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Gravensteen, Ghent

#1 of 249 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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5,062 reviews
  • I have visited many castles in Europe and I must say thta this is one of the best. The entrance is 12 euros including the audio guide, which was funny and interesting. Imagine maybe 2 hours if you...  more »
  • Gravensteen is an awesome castle. We directly came to see it right from the Gent-Sint-Pieters railway station! A must! :-)  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.

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