Clouds over Gent

Béla Török

Budapest, Hungary

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Artist's Description

Gent, Belgium

Around 650 Saint Amand founded two abbeys in Gent: the Saint Peter Abbey and the St. Bavo’s Abbey . The city grew from several nuclei, the abbeys and a commercial centre. Around 800 Louis the Pious, son of Charlemagne, appointed Einhard, the biographer of Charlemagne, as abbot of both abbeys. In 851 and 879 the city was however attacked and plundered twice by the Vikings.

The city recovered and flourished from the 11th century on. Until the 13th century Gent was the biggest city in Europe after Paris; it was bigger than London, Cologne or Moscow. Within the city walls lived up to 65,000 people. Today, the belfry and the towers of the Saint Bavo Cathedral and Saint Nicholas’ Church are just a few examples of the skyline of the period.

The rivers flowed in an area where a lot of land was periodically inundated. These richly grassed ‘meersen’ (“water-meadows”: a word related to the English ‘marsh’, but not meaning exactly the same, a ‘meers’ is not permanently under water) were ideally suited for herding sheep, the wool of which was used for making cloth. In fact, Gent was during the Middle Ages the most important city for cloth.(Source: Wikipedia)

Artwork Comments

  • Vivek Bakshi
  • BCImages
  • Gene Walls
  • Sean Jansen
  • Tainia Finlay
  • Charuhas  Images
  • anisja
  • Martina Fagan
  • Andrea Rapisarda
  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
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