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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Tours to Gravensteen
$29 BOOK WITH VIATOR Discover historical + authentic Ghent & taste world-famous Belgian chocolate
Duration: 2 hours
$78 BOOK WITH VIATOR Tasting Belgian beer on water with our beer game - recommended for big groups
Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes
This was a great place to visit, especially on a rainy day. The audio tour was very helpful. It is a self-guided tour. Not many artifacts on site, but it is worth 30-45 minutes of time when in Ghent. more »
The one-hour audio tour was funny and informative. Buy tickets in advance--they were sold out when we tried to buy tickets at the castle. 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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