The IM 2013 conference will take place in the city of Ghent. Ghent is located in the northern, Dutch speaking, part of Belgium close to Brussels and Bruges. The city is home to a beautiful and authentic historic city centre. It is well known for its large shopping facilities, fashion, Belgian chocolate shops, boat tours, museums and historical buildings. In 2011, The Lonely Planet ranked Ghent 7th in the top 10 cities worth visiting. In the November 2008 issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine, Ghent was chosen as the 3rd most authentic historical destination world-wide.
Much of the city's medieval architecture is remarkably well preserved and restored. Its centre is the largest carfree area in Belgium. Interesting highlights are the Saint Bavo Cathedral with the Ghent Altarpiece, the belfry, the Gravensteen castle, and the splendid architecture along the old Graslei harbour. Ghent established a nice blend between comfort of living and history – it is not a city-museum. The city of Ghent houses also three béguinages and numerous churches, among which the Saint-Jacobs church and the Saint-Nicolas Church as the most beautiful examples. The beguinages, as well as the belfry and adjacent cloth hall were recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites in 1998 and 1999.
For more information about Ghent, please visit http://www.visitgent.be.