J. Vandenhautte Inside the Gravensteen
Photo Date 1924 Print Date 1924
Dimensions 6-7/8 x 9-1/4 in. (175 x 235 mm)
Photo Country Belgium
Photographer Country Belgium
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Photographer's initials (J.V.D.H.)and date (30-10-24) reversed out of negative. The Gravensteen (Castle of the Counts of Flanders) in Ghent is one of the most impressive remaining examples of defensive architecture in Belgium. Built to defend against Viking attacks in the ninth century, it was significantly expanded about 1180-1200, with other additions in the 14th century. A massive wall and gate encircle the castle keep. The enclosed area of the castle fortifications is one acre, contained within an oval wall of about 200 by 150 feet. It contains residences for the count, his servants and guards, as well as dungeons. The central three story "donjon" is the oldest of its kind in western Europe. The rooms measure 33 by 90 feet, and it has seven-foot thick walls. Improvements in catapults in about 1200 necessitated higher walls for the exterior defensive ring. The castle was under restoration from 1894 to 1914.
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