What little I knew about Ghent was strictly limited to what my partner said when I asked him about it a long time ago – “nothing much…” – countered by what one friend said quite recently – “it’s really worth it!”. Having done no research at all, I was pleasantly surprised to see a royal tower peering out of the skyline while we walked around the old center. The Castle of the Count was calling our name, and it was as Dark Ages as it could get.
Built by a Count in the 1100s, it came complete with thick walls, knights’ armor, swords taller than most (present day) men, a dungeon, and even a torture room. More Game of Thrones than Walt Disney, clearly. If the Gravensteen is any indication, though, Belgians take their castles very seriously. With a view like this, being a Belgian countess doesn’t seem too bad – guillotine and all.