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VenueGhent University Assembly Hall
Address: Aula, Volderstraat 9, 9000 Gent, Belgium
Specific directions to reach the 'Aula'
Arriving by trainFrom station Ghent Sint-Pieters, you can take tram 1 (every 6 minutes) from the tunnel under the railway station and exit at "Korte Meer", then follow the tram tracks and take the first turn right ("Voldersstraat"). The "Aula" is located 25 m further at your right hand side.
Arriving by carGhent can be easily reached by car as two European motorways (E17 and E40) intersect at Ghent. Parking space in the neighborhood of the “Aula” can be found by following these directions:
Follow the directions to "Gent" / "Gent Centrum" on the freeway. Once you are off the freeway, follow the "P-Route" which goes along the major parking lots in Ghent. The parking lots "Center Parking", (located in "Korte Meer") or "Kouter" are closest to the 'Aula'.
From parking lot "Center Parking": go left in "Korte Meer", take the first turn right ("Voldersstraat").
From parking lot "Kouter": take the exit at the side "Opera/Gerechtsgebouw/Veldstraat", go on through the "Korte Meer", then follow the tram tracks and take the first turn right ("Voldersstraat").
History of the 'Aula'The University of Ghent was founded by William I, king of the Netherlands, on 25 September 1816. Originally there were only four faculties : Philosophy and Arts, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Law, and Medicine. Lectures started on 3 November 1817, with Latin as the language medium. From 1830 to 1923 teaching was exclusively in French (with an interval of Dutch during the First World War), from 1923 partly in French and partly in Dutch, and from 1930 entirely in Dutch. The first stone for the main building, which was inaugurated in 1826, was laid on 4 August 1819 on the site of the former Jesuit monastery. The building was erected in a neo-classical style to plans by the architect Lodewijk Roelandt.
The monumental portal with eight Corintian pillars leads to the reception hall (the Peristyle*), which is surrounded by figures of illustrious professors. A staircase hall decorated with wall paintings of historical scenes gives acces to the great circular Assembly Hall (the Aula**), in the form of an amphitheatre and surrounded by a dome, also supported by Corintian pillars, with a gallery running round it.
* the Peristyle : room for info panels, coffee breaks and lunches