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Gravensteen, Ghent

#1 of 250 in Museums in Flanders
Must see · Castle · History Museum
Modeled after crusaders' castles, Gravensteen dates back to the Middle Ages. Up until the 14th century, the castle acted as the seat of the counts of Flanders, later becoming a courthouse, a prison, and a factory. In 1885, the city of Ghent purchased the castle, saving it from demolition. The city renovated the castle, restoring the walls and dungeon to near-original condition. Inside, visit two museums displaying medieval tools. The arms museum showcases medieval weapons, such as swords, crossbows, and bludgeons. Explore the museum of judicial objects for an exhibit of torture devices, including shackles, a torture wheel, thumb screws, and more disturbing objects. Climb the narrow spiral staircase to the top for a view of Ghent below. A visit to Gravensteen represents just the start of the adventure when you use our Ghent trip itinerary planner to plot your vacation.
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Gravensteen reviews

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5,040 reviews
  • Well... Nothing special. It's a bit broken castle with empty rooms with primitive drawings. More impressive outside than inside. Many people liked audio guide but for me it was boring. However, it.....  more »
  • Learn the story behind its construction and all the horrors that took place within mixed with a great love story all with a fun audio guide written by a Belgian comedian. Our favorite site in Ghent.....  more »
  • This was our favorite building in all of Ghent, a city that had so much character and stunning architecture. We actually ate lunch at restaurant Neptune directly next to it. The castle is beautiful...  more »
  • Great castle to visit with kids. A lot of the castle is accessible which makes it a fun place to explore for the kids. Very safe and well-maintained. From the top of the tower you have some great views over Ghent. The ramparts on the first level don’t have a safety fence on the courtyard side however; so caution is advised as gusts of wind might push you towards the edge.
  • The Gravensteen is a medieval castle at Ghent, East Flanders in Belgium. The current castle dates from 1180 and was the residence of the Counts of Flanders until 1353. It was subsequently re-purposed as a court, prison, mint, and even as a cotton factory. You can make a tour inside the castle and have a very nice view to the city. many restaurants and coffee shops in the area, and you can reach it by bus or tram. highly recommended.
  • Spent a brilliant afternoon here, enjoying the amazing castle and the wonderful accompanying audio guide! The audio tour was full of interesting facts and was really brought to life by the humour of the narrator. We were laughing constantly as we walked around. Some lovely views from the top too. All in all, great place to spend a few hours!
  • One of the rare castles which are interesting. Taking the audio tour is a must. The audio tour makes it really interesting to explore the castle, rife with all details. It is a very nice place for kids as well.. There are settings within the palace where kids can play well. And for you, it's like a treasure hunt... exploring the castle by the numbers. Esp in the evening, it is lit very beautifully
  • Seen enough museums and cathedrals then you are ready for this castle. Haven't seen many castles in Belgium so it was best thing in Ghent for me. Quirky commentary. €12 entry per adult probably good value. Recommend a visit but there are difficult staircases to negotiate so it won't suit everyone. Enough to amuse the kids for an hour.

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