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Gravensteen, Ghent

4.4
#1 of 260 in Museums in Flanders
Must see · Castle · History Museum
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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
TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
5,201 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • This castle was great, except that it was almost entirely empty. There was nothing anywhere, except people. And some weird artwork. And a good armoury if you like that sort of thing. Great for... 
    This castle was great, except that it was almost entirely empty. There was nothing anywhere, except people. And some weird artwork. And a good armoury if you like that sort of thing. Great for...  more »
  • Just the quintessential castle experience - picture-perfect castle look literally right on the river. The castle's condition is impressive and our only trepidation was the "comedy" audio tour that... 
    Just the quintessential castle experience - picture-perfect castle look literally right on the river. The castle's condition is impressive and our only trepidation was the "comedy" audio tour that...  more »
  • Loved the hysterical audio tour - this is a gorgeous castle and we enjoyed visiting very much. the torture chamber was really scary and the commentary helped us understand what we were looking at... 
    Loved the hysterical audio tour - this is a gorgeous castle and we enjoyed visiting very much. the torture chamber was really scary and the commentary helped us understand what we were looking at...  more »
Google
  • The castle is a must visit when you're in Gent.. The city view from above is captivating.. Reserve your ticket online to avoid the tickets line. If you have a stroller, get ready that you will have to leave it by the gate and carry your child along the castle.. The Audio Guide there is one of the best audio guides i ever listened to!! The story is very well written and told.. Overall, i enjoyed my visit very much.
  • I had the opportunity to visit this mystery castle around walking and in a boat and the experience was fabulous. I could not do the interior of the Castle tour and the torture museum but the exterior tour was totally majestic. All the surrounding areas was very clean and in good condition.
  • A beautiful old castle. Incredibly well kept. The audio tour was interesting and very humorous, although at times quite dark (depictions of torture and death) so not always suitable for younger children or sensitive adults. The place is really well kept, and there's a lovely gift shop on site which is in a beautiful old hall within the castle itself. I recommend taking your time here, don't just rush around it, especially as it operates on a one-way system so once you've left a part you won't be able to return to it.
  • Amazing medieval castles with lots to see and amazing art inside! I paid €7 for a student price. They offer a free audio tour guide. You can spend 1-2 hours inside! Make sure you go all the way to the top for an amazing view of Ghent!
  • It’s a must visit when in Ghent. The medieval fortress was very well maintained. The ticket includes an audio guide which offers multiple languages. It appears Ghent really welcomes international tourists. The audio guide is well curated with a touch of humor to tell the story of the history of the castle and its former owner. The tour follows a well organized and clearly directed route. At the end it leads you to the top of the fortress which provides a fantastic bird’s eye view to the charming city of Ghent. Allow yourself a 60-90 minutes for the visit.

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