Gent, often spelled Ghent, is located where the Leie River flows into the Scheldt River. A city of exquisite art, architecture and political history, Gent was offically founded with the establishment of a stone fortress near the present location of Gravensteen castle, around 1,000 CE, but the confluence of these two major rivers was an attractive spot that had been populated since prehistory. The people of Gent have risen up in rebellion against oppressive rule numerous times over the ages, and the stories of these revolts are commemorated and documented in many landmarks and museums. The most notorious such uprising, in 1576, resulted in a document known as the "Pacification of Gent", which secured the withdrawal of the troops of King Phillip II of Spain.
Gent has a population of 250,000, making it the largest city in the province of Oost-Vlaanderen, and one of the five largest in Belgium.