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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. 


Best Lodging Options Near Gravensteen Castle

See all 213 Properties near Gravensteen Castle
Getaway Studios Gent $48
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 10-minute walk of Episcopal Palace and Saint Bavo Cathedral. Gravensteen Castle is 0.6 mi (1 km) away. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 14 minutes by foot.

    Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel Reylof Ghent $162
    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, Gravensteen Castle, and Saint Bavo Cathedral. St. Michael's Church and Monastery of the Carmelite Fathers are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 25 minutes by foot.

      NH Gent Belfort $90
      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, Saint Bavo Cathedral, and Gravensteen Castle. Court of Ryhove and Graffiti Street are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 16 minutes by foot.

        Ghent River Hotel $115
        Ghent River Hotel

        Ghent River Hotel

        Waaistraat 5, Ghent
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Ghent City Centre, this romantic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Kraanlei, Gravensteen Castle, and Saint Bavo Cathedral. Big Cannon and Friday Market Square are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 16 minutes by foot.

          1898 The Post $166
          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. Saint Bavo Cathedral and Flanders Expo are also within 3 mi (5 km). Ghent-Dampoort Station is 21 minutes by foot.

            ibis Gent Centrum St-Baafs Kathedraal $81
            ibis Gent Centrum St-Baafs Kathedraal

            ibis Gent Centrum St-Baafs Kathedraal

            Limburgstraat 2, Ghent
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Ghent City Centre, this hotel is steps from Royal Dutch Theatre and Saint Bavo Cathedral. Gravensteen Castle is 0.4 mi (0.6 km) away. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 17 minutes by foot.

              Hotel Harmony $139
              Hotel Harmony

              Hotel Harmony

              Kraanlei 37, Ghent
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Ghent City Centre, this romantic hotel is steps from Kraanlei and Gravensteen Castle. Saint Bavo Cathedral is 0.4 mi (0.7 km) away. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 17 minutes by foot.

                ibis budget Gent Centrum Dampoort $59
                ibis budget Gent Centrum Dampoort

                ibis budget Gent Centrum Dampoort

                Kleindokkaai 27, Ghent, BE
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in the heart of Ghent, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of St. Bavo's Abbey and Portus Ganda. Ghent Museum of Industrial Archeology and Textiles and Friday Market Square are also within 1 mi (2 km). Ghent-Dampoort Station is 6 minutes by foot.