1913 Ghent
Poster for the exhibition
BIE-classUniversal exposition
CategoryHistorical Expo
NameExposition Universelle et Internationale de Gand 1913
Building(s)Gent-Sint-Pieters railway station
Area130 hectares (320 acres)
Organized byÉmile Coppieters[1]
Coordinates51°02′16.4″N 3°43′12″E / 51.037889°N 3.72000°E / 51.037889; 3.72000
Opening26 April 1913 (1913-04-26)
Closure3 November 1913 (1913-11-03)
Universal expositions
PreviousEsposizione internationale d'industria e de labora in Turin
NextPanama–Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco

The Ghent International Exposition of 1913 (Dutch: Wereldtentoonstelling van 1913 Gent, French: Exposition universelle et internationale de 1913 Gand) was a world's fair held in Ghent, Belgium, from 26 April to 3 November 1913.[2]


A number of buildings were completed for the occasion. Notably, Gent-Sint-Pieters railway station was completed in 1912 in time for the exposition,[3] and was situated opposite the new hotel, Flandria Palace.[4] A park, Citadelpark, was redesigned for the fair. The exposition was held on an area of 130 hectares (320 acres), which was larger than Expo 58 in Brussels.[5] Various Belgian cities had a pavilion and an artificial town, called "Oud Vlaenderen" (Old Flanders) was created.[6]

Panorama of the exposition of 1913 by Armand Heins

The four sons of Aymon statue, depicting Reinout, Adelaert, Ritsaert and Writsaert on their horse, Beyaert, was erected on the central approach avenue to the exposition.[7]

In preparation for the exhibition, renovations were made in the centre of Ghent, including a large number of houses on the Graslei.[8][9] Some years beforen the neo-gothic St Michael's Bridge had been built to provide visitors to the exhibition with a vantage point to view the town,[10] the post office[11] and the Korenmarkt (Wheat Market) had been built, and the carved heads now arrayed around it represented the rulers who attended the exhibition (including Florence Nightingale).[10] The construction of the exhibition was controversial and ended on the eve of World War I with serious debts.[12]

During the fair, an international conference on urban planning was held, organised by Paul Saintenoy, Emile Vinck, and Paul Otlet.[1]

Belgium's first aerial postage service was operated from 1 May to 25 August by Henri Crombez during the exposition.[13]

Greek confectionery maker Leonidas Kestekides attended the fair, and then settled permanently in Belgium and founded the Leonidas chocolate company.

In the last of such type of human zoo stagings,[citation needed] part of a group of 53 Igorot tribesmen from Bontoc, Mountain Province, 28-year-old Filipino Timicheg was "displayed" and died here of tuberculosis[14] or flu.[15] A tunnel in the Gent-Sint-Pieters railway station renovation project is named after him.


The participating nations included: Algeria, Austria, Canada, the Congo, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, the Netherlands, Persia, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Tunisia and the United States

See also


  1. ^ a b William Whyte (ed.), Ghent Planning Congress 1913: Premier Congrès International et Exposition Comparée des Villes (Abingdon and New York, 2014), p. viii.
  2. ^ Davy Depelchin, "The Ghent Universal and International Exhibition of 1913: Reconciling Historicism, Modernity and Exoticism", in Cultures of International Exhibitions 1840-1940, edited by Marta Filipova (Farnham, 2015), p. 185. Partial preview on Google Books.
  3. ^ "Ghent 1913". History. The Side Isle. 31 August 2010. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  4. ^ "The World Exhibition of 1913". History of Ghent. City of Ghent. 18 October 2001. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  5. ^ "Ons Volk Ontwaakt: De Wereldtentoonstelling te Gent". Users.skynet.be. 6 April 1913. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  6. ^ "Ons Volk Ontwaakt: Een kijkje in de Wereldtentoonstelling van Gent". Users.skynet.be. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2013.
  7. ^ "The four 'Heemskinderen' - statue". Ghent - Statues. citytripplanner. Retrieved 8 December 2010.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ The World of 1913 Archived 2011-01-01 at the Wayback Machine on gent.be
  9. ^ Balthazar, Herman (Autumn 2008). "Brussels World Fair – "Expo '58"". Ghent University Library. Archived from the original on 11 August 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  10. ^ a b Phil Lee, Rough Guide Directions Bruges & Ghent, Rough Guides, p. 115, ISBN 978-1-85828-631-0
  11. ^ THE/1/464.cmVjPTQ0MTM4.html The Post Office Archived 2011-07-19 at the Wayback Machine at gent.be
  12. ^ "De flop van 1913 - Miserie troef op de Gentse wereldexpo". Tiens Tiens. Stadskrant TiensTiens. 16 December 2007. Archived from the original on 10 January 2011. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  13. ^ Cooper, Ralph. "Henri Crombez -1960". from CONTACT by Henry Serrano Villard, p. 189. The Early Birds of Aviation, Inc. Retrieved 8 December 2010.
  14. ^ "Timicheg". pinoy-ofw.com. 13 May 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  15. ^ "De Timichegtunnel in Gent". radio1.be. 14 December 2010. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 24 October 2012.