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Gravensteen, Ghent

4.4
#1 of 261 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 4.5
5,218 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Considering that Gravensteen is the number 1 listed attraction in Ghent on TripAdvisor, we expected much more. The 12th century stone castle is indeed really cool from the outside, but the interior.....  more
    Considering that Gravensteen is the number 1 listed attraction in Ghent on TripAdvisor, we expected much more. The 12th century stone castle is indeed really cool from the outside, but the interior.....  more »
  • We really enjoyed the audio guide to this fabulous castle. It's in a lot of languages but the script written by two Belgian comedians. A little bit of poetic license has been no doubt taken but it... 
    We really enjoyed the audio guide to this fabulous castle. It's in a lot of languages but the script written by two Belgian comedians. A little bit of poetic license has been no doubt taken but it...  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.
  • Fascinating history. We were so glad we had a chance to visit the castle but the audio tour could have been much better. It tried to entertain, and I understand that no one knows exactly what went on in each of the rooms, but the droning on about everything but the actual castle's history was a waste of time. Regardless, it's fun to wind up and down the staircases, imaging what it must have been like to live here. And we loved the armory and dungeon. There are lots of steps, but worth it for the great views from the top!

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