Congress reception & dinner

The reception at the townhall of Ghent

stadhuis-02_1_0.jpg The Ghent town hall is situated on the site where until 1482 the town representatives and guild's men met in separate houses. Because these houses were judged too small and too unrepresentative for such important people, it was decided that a new and bigger town hall had to be built. The first stone of this new hall was laid in 1482. The building was finished in 1484. Very soon, however, also this new hall was considered too small and from 1518 until 1535 a new and much bigger town hall was constructed in late-gothic style.
stadhuis-08_1.jpg The guests listened to the speech of the Ghent Alderwoman of Innovation in the beautiful pacification room, where many historic treaties have been negociated and signed
stadhuis-06_0_0.jpg Francis Verstraete, the president of the General Council of Centexbel thanked the participants and speakers of the first International Congress on Innovations in Sport Textiles, while emphasizing the necessity to innovate.

Congress dinner in the medieval Castle "Gravensteen"

The Gravensteen castle or Castle of the Counts was built in 1180 by count Philip of Alsace and was modelled after the crusaders castles the count encountered while he participated in the second crusade. Before its construction, there stood a wooden castle on the same location, presumably built in the ninth century. The castle served as the seat of the Counts of Flanders until they abandoned it in the 14th century. The castle was then used as a courthouse, a prison and eventually decayed. Houses were built against the walls and even on the courtyard and the stones of the walls were used to erect other buildings. At one time it even served as a textile factory. At the end of the 19th century, the castle was scheduled to be demolished. In 1885 the city of Ghent bought the castle and started a renovation project. The newly built houses were removed and the walls and dungeon were restored to their original condition.
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