Medieval Gravensten Castle in Belgium

A visit to the Belgian city of Ghent is sure to be enchanted by the majestic medieval Gravensten Castle. The history of Gravensteen Castle dates back to 1180, when it was built for the Flemish Count Philip of Alsace. At this time, Count Philippe of Alsace was participating in the Second Crusade. Where the stone Gravenstein Castle stands today, there was originally a wooden castle built in the 9th century. Gravenstein Castle then served as the residence of the Counts of Flanders until the 14th century. However, the castle was later abandoned.
hrad v Belgii

It was used as building material for prisons and houses

The fate of this monumental castle was later very diverse.
Today, the exhibits in the castle are mainly related to torture devices.
o Apart from this prison facility, the castle also served at one timeas a courthouse,
and at another time as a prison.
o The castle also housed a mint and a cotton spinning mill.
o As time passed and the site of Gravenstein Castle remained vacant for a long time, the inhabitants of Ghent gradually began to dismantle the walls of the abandoned castle. They preferred to use stones quarried from the castle wallsand built their own houses. Some of the houses were inset into the castle walls. Many of these houses also encroached into the interior of the old castle.
tramvaj v centru

Rebuilding the Castle [32].
In 1885, however, the ruins of this half-demolished castle were purchased by the city of Ghent. In doing so, the houses, especially those in which castle stones had been used for masonry, were gradually dismantled. Thus, the rebuilding materials were returned to the original castle walls. This reconstruction continues to this day. Nevertheless, the renovation of Gravensten Castle is still ongoing. The monument has once again become an independent fortress in the middle of the city and a popular destination for curious tourists.