Gravensteen, Ghent

4.4
#1 of 252 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
4,840 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • At first, I thought it would be just one of those castles we have seen all around Europe. To tell the truth, there are more impressive castles than that. Yet, the guided tour through the earphones...  more »
  • This was a great experience. The cost was reasonable and included a free audio guide which was both informative and entertaining. The Christmas displays were being created when we visited which added....  more »
Google
  • Incredible fun! The interior of the castle and the exhibits are so beautiful, and the view from the top is truly a sight for sore eyes. A very recommended feature was the audio tour, very entertaining and really brings the castle to life with the stories they tell. Was definitely the highlight of my brussels trip. A must see!
  • Wonderful castle!!! Gravensteen was one of my favorite parts of visiting Ghent. It's full of rich history and the architecture is beautiful. Take the headphone guided tour...it does not disappoint! It's very informative about Gravensteen in an attention-keeping, yet quite humorous manner. It's narrated by a local comedian who put his own spin on the story making it entertaining for people of all ages. I would visit this castle again if I return to Ghent.
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