Ghent, Belgium

Gerard de Duivelsteen, Ghent, Belgium

Ghent's second Castle, the first being the Gravensteen, stands at the opposite end of the historic centre of this beautiful little city, close to St. Bavo's Cathedral (background).

Unlike the Gravensteen, this Castle is not open to the public and was very very heavily restored to the extent that it is hard to distinguish many original features, although the main tower (left) has been left reasonably intact. It is part of the state archives facilities nowadays.

The Castle's remarkable name translates as "Castle of Gerard the Devil", a nobleman of such dark deeds as to merit the nickname "the Devil".

The Castle dates to 1245 and has a Romanesque crypt.  Since the 14th century when it's Castle use ceased the building has been used as an arms depot, a school of the Hieronymites, a semenary, a mental hospital, a house of correction, an orphanage and a fire station!  A Castle of many functions indeed.

If you find yourself in Ghent it is worth having a quick look at Geraard de Duivelsteen before heading off to spend some hours in this very attractive City.

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