Gravensteen, Ghent

4.3
#1 of 253 in Museums in Flanders
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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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
4,371 reviews
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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • A most surprising castle, lots of local & national history associated with it. The thing that makes it fantastic is the Audio Guide. Best I have ever had. Amusing and informative.  more »
  • On a recent visit to Ghent we spent a couple of hours looking around this medieval castle. There was a wonderful audio guide. the history of the castle was very interesting. The view of Ghent from the...  more »
  • In the middle of the pretty port city of Ghent lies the most powerful medieval water castle in Flanders. In the Grafenburg there is a unique collection of torture tools. The architecture is simply outstanding.
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  • The castle breathes history and is well preserved. Don't pass on the audio guide, recorded by a local comedian who takes you through the castle in the most hilarious (but informative!) way imaginable. Great fun for kids but arguably more fun for adults. The great view from the towers is a bonus ;)
  • Visit a castle inside Ghent! Located right in the city center. Features an entertaining audio tour with a local comedian doing the narration. Also all labels are well explaining the items on display. Well recommended, not the least for the great view from the top of the castle
  • A beautiful castle really untouched by the 1000 years passed! Twice the height of the surrounding buildings! The walk through the castle was really inspiring, especially in a cloudy day that really matched its style! The audio guide is what makes the whole experience even more amazing, as it is really funny and at the same time really informative, narrating stories and interesting facts! Definitely a MUST visit of Gent!
  • An ancient castle in a perfect condition. Its walls are soaked with history. Not really a big one but we easily spent 3 hours inside because of the provided audio guide. The story recorded is witty, interesting, with references to the present day and with funny sound effects and medieval music. Children like it a lot. And you are met by a knight in armour right at the gate! This is a children friendly place because youngsters up to 19 enjoy free entrance. When in Gent take your chance and touch the history)))
  • In the heart of Gent. Audio guide comes with the entrance fee and is highly recommended. There’s lots to learn about the history of Gent and the castle in a funny and entertaining way! Great view from the top all over Gent. Unfortunately lots of stairs, so very little accessible. It’s definitely a must when you visit Gent!
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