Belgium, Ghent

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Top choice in Ghent

Flanders’ quintessential 12th-century stone castle comes complete with moat, turrets and arrow slits. It’s all the more remarkable considering that during the 19th century the site was converted into a cotton mill. Meticulously restored since, the interior sports the odd suit of armour, a guillotine and torture devices. The relative lack of furnishings is compensated for with a handheld 45-minute movie guide, which sets a tongue-in-cheek historical costumed drama in the rooms, prison pit and battlements.

If you just want a photo of the castle, there's a great viewpoint on St-Widostraat.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Ghent attractions

1. Patershol

0.07 MILES

Dotted with half-hidden restaurants, enchanting Patershol is a web of twisting cobbled lanes. Its old-world houses were once home to leather tradesmen and…

2. Design Museum

0.09 MILES

A vast toilet-roll sculpture humorously marks the back side of this museum, which has a collection specialising in furnishings including baroque, art…

3. Grasbrug

0.11 MILES

To admire Ghent’s towers and gables at their most photogenic, stand just west of the little Grasbrug bridge over the Leie at dusk. It’s a truly gorgeous…

4. Huis van Alijn

0.12 MILES

Set in a restored 1363 children’s hospice complex, this delightful museum examines everyday life from the 1890s to the present, with a fabulous emphasis…

5. Graslei

0.14 MILES

Ships have been docking on either side of the River Leie since the 11th century. The area on the east bank is known as Graslei; Korenlei is on the west…

6. Korenlei

0.16 MILES

The Korenlei area is on the west bank of the River Leie; Graslei is on the east bank.

7. Korenmarkt

0.18 MILES

Ghent's best-loved waterfront square, the 'Wheat Market' is where you'll find some of the city's best architecture, including the former post office (now…

8. Prinsenhof

0.18 MILES

Originally the residence of the Count of Flanders and the birthplace of Charles V in 1500, the Prinsenhof was a walled castle with 300 rooms, a zoo and a…