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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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Lodging Near Gravensteen Castle

See all 123 Properties near Gravensteen Castle
Ghent Marriott Hotel $130
Ghent Marriott Hotel

Ghent Marriott Hotel

Korenlei 10, Ghent
     
    4.6
    of 5, from 881 reviews
    4.0 out of 5.0

    Located in the heart of Ghent, this hotel is steps from Design Museum Ghent, School of Yesteryear, and St. Michael's Church. Great Butchers' Hall and Old Fish Market are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 22 minutes by foot.

    NH Gent Belfort $118
    NH Gent Belfort

    NH Gent Belfort

    Hoogpoort 63, Ghent
       
      4.3
      of 5, from 852 reviews
      4.0 out of 5.0

      Located in the heart of Ghent, this family-friendly hotel is steps from Ghent Town Hall, Royal Dutch Theatre, and Court of Ryhove. Great Butchers' Hall and Langemunt Shopping Center are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 17 minutes by foot.

      Hotel de Flandre $93
      Hotel de Flandre

      Hotel de Flandre

      Poel 1-2, Ghent
         
        3.8
        of 5, from 508 reviews
        4.0 out of 5.0

        Located in the heart of Ghent, this romantic hotel is steps from St. Michael's Church and School of Yesteryear. Design Museum Ghent and St. Michael's Bridge are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 25 minutes by foot.

        Hotel Harmony $169
        Hotel Harmony

        Hotel Harmony

        Kraanlei 37, Ghent
           
          4.7
          of 5, from 224 reviews
          4.0 out of 5.0

          This family-friendly Ghent hotel is located in the historical district, steps from Kraanlei, Great Butchers' Hall, and House of Alijn. Old Fish Market and Langemunt Shopping Center are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 19 minutes by foot.

          ibis Gent Centrum St-Baafs Kathedraal $109
          ibis Gent Centrum St-Baafs Kathedraal

          ibis Gent Centrum St-Baafs Kathedraal

          Limburgstraat 2, Ghent
             
            4.0
            of 5, from 491 reviews
            3.0 out of 5.0

            Located in the heart of Ghent, this hotel is steps from Saint Bavo Cathedral, Royal Dutch Theatre, and Belfry of Ghent. Ghent Cloth Hall and Achtersikkel are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 17 minutes by foot.

            Ghent River Hotel $105
            Ghent River Hotel

            Ghent River Hotel

            Waaistraat 5, Ghent
               
              4.0
              of 5, from 497 reviews
              4.0 out of 5.0

              Located in the heart of Ghent, this romantic hotel is steps from Friday Market Square, Statue of Jacob van Artevelde, and Kraanlei. Big Cannon and House of Alijn are also within 5 minutes. Ghent-Dampoort Station is 16 minutes by foot.

              Novotel Gent Centrum $126
              Novotel Gent Centrum

              Novotel Gent Centrum

              Hoogpoort 52, Ghent
                 
                4.2
                of 5, from 702 reviews
                3.0 out of 5.0

                Located in the heart of Ghent, this hotel is steps from Court of Ryhove, Graffiti Street, and Ghent Town Hall. Great Butchers' Hall and Langemunt Shopping Center are also within 5 minutes. 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
                   
                  4.0
                  of 5, from 63 reviews
                  2.5 out of 5.0

                  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 7 minutes by foot.