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Gravensteen

One of the only remaining medieval castles in Flanders, this historic fortress provides a fascinating insight into the weaponry, culture, and drama of Ghent’s past. 

Gravensteen, also known as the “Castle of the Count,” is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. The castle is a characteristic medieval fortress complete with twisting staircases, a dungeon surrounded by high walls and a protective moat. In addition to being an interesting example of centuries-old architecture, the restored castle houses several museum collections. Enjoy gorgeous views over the city.

The Count of Flanders, Philip of Alsace, constructed the castle as a defensive fortress in the late 12th century. After his death, it became a luxury residence for the Counts of Flanders. The building later served as a prison and then as an industrial complex beginning in the 19th century. See how it was restored to its medieval grandeur in the early 20th century. It opened to the public in 1907.

Try the castle’s “movie guide,” a virtual tour presented by two historical figures, novelist Chrétien de Troyes and aristocrat Simon Saphi. The guide explores the history of the castle and explains various aspects of medieval tradition and culture. This interactive tour is particularly popular with families and children.

Ventureinside the castle’s former torture chamber, which now serves as a museum dedicated to judicial objects. Between the 14th and 18th centuries, the castle grounds were used for the torture, judgment and execution of prisoners. Inspect the iron collars, neck restraints and thumbscrews of the museum’s fascinating but grisly collection.

Browse the exhibits of the equally engaging but far less chilling arms museum, which showcases the various weapons once used in medieval warfare. In one of the most impressive arms collections in the country, look for pistols decorated with ivory and pearls, weighty coats of mail and powerful crossbows. 

In warmer months, climb the ramparts of the castle’s tall central building. At the top, you can see a striking view over Ghent.

Gravensteen is open daily throughout the year with regular holiday closures. Arrive by bus or tram. Admission is free for children under 13 years of age. 


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Top Hotel Deals

See all 212 properties near Gravensteen Castle
Getaway Studios Gent £38
Getaway Studios Gent

Getaway Studios Gent

2 Seminariestraat, Ghent
     
    0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in the heart of Ghent, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Episcopal Palace and Gravensteen Castle. Castle of Gerald the Devil and Van Eyck Swimming Pool are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 14 minutes by foot.

    NH Gent Belfort £98
    NH Gent Belfort

    NH Gent Belfort

    Hoogpoort 63, Ghent
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Ghent City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Ghent Town Hall and Gravensteen Castle. Court of Ryhove and Graffiti Street are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 16 minutes by foot.

      Hotel Harmony £130
      Hotel Harmony

      Hotel Harmony

      Kraanlei 37, Ghent
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Ghent City Centre, this romantic hotel is steps away from Kraanlei and Gravensteen Castle. House of Alijn and Big Cannon are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 17 minutes by foot.

        Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Reylof Ghent £135
        Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Reylof Ghent

        Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Reylof Ghent

        Hoogstraat 36, Ghent
           
          4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in the heart of Ghent, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of School of Yesteryear and Gravensteen Castle. St. Michael's Church and Monastery of the Carmelite Fathers are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 25 minutes by foot.

          Ghent Marriott Hotel £127
          Ghent Marriott Hotel

          Ghent Marriott Hotel

          Korenlei 10, Ghent
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Ghent City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Design Museum Ghent and Gravensteen Castle. Great Butchers' Hall and St. Michael's Bridge are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 22 minutes by foot.

            Hotel Gravensteen £73
            Hotel Gravensteen

            Hotel Gravensteen

            Jan Breydelstraat 35, Ghent
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Ghent City Centre, this hotel is steps away from Old Fish Market and Gravensteen Castle. Kraanlei and Arca Theatre are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 20 minutes by foot.

              1898 The Post £142
              1898 The Post

              1898 The Post

              Graslei 16, Ghent
                 
                3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Ghent City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Korenmarkt Square and Gravensteen Castle. St. Michael's Bridge and St. Nicholas' Church are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 21 minutes by foot.

                B&B De Waterzooi
                B&B De Waterzooi

                B&B De Waterzooi

                2 Sint-Veerleplein, Ghent
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Ghent City Centre, this bed & breakfast is within a 5-minute walk of Gravensteen Castle and St. Nicholas' Church. St. Michael's Church and St. James' Church are also within 10 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 19 minutes by foot.