Infobox Belgium Municipality


mayor=Jef Gabriels (CD&V)
web= []

Genk is a city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Limburg near Hasselt. The municipality only comprises the city of Genk itself. It is one of the most important industrial cities in Flanders, located on the Albert Canal, between Antwerp and Liège. Genk was recently voted the friendliest city in Europe by the SEA Tourist Commission.


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 mention of 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 until it was annexed by the Prince-Bishopric of Liège in 1365.

20th century development

The village 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. In 1901, 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 Genk had to develop new industries, mainly along the Albert Canal and highways. The most important nowadays is the Ford Motor Company factory.By the end of the 1980s, the two remaining coal mines of Winterslag and Waterschei were also closed.

Automotive industry

The production plant of Ford Motor Company is the largest and most important employer in Genk today, 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.

Genk today

Genk is now the industrial centre of Limburg, offering over 45,000 jobs, making it the third economical city in Belgium,Fact|date=September 2007 and harbouring a population consisting of about 86 nationalities. In fact, one third of the population is of a foreign nationality. This mix of Belgian and Mediterranean (mostly Italian,15000; Turkish,4000; and Greek,1000) culture makes Genk a true multicultural society. In 2000, Genk officially became a city.


*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, historical Flanders comes alive in Bokrijk through numerous actors and re-enactment events.
*Also noteworthy are the old coalmines of Zwartberg, Waterschei and Winterslag, surrounded by huge black mountains of dug up soil and coal remnants. Some of the mine buildings and housing can be visited.
*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" ( _nl. Zonnewijzerpark).
* The Europlanetarium Genk has a planetarium and observatory.


*Genk is the proud 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.
*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.

Famous inhabitants

*Neel Doff, writer (1858-1942)
*Jacques Germeaux, politician and senator (b. 1956)
*Jo Vandeurzen, politician (b. 1958)
*Dirk Medved, football defender (b. 1968)
*Ronny Gaspercic, football goalkeeper (b. 1969)
*Karel Geraerts, football player (b. 1982)
*Benjamin De Ceulaer, football player (b. 1983)


Genk's major football club, K.R.C. Genk, promoted from second division in 1996 and quickly became one of Belgiums top clubs. They finished first in the highest football league in 1999 and 2002 and won the Belgian Cup in 1998 and 2000. Because of this success, the Cristal Arena (before: Fenix stadium) of KRC Genk (place for 25 500 supporters) has become an important centre of both sport and non-sport activities in recent years.

Twin city

*POL :

External links

* [ Official website ] - Only available in Dutch
* [ Official website of soccer club KRC Genk ]
* [ Official website of the Open-Air Museum Bokrijk ]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Genk — Genk …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Genk —   Genk (nl/de) Genk Géolocalisation sur la carte : Belgique …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Genk — Escudo …   Wikipedia Español

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  • Genk —   [xɛȖk], Gemeinde in der Provinz Limburg, Belgien, 62 500 Einwohner; ehemaliger Mittelpunkt des Kohlenbergbaus im belgischen Kempenland; Walzwerk, chemische, Konfektions und Kraftfahrzeugindustrie …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Genk — Original name in latin Genk Name in other language Genck, Genk, Генк State code BE Continent/City Europe/Brussels longitude 50.965 latitude 5.50082 altitude 66 Population 63666 Date 2012 01 18 …   Cities with a population over 1000 database

  • Genk — Sp Geñkas Ap Genk flamandiškai (olandų k. tarme) L Belgija …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • Genk — ► C. del NE de Bélgica, en la prov. de Limburgo; 61 217 h …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Genk (Belgium) — Hotels: NH Molenvijver Hotel Genk (City Centre) …   International hotels

  • KRC Genk — Infobox club sportif KRC Genk …   Wikipédia en Français

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