Trip Planner:   Europe  /  Belgium  /  Flanders  /  East Flanders Province  /  Ghent  /  Historic Sites  /  Gravensteen Castle
Gravensteen Castle, Ghent
(4.2/5 based on 2,400+ reviews on the web)
Modeled after crusaders' castles, Gravensteen Castle 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. Arrange your visit to Gravensteen Castle and discover more family-friendly attractions in Ghent using our Ghent vacation generator.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This castle does not just rely on its architecture, which is very impressive, but goes out of its way to interest visitors with varied exhibits and engaging decor. We went near Christmas, so the castl...  more »
  • The castle is impressive and I liked very much, due to lack of time I could see it on the outside but also you can enjoy, one of the icons of Ghent, and for me is essential to your visit.
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  • You can learn more about the city's history, with exhibitions of ancient objects, from medieval times. The view of the city from the castle is also very beautiful.
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Google
  • Ghent is a beautiful city, and Gravensteen was a lot of fun. Don't go into it expecting a full blown castle with decor and tons of informational plaques. It is more of a museum with some amazing medieval weapons and old school torture devices. The city views from the top of Gravensteen are beautiful. We stayed in Brussels and took the train in to Ghent, which was really easy, and it made for a great day outside of Brussels. It is worth a visit if you are into medieval history and castles.
  • Easily the best thing to do in all of Ghent. The castle is not very crowded, admission is very reasonable and you are free to explore as you wish. The inside is preserved very well, and the torture contraptions on display are a little frightening, but very interesting nonetheless. You can climb around the castle walls and so many other things. Will never forget this castle!
  • The castle is beautiful and we talk to the child in you. Same as you could imagine from fairy-tale. The museum is interesting although a bit static. Mind your kids in the torture room: they might ask questions! The view from the top is great: you can admire the whole Ghent up to the harbour.
  • Very nice monument right in the city center. Free for -19 youngsters! Great view from the castle walls, nice collection of medieval weapons and equipment
  • This was a great first castle to visit! There is a museum inside and well worth the ten euros a person if you are interested in learning about medieval times and love panoramic views! The ten euros is worth it for the view alone! You can go to several different areas to see the surrounding city of Ghent. I would highly recommend going to the top if you enjoy views of cities! I also wanted to see this castle because it was featured in The White Queen on BBC.