take place in the sumptuous Lully and Redoute Room of the Ghent Opera.
Delegates' and accompanying persons' activityFriday 3, June 2016
15.00 - 17.30
Walking tour of the city of GhentWe will visit the historic city centre of Ghent in small groups
Why does this city have 3 names? Gent – Gand – Ghent ..? In the Middle Ages Ghent was sometimes referred to as the Medieval Manhattan with its towers St. Michael's Church, St. Nicolas' Church, the Belfry and St. Bavo's Cathedral.
Ghent is one of the few cities where you can find a medieval castle in the centre. This medieval stronghold in the heart of the city was built by a crusader Count of Flanders in the 12th century on top of an earlier fortress.
From the 14th to the 18th century it was the seat of the Supreme Law Court. Now a museum, it contains a collection of medieval arms and one of torture instruments.
You will admire architecture from the Middle Ages to the 21st century, lovely squares and quays, interesting sights wherever you look.
Our cathedral is full of works of art, including the world famous altar piece The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by the Van Eyck brothers.
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