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Gasholders in Ghent

Gasholders in Ghent

Two hundred years of gas in Ghent

Two hundred years ago, in 1823, the Ghent city architect Louis Roelandt started establishing the first gas factory on the Waalse Krook, specifically on the site where the Ghent city library now stands.

Gas was produced from oil at the gas plant of the Imperial Continental Gaz Association. The gas was first used for lighting the salons of the better-off Ghent residents, but later, it was used to light up street lamps. From 1830 onwards, Roelandt switched to the distillation of coal to produce gas. However, that process resulted in tar and cyanides seeping into the soil.

Soil remediation

That's why the soil of the Waalse Krook was remediated to a depth of 8 meters before the construction of the new city library could start. Apart from the historical pollution, nothing remains of the gas factory on the Waalse Krook.

Remains 'Compagnie du Gaz de Gand'

On the Ghent Gasmeterlaan, you will discover a striking remnant of the gas factory 'Compagnie du Gaz de Gand,' namely the two gas holders from 1880. The gas produced during the day was stored in these gas holders. In the evening, the gas holders deflated like a balloon when the gas was spread across the city, for example, to light the gas lanterns in the streets.

Two preserved gas holders

The gas factory itself was demolished. But the street name, Gasmeterlaan, and two of the four preserved gas holders still remind us of the urban gas company. They are the only remaining gas holders in Flanders (in this photo before the restoration).


The two gas holders were restored in 2021, demonstrating how these monumental installations functioned.

Wooden structure

The first gas holder's roof was opened by a quarter so that you can still see the wooden structure inside the installation.

Metal construction

Only the metal construction of the second gas holder is still standing. The rest was covered with earth and now forms a meeting place for local residents.

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