Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Genk is a city located in the Belgian province of Limburg near Hasselt. On January 1st, 2004 Genk had a total population of 63,550 (31,344 males and 32,206 females). The total area is 87.85 km² which gives a population density of 723.35 inhabitants per km².
Genk probably originated as a Celtic village, and was converted to Christianity in the 10th century. It remained unimportant and small until 1901, when André Dumont found a large quantity of coal in the nearby village of As. Soon after, the Black Gold was also found in Genk. The village started to attract a large quantity of both Belgian and foreign immigrants, and quickly became one of the biggest cities in Limburg. However, in 1966 the coal mine of Zwartberg closed down, and Genk developed new industries. The biggest of these nowadays is the Ford Motor Company factory, employing some 10,000 people and building the Ford Mondeo sedan and Ford Transit van. By the end of the 1980s, the two remaining coal mines of Winterslag and Waterschei were also closed. Genk is now the industrial centre of Limburg, harbouring a population consisting of about 60 nationalities. In fact, one third of the population is of a foreign nationality. This mix of Belgian, Mediterranean (mostly Italian) and Arab (mostly Turkish) culture makes Genk into a very multicultural society. In 2000, Genk officially became a city.
The biggest tourist attraction of Genk is Bokrijk , an open air museum consisting of reconstructed 19th century buildings from all over Flanders. In the summer, historical Flanders comes alive in Bokrijk through numerous actors and activities. Also noteworthy are the old coal mines of Zwartberg, Waterschei and Winterslag, accompagnied by huge black mountains of soil and coal remnants that were dug up. Despite its industrial past and present Genk is nicknamed the green city. It sports a nature reserve called "De Maten", the large recreational area Kattevenia, Bokrijk, and some other green areas.
Its soccer 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 soccer league in 1999 and 2002 and won the Belgian cup in 1998 and 2000. Because of this success, the stadion of KRC Genk has become an important centre of both sport and non-sport activities in recent years.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details