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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
5,104 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • We visited the castle and took the audio tour. The audio was entertaining and well done without being 'dumbed down' so it was enjoyable to go round the castle. The views from the top are great. 
    We visited the castle and took the audio tour. The audio was entertaining and well done without being 'dumbed down' so it was enjoyable to go round the castle. The views from the top are great.  more »
  • We just went to Ghent on a whim for a side trip on a vacation to Brussels, Bruges and Paris, and thanks to Gravensteen, it was probably our favorite town on the entire trip (it was snowing in paris... 
    We just went to Ghent on a whim for a side trip on a vacation to Brussels, Bruges and Paris, and thanks to Gravensteen, it was probably our favorite town on the entire trip (it was snowing in paris...  more »
Google
  • It's a really nice Castle. Very well restored for visits. The audio guide is a must and very well done but at the end of the tour, the voice was getting on my nerves. There should be a shorter version with just the facts. Stopped listening from point 12 and onward...
  • We loved this experience. Make sure you bring ear phones with a single prong to plug into the small "voice box" that narrates the castle as you go through. The narrator is hilarious. Make sure you have at least 2 hours to complete the tour and see everything. Highly recommend.

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