The Castle of the Counts
By Paulina Sánchez |
The Castle of the Counts of Flanders in Ghent transports you to the medieval world of the Flemish territory. Visit it!
VISIT THE GRAVESTEEN CASTLE IN BELGIUM
When we read stories about brave knights that fought dragons to save helpless princesses that were locked away in castles, we create in our minds images of monumental stone fortresses, drawbridges, eerie pits and shiny armors. Even though dragons are creatures that were created by medieval mythology, and real confrontations between knights were not meant to protect princesses but to help kings expand their domains or impose the religion they professed, the Castle of the Counts of Flanders in Ghent will transport you to what used to be the medieval world in Flemish territory.
The building still possesses its original walls and part of the water well, and from its intact battlements, you can have a view of the whole city.
THE MUSEUM OF ARMS AND MUSEUM OF JUDICIAL OBJECTS
When you visit it, you’ll discover that its halls have been turned into a museum, so you’ll be able to immerse yourself into life that developed in the castle while you walk among armors, shields and impressive torture instruments. It will be in this scenery that your imagination will fly and recreate the history of the Gravesteen, which represented the center of wealth and power of the counts of Flanders.
GRAVESTEEN CASTLE HISTORY
In the beginning, count Baldwin I created the first version of the castle, but he built it with wood so it succumbed before the ravages of time. Therefore, the monument that you’ll visit in your tri to Ghent will be the one built by Phillip of Alsace in the twelfth century. With him, Ghent gained great power in Flanders but, unfortunately, after deciding he wanted to participate in a crusade, he went to Palestine and died of the plague.
The castle he built with great effort was abandoned until it was turned into an industrial complex. Fortunately, in the twentieth century the city bought it back and decided to rebuild and restore it. Since then, it’s been one of the main touristic attractions in Ghent together with the Cathedral –DINKtravelers recommends visiting this site too so you can see “The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb” by the Van Eyck brothers. This painting has a very interesting history because it’s been stolen repeatedly– and the 91-meter tall Belfort bell tower.
VISITING GRAVESTEEN CASTLE
Your best option to get to Ghent from Brussels is by train. The trip from the Belgian capital is 35 minutes long and it costs around 13 euros.
GRAVESTEEN CASTLE HOURS
The Gravesteen is located near Veerleplein Square and you can visit it from April to September from 9am to 18pm and from October to March from 9am to 17pm.