City Center (Picture: Léz-Arts)
Leading French port on the North Sea, with Europe’s largest energy transit facilities, lying at the heart of a population basin in excess of 200,000, Dunkirk is deeply rooted in its industrial and maritime tradition, all the while making great headways in sustainable development, with a first prize awarded by Europe to show for it. Head office of the Opal Coast University which has over 11,000 students, Dunkirk also attracts thousands of tourists who flock each year to the « Dunes of Flanders » beaches, 15 km of fine sand, and to the banks of the Aa river for a leisurely stroll. Dunkirk has a long tradition of festive atmosphere, notably with its quite unique carnival. Opening up to France, Europe and the world, Dunkirk is more than ever proving to be the land of great horizons. Greater Dunkirk stands ready to welcome teams preparing for the 2012 Olympics.
Bubbling and authentic, Gent is a city in which it is a pleasure to live and work. Discover its historical architecture, its contemporary events, its famous museums, its culinary tradition and its lively nightlife. In the Middle Ages, Gent was the second biggest city after Paris. Its three towers: the belfry, Saint-Nicolas’ church and Saint-Bavon cathedral – which houses the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb – and the banks of its delightful medieval port reflect this glorious epoch. Today, these areas bubble with life, particularly during the Gent festival, the largest urban festival in Europe. Gent is a festival-going city par excellence, with the classical music festival, the « Festival van Vlaanderen », the Flanders International Film Festival, the Blue Note Records Festival… The pedestrian town centre incites you to wander through its shopping area, to take a seat at a terrace or to discover the Château des Comtes.