Saturday 20 August 2022

Belgium Trip Pt2


On Sunday 14th we moved onto Ghent with the plan of meeting up with the tour party who were coming by coach from the UK 

A very interesting city with several very large and impressive cathedrals and churches.

Near the city centre is Castle Gravensteen (also known as the Castle of the Counts), a real fairytale castle to look at. Now pre C20th is not really my thing, but of course we went for the tour:

Back in the 800s, Count Arnulf of Flanders built a castle on this site. This small castle constructed out of wood included a grain store and it thrived in the growing industry of young Flanders. In fact, Ghent grew to be the largest city in the region. Two centuries later, wool became the dominant product of Ghent. The wooden castle, with its outdated grain store, was replaced with one built of Tournai limestone. The counts in power added high walls and watchtowers, and they extended the moat. You can still see inside the addition of different types of bricks to add color. The existing castle was built in 1180 by Count Philip of Alsace. The Castle of the Counts, while never a permanent residence, served for hundreds of years as a place for counts to stay during their travels. It seems no one in power wanted to live in Ghent full-time, as the people here were far too rebellious to make good neighbours, even with barriers of stone and a moat separating the higher classes from the commoners.

The castle has an interesting collection of arms and armour dating between C12th and C16th

Near the entrance I found this plaque commemorating 1st SAS Parachute Regiment

Across the river from the castle was this huge iron cannon



  1. Richard, thanks for the travel report. Quite the castle. Ghent is a place I've not been and it seems quite interesting. Perhaps in the future; as our next trip across the pond is a short coastal cruise out of Italy, down around Crete, and then up to Athens.

    1. A real fantasy castle, the whole trip had some wonderful buildings

  2. Great photos- Mad Meg is a better name than just Big Cannon imo.



  3. Most Belgians would know "Dulle Griet" through a painting of Breughel, or from a famous comic strip in the "Suske and Wiske" series. When I was a kid I was surprised to learn Dulle Griet was also a cannon ;-)

    1. We stumbled upon it by accident, Ghent was very pretty with wonderful buildings