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Gravensteen Castle

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Built by the Count of Flanders in the late 12th century, the dramatic Gravensteen Castle or ‘Castle of the Counts' still looms over the center of Ghent and remains one of Belgium’s most important medieval castles. Used throughout the years as a residence for the Counts, a prison and even a textile plant, the remnants of Gravensteen’s varied history are still visible today.

Still surrounded by part of its medieval moat and encircled by towering ramparts, the castle forms a dramatic backdrop to the concerts and theatrical performances that are held in its grounds throughout the year, but the grand fortress is also a hugely popular tourist attraction in its own right. A tour of Gravensteen takes in the eerie underground dungeons, the castle crypt, the court hall and the enormous banquet hall, but most fascinating is the gruesome Museum of Instruments of Torture, crammed with weaponry, armor and medieval torture devices.

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