Importance: You should see this when you are on this continent
Number of texts: 5
Places of Interest nearby
The imposing Castle of the Counts, built in 1180, now looms up in front of you. Nowhere else in the world will you find such a massive fortress in the centre of a city. Anyone who visits Ghent without going inside deserves the thumbscrews, the dungeon or perhaps even the guillotine (last used in 1861), all of which are on display inside. While you stand looking at the castle from the counts bailey, you might almost forget you were in the 21st century. But Ghent is a living city that not only preserves its historical heritage, but also has an eye to the future. One example is the giant spiders web, a remnant of an international art event, and like the fortress itself made to stand the test of time.Linked characteristic groups Child friendly, Peculiar Linked thematic groups Castle Linked other groups Ghent in a day
The original castle on the place of the Gravensteen was built around 868 by Count Baldwin I, rebuilt and expanded by the Count of Flanders around 1180. The Gravensteen was the seat of the Council of Flanders. Inside, you can visit the torture chambers (complete with thumbscrews, a rack, executioners swords etc). You can see the replacement sword here of the statue of Artevelde on the Friday Market. That was stolen a few years ago, but was found back.
At the end of the 18th century, the Council of Flanders decided to leave the castle Gravensteen. It was sold in public for a very little amount.
This was the period where the industrialisation took off, and the first factories were located in existing buildings. As well cloisters, as empty castles were on the target list. The castle became a spinning-mill. Around the castle, small houses were attached.
After an explosion in the factory, the building became unstable, and it was decided to leave the castle. There was even a plan to completely demolish this building. But luckily they decided to fix the whole complex and gave back its appearance of the 12th century.
The Lievekaai is located North of the castle Gravensteen”. De Lievekaai is Ghent’s second oldest harbour. The oldest one is the harbour at the Graslei.
The “Gravensteen” or Castle of the Counts holds an assembly room with a magnificent stone fireplace and a gruesome collection of torture instruments.
Overview of the most popular walking and hiking routes near Gravensteen van Gent
Overview of the most popular cycle routes near Gravensteen van Gent
Overview of the most popular car and motorcycle routes near Gravensteen van Gent