’t Zuid or ‘South’ is the local name for the busy, vibrant neighbourhood radiating out in all directions from the neo-baroque Zuidpark. You really sense that people work hard and play hard behind the façades of this buzzing hive of activity. Huge, imposing buildings like the Urbis complex, which houses the shopping centre, are a striking nod to Ghent’s image as a vibrant city. Let yourself be drawn into the trendy vibe of this buzzing urban scene!
The old library stands on Woodrow Wilsonplein, next to the city’s administrative buildings. The book collection has now moved just across the water to its new home in the phenomenal architecture of De Krook, beside the Muinkschelde arm of the river. Adjacent to Woodrow Wilsonplein is Graaf van Vlaanderenplein, where the renovated Capitole theatre stands. Catch a musical or contemporary theatre play behind this listed neoclassical façade. The theatre has also built up a reputation in recent years as a great place for a relaxed evening of stand-up comedy. Highly recommended to tickle your funny bone!
The statue of Edward Anseele (1856-1938), one of the founders of the socialist party and the founder of the newspaper Dagblad Vooruit, is located at Frankrijkplein. In 1918 he became a minister in the first post-war government and in that same period he was also appointed Acting Mayor, substituting Emile Braun, who had been taken to Germany. This expressionist artwork was entirely hand-carved.
The name ’t Zuid refers to the former Zuid station. It was closed down in 1928 when the brand new Gent-Sint-Pieters railway station was built. The former station was situated south-east of the mediaeval city centre, which is how it got its name. Until the middle of the 20th century, ‘t Zuid was the focal point of Ghent nightlife. As the art nouveau buildings gradually lost their sparkle, the neighbourhood was modernised bit by bit. Fortunately, there are still remnants of its former grandeur.
What’s near here?
’t Zuid is part of Ghent’s ‘arts quarter’, along with the Bijloke site, St Peter’s site and Citadelpark site. The central point of this area of Ghent is the Book Tower.
Just a short walk away from ’t Zuid are several of Ghent’s important centres of culture, such as the S.M.A.K., the Museum of Fine Arts, the Minard Theatre and, last but not least, the Vooruit!