"The Castle of the Counts"
The Medieval Majesty & the Rich Historical Heritage of Ghent -
The Castle of the Counts alongside the Leie river
The Gravensteen Castle (Castle of the Counts),a legendary landmark in the city of Ghent,was the residence of the Counts of Flanders until 1353.It is a medieval circular,moated,gray castle with turrets and arrow slits built in 1180 alongside a split in Ghent’s River Leie to symbolize the power of Philip of Alsace,who was the ruling Count of Flanders.A wooden castle had existed here for centuries,
but Philip,with the new fortification,wanted to send out a clear message of his supreme power to his political enemies.
Philip had been on several Crusades and clearly modelled the design of his new residence on the austere style of the crusader castles that are scattered around the Mediterranean Sea from Portugal to Greece.Indeed,very similar to some castles that still exist in Methoni,Koroni and Pylos in the southern Peloponesse.
Its two-metre (six-ft) thick walls,fortified with battlements,were made of Tournai limestone.Its towers and turrets housed stables,a church and state apartments.
- Ghent deserved its own day,it was an agreeable day trip from Brussels -