The mighty Gravensteen Castle in the center of Ghent is one of the largest moated castles in Europe. The origin goes back to a wooden building that was probably built by the Vikings on the remains of a Roman settlement. Philip of Alsace built today’s castle from 1180 to 1200.
It was the residence of the Counts of Flanders, and later it was court and prison. In 1353 Count Ludwig II relocated his residence from Grafenstein Castle to the Hof ten Walle, the later Prinzenhof. The Flemish citizens had always been very rebellious and besieged the castle in 1301 and forced it to surrender.
From 1407 it served as a court seat and from 1780 as a textile factory. Later it was used as a cotton spinning mill.
In 1887, the town purchased the castle back and restored it. Today it serves as a museum.
Visiting Gravensteen Castle
The tour begins on the ground floor of the Audience Hall. On the first floor is the large hall where the Knights of the Golden Fleece met in 1445.
Today, various medieval weapons and armor are displayed here.
A narrow spiral staircase leads to the viewing platform, from which you have a magnificent view of the city of Ghent.
In the living quarters, one notices that the Countess only had a relatively small chamber, compared to the one of the Count.
He had a comparatively large representation room at his disposal.
Next comes the prison in the basement, which was accessible through the dungeon hole. A torture museum with torture tools is also part of the tour.
In the cellar vault, you see a Viking ship. The executions took place in the inner courtyard.
An audio guide explains the history of the heyday of the castle in the 12th century. Besides facts, you will also hear anecdotes from that time.
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Soundtrack in video:
Castles in the Air by Vidian (c) copyright 2007
Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (3.0) license.
http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/Vidian/10752 Ft: Narva9,Ian P
Dieser Beitrag in: Deutsch