Gravensteen Castle (Castle of the Counts)
With origins dating to the ninth century, Gravensteen Castle’s current building is circa 1180, when it was commissioned by Phillip of Alsace. Used for centuries as a residence for the Counts of Flanders, the castle was later used as a prison (complete with torture chambers), a courthouse, and a cotton mill in the 19th century. Visit today to see the restored castle, featuring displays of armor, torture devices, and other historical objects—a living example of Ghent’s rich history.
Gravensteen Castle features on numerous sightseeing tours of Ghent, from architecture-themed tours and full-day trips from neighboring cities to private VIP excursions. Given its central location, it’s also possible to explore the castle independently.
Things to Know Before You Go
Owing to its historical architecture, Gravensteen Castle is not accessible to wheelchair users or visitors with limited mobility.
Audio and video guides, which include humorous narration and storytelling by local comedian Wouter Deprez, are included with ticket purchase.
The on-site gift shop includes a range of books and gift items to appeal to kids and adults.
How to Get There
Gravensteen Castle is located in the heart of Ghent. To get there via public transportation, take tram 1 and 4 to Graventseen, or use bus lines Nos. 3, 17, 18, 38 or 39. Given the castle’s central location, it can also be reached on foot, by bike, or by car.
When to Get There
Gravensteen Castle is open daily from mid-morning to evening, with last tickets issued one hour prior to closing. The landmark is closed every year on December 24, 25, and 31, as well as on January 1.
Other Must-See Ghent Landmarks
Gravensteen Castle isn’t the only historical showstopper in Ghent. Continue your explorations to other nearby highlights. Visit St. Bavo’s Cathedral, which dates to the 13th century, to see its soaring tower and the Ghent Altarpiece. You can also admire Ghent Belfry (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) and its adjoining Cloth Hall, the history city square of Korenmarkt, and other picturesque, history-saturated attractions.