One hundred years ago Ghent was still a lively industrial city, with smoking chimney stacks and densely populated working-class districts. The Museum of Industry near Vrijdagmarkt transports you to that industrial past and needs to be on your to-do list for your city trip.

About people and machines

With the main exhibition “About people and machines” the Museum of Industry tells the story of the industrial revolutions. You will discover how steam and electricity revolutionised industrial life. How women and children worked barefooted in the factories and how the first migrant workers came to join the local factory workers in the 1950s. Ghent's glorious textile past is the central theme of the exhibition.

Jenny spins a tale of industrial espionage

Did you know? Ghent was the first city where the industrial revolution took hold on the continent, after the United Kingdom, at the end of the 18th century. The British government was terrified of espionage and guarded its technological progress by banning the export of machines. But it hadn’t reckoned with Lieven Bauwens, who smuggled the components of a ‘Spinning Mule’ out of the country in 1798 in sacks of coffee and flour. The ‘Spinning Mule’ or ‘Spinning Jenny’ is a spinning machine that can still be admired at the Museum of Industry in Ghent.

In addition to the “Mule Jenny" or spinning mule, you can also admire Europe’s oldest conserved twine mill, dating from 1789, as well as the “self-actor”, a gigantic spinning machine.

A living museum

In addition to the main exhibition, the museum features two other exhibitions with working machines. In “Three centuries of graphic industry”, you will discover the drastic changes the printing industry has experienced over the past 300 years. In the pressroom – where the presses are still working – you will be able to watch passionate printers and graphic designers at work at regular intervals.

“100% Textile” shows you how textile used to be produced.  You can follow the entire process, from cotton fluff to towel. With humming spinning machines and rattling looms. The exhibition also introduces you to modern textile production and techniques. For textile is omnipresent. And for centuries, people of all cultures have spun, woven, tufted, embroidered, made bobbin lace, sewn and knitted. Watch the artisans at work!

The Museum of Industry: industrial heritage in Ghent

The Museum of Industry is housed in an old cotton mill. Enjoy a magnificent view of the city from the highest floor of this transparent building. The museum also features a device you can use to scan the skyline and discover the industrial past of the buildings you see.

Museum of Industry in Ghent: mega kid-friendly!

If you’re out in Ghent on a weekend break with your children, this is the ideal museum to visit with your curious kids. Explore everything together.

Do you fancy making your own mini zine? It is possible at the Museum of Industry.

In the Tinker Studio, you can create fun things with all sorts of materials.


You can enjoy a snack or a drink in L'Usine before or after your visit to the museum.

Museum shop

The Museum of Industry is making a series of products that can be bought in the museum shop. They are made by people of today with machines and techniques of the past. The products include tea towels, pot-holders, aprons, bibs, pencil cases, bags, coasters and tote bags. You can also buy books, postcards, notebooks, posters, yarns and fabrics. The museum shop is located near the reception. It is freely accessible.

Online ticketing Museum of Industry

Prefer not to wait in line at the ticket booth? Want to be sure you can discover the Museum of Industry when you want to? Then book your tickets online in advance and enjoy your visit to the fullest.

Book your tickets here!

Out in a group?

You can schedule your group visit online through the link below. The staff at BOEKjeBEZOEK will get back to you as soon as possible with all the necessary the details of your reservation.

Book your group visit online
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CityCard Gent: a must-have for your visit to Ghent

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