Genk - A coalmine city that has become a green city
Genk Travel Blog› entry 80 of 354 › view all entries
When I entered Genk the first thing that struck me was that this must be a very young city compared to a lot of the other cities I had visited. The city centre was brand new and was anyway pleased with what I found. It felt like they had tried to build in soul in this young city. There were a lot of squares, the main street wasn’t straight and there were green areas everywhere. But one thing is for sure if you are looking for the Belgian authenticity, then the city centre is not place to search, actually Genk officially only became a city in year 2000.
Genk is today the industrial centre of Limburg, offering over 45,000 jobs, making it the third economical city in Belgium, and harbouring a population consisting of about 86 nationalities. In fact, one third of the population is of a foreign nationality.
The biggest tourist attraction and the place where you can find some Flanders 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 here through numerous actors and re-enactment events.
Also noteworthy are the old and closed 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 The Green City.