Glorious Ghent: From The Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution with Natalie Lefevre

Glorious Ghent: From The Middle Ages to the Industrial Revolution with Natalie Lefevre


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This seminar explores Ghent's evolution from a thriving medieval city to the center of the Industrial Revolution in Europe. Traces of its storied past exist all over this beautiful city at the confluence of the Scheldt and Leie rivers which we will explore together with Natalie Lefevre, an expert on Belgian history.

Often named as one of Europe’s hidden gems, Ghent might be less known than Bruges or Brussels, but its history dates back over 1000 years. In the late Middle Ages, Ghent was the second-largest city in Western Europe. Several buildings in its historical heart still remind visitors today of this thriving medieval city: stately guild halls, mighty castles, market halls, numerous monasteries and churches, and of course the symbols of the city’s power and wealth: the Belfry and City Hall.

But Ghent has known a second successful period that has shaped the current city as well, the Industrial Age. Ghent is often referred to as The Manchester of the Continent, proof of its stature in the history of industrialization in Europe. Today, Ghent’s historical center is a mix of this industrial and medieval heritage. A very intriguing mix that fits perfectly with Ghent’s innovative, diverse, and rebellious character.

Led by an expert on Belgium and its history, Natalie Lefevre, this interactive seminar will explore Ghent’s rich history and heritage from the Middle Ages to the Industrial Age. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of the city of Ghent and its heritage.

Belgian native Natalie Lefebre has a PhD in International Studies with a focus on social-political and conflict studies (UK) but her first university degree was a Master in Cultural Studies from Ghent University. Natalie decided to combine her educational background with her interest and passion for sustainable and educational tourism and founded a small-scale tour operator in Peru while she was living there. After returning to Belgium, she started guiding visitors in Bruges, Ghent, and other Belgian cities.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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