Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts of Flanders) - B

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by mightywease on March 28, 2007

For me the highlight, literally and figuratively, of our visit to the Gravensteen were the battlements. The fact it was an incredibly windy and somewhat wet day only added to the atmosphere of them as you peered over the edge and through the wooden shuttered crenulations and imagined how it would feel to be starring at a hostile invading army. Though conversely I think I would rather be cold but fairly well protected on the battlements than staring up at them contemplating how you were going to attack them while avoiding the threat of arrows, missiles, and boiling oil coming over their lip.

The battlements give fantastic views over the city with great photo opportunities even on the rather dull, cloudy morning we visited and, later when you see a reconstructed catapult, I defy any Monty Python fan not to start thinking “Fetchez la Vache”!

There is quite a lot of scrambling around on uneven surfaces and a few narrow stone spiral staircases to be negotiated so it can be difficult at times, however, overall the Gravensteen is a fascinating place, very evocative and I would wholeheartedly recommend a visit – and when you’re on the battlements don’t forget Monty Python’s French Tauntor “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries”.
Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts of Flanders)
Sint-veerleplein 11
Ghent, Belgium

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