(Dutch pronunciation: [ɣɛŋk]) is a city and municipality
located in the Belgian province of Limburg near Hasselt. The
municipality only comprises the city of
itself. It is one of the
most important industrial cities in Flanders, located on the Albert
54% of the inhabitants are of foreign origin from about 85 different
nationalities, mostly Italians, Turks, and Greeks.
1.1 Celtic and medieval origins
1.2 19th century
1.3 20th century development
7 Famous and notable inhabitants
8 Twin cities
11 External links
Celtic and medieval origins
Genk probably originated as a Celtic village, and was converted to
Christianity in the 10th century. The remains of a little wooden
church dating from that period were found in the area. The first
Genk as Geneche can be found in a document dating from
1108, ceding the territory to the Abbey of Rolduc. Politically, Genk
belonged to the
County of Loon
County of Loon until it was annexed by the
Liège in 1365.
During a century of on-going industrialisation further south in
Belgium, Limburg modernised only slowly:
Genk remained unimportant and
small, growing slowly to a population of 2,000 around 1900. The
peaceful village was the home of landscape painters and writers such
as Neel Doff.
20th century development
André Dumont found a large quantity of coal in the nearby
village of As. Soon after, the "Black Gold" was also found in Genk.
After World War I, the village started to attract a large quantity of
both Belgian and foreign immigrants, and quickly became the biggest
city in Limburg after Hasselt, peaking to a population of 70 000.
However, in 1966 the coal mine of Zwartberg closed down, and
to develop new industries, mainly along the
Albert Canal and highways.
By the end of the 1980s, the two remaining coal mines at Winterslag
and Waterschei were also closed.
Genk officially became a city.
Genk was recently voted the
friendliest city in Europe by the SEA Tourist Commission.[citation
Genk is the industrial centre of the province of Limburg and offers
over 45,000 jobs, making it economically the third most significant
city in Flanders.
Genk was a quiet village with around 2,000 residents. At that
Genk was known for its beautiful nature, popular among artists
and painters who used
Genk as a setting for their pieces. In 1901,
coal was discovered in
Genk and three mining sites were developed:
Zwartberg, Waterschei and Winterslag (C-mine today). As a result, the
population grew exponentially: today
Genk has about 65,000 inhabitants
with 107 different ethnic backgrounds. The mines had some good years,
but in 1966 the Zwartberg mine closed, followed by Winterslag (C-mine
today) in 1986 and Waterschei in 1987.
Genk Body & Assembly factory of
Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company was the
largest and most important employer in
Genk until recently, employing
some 5,000 people and building the Mondeo sedan and hatchback, the
Galaxy (second generation, from 2006 and onwards) MPV/minivan, and the
S-MAX sub-MPV. The factory closed in 2014.
The city went looking for new opportunities for the enormous mine
sites on its territory, including the Winterslag site. In 2000, the
idea began to grow to accommodate a creative hub in the buildings of
the old coal mine of Winterslag. In 2001, the city of
Genk bought the
site from LRM (Limburgse Reconversie Maatschappij) and the name
"C-mine" was born in 2005. As regards content, the creative hub works
on four cornerstones: education, creative economy, creative recreation
and artistic creation and presentation. With a university college
specialised in various artistic graduation subjects, an incubator for
young entrepreneurs, a cultural centre, a design centre, a cinema,
C-mine expedition, etc. the C-mine mission has succeeded. It has
created 330 jobs in 42 companies and organisations, including around
200 jobs in the creative sector in 33 creative companies.
Each day, C-mine produces: games, apps, websites, sets for television,
drones, light shows, design items, stage productions, etc. C-mine is a
site of creative makers in each of the four segments.
Companies in C-Mine:
Pingvalue.com : Pingvalue is a vibrant social community of local
members all over the world that share what they love most about their
E-nventors Lab / C-mine crib : E-nventors Lab is the research
& development department of E-nvention that examines the latest
Chateau of the
The biggest tourist attraction of
Genk is Bokrijk, an open-air museum
consisting of authentic relocated buildings (mainly dating from 17th
till 19th century) from all over Flanders. In the summer season,
Flanders comes alive in
Bokrijk through numerous actors and
Genk was established as one of the entrance "gateways" of the Hoge
Kempen National Park, the first
National Park in Flanders, at its
opening in 2006.
Also noteworthy are the old coalmines of Zwartberg, Waterschei and
Winterslag, surrounded by slag heaps, huge black mountains of dug up
soil and coal remnants. Some of the mine buildings and housing can be
Despite its industrial past and present,
Genk is nicknamed 'De Groene
Stad' (The Green City). It sports a nature reserve called "De Maten",
the large recreational area Kattevennen (with the Europlaneterium),
Bokrijk, and several other green areas. In sunny weather, you may also
want to pay a visit to the
Sundial Park (Dutch: Zonnewijzerpark). The
history of the landscape painters who visited
Genk between 1840 and
1940 can be discovered in the Museum Emile Van Doren.
Europlanetarium Genk has a planetarium and observatory.
Genk was home of Motives Festival, an annual event taking place in
November and celebrating "new sounds of jazz." Recent performers have
included the fiery piano jazz of Esbjörn Svensson Trio, funky saxman
Joshua Redman, and futuristic electronics wizard Leafcutter John.
Another musical event,
Genk on Stage, takes place during three days in
the summer. This festival is celebrated no more.
Genk is also rich in tradition, with a colourful carnival taking place
around Ash Wednesday, the May celebrations featuring the May Queen, a
flowers parade and a huge fireworks finale, and finally the Saint
Martin procession, in honour of Saint Martin of Tours, one of the most
popular saints in Flanders.
Genk was host to Manifesta, The roving European Biennial of
Contemporary Art, together with events such as the biennial of Venice
and the Documenta in Kassel,
Manifesta is one of the foremost art
events of Europe.[needs update]
Besides the Albert Canal,
Genk has rail service to
Hasselt and a small
airport (EBZW) 6 km (3.7 mi) northeast of the town center.
De Lijn is the sole bus transport service provider within Genk.
Genk's major football club, KRC Genk, promoted from the second
division in 1996 and quickly became one of Belgium's top clubs. They
finished first in the highest football league in 1999, 2002 and 2011
and won the
Belgian Cup in 1998, 2000, 2009 and 2013. Because of this
Luminus Arena (formerly known as Fenix Stadium and
Cristal Arena) of KRC
Genk (place for 25 500 supporters) has become an
important centre of both sport and non-sport activities in recent
years. In the season 2016-2017 KRC
Genk reached the quarter-finals of
the Uefa Europa league by defeating
K.A.A. Gent over two legs. One of
which was a 5-2 win.
Karting Genk is a kart racing
CIK FIA track. In 2011 they held the
Famous and notable inhabitants
Neel Doff, writer (1858–1942)
Jacques Germeaux, former politician and former senator (b. 1956)
Peter Vanhoutte, former politician and former
Belgian MP (b. 1956)
Martin Margiela, fashion designer (b. 1957)
Jo Vandeurzen, politician and
Minister of Health in the flemish Region
Dirk Medved, football defender (b. 1968)
Ronny Gaspercic, football goalkeeper (b. 1969)
Karel Geraerts, footballer (b. 1982)
Benjamin De Ceulaer, footballer (b. 1983)
Siglo XX, 1980's
Built in 1844, Stationsstraat 13, Genk
The Old Town Hall, built in neoclassical style
Train station Genk-Goederen
"Mine cathedral" of Christ the King
Headstock at the former Winterslag Colliery
^ Population per municipality as of 1 January 2017 (XLS; 397 KB)
Genk humiliate AA Gent in Europa League clash",
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Genk.
Official website – Only available in Dutch
Official website of soccer club KRC Genk
Official website of the Open-Air Museum Bokrijk
Official website of C-Mine Genk
Official website of Pingvalue
Places adjacent to Genk
Municipalities in the province of Limburg, Flanders, Belgium