Destination: Ghent
Top Ten
1 The Ghent Altarpiece
2 Gravensteen
3 Kerkhof Campo Santo
4 Kuip van Gent
5 Patershol
6 Prinsenhof
7 St Baafskathedraal
8 St Elisabethbegijnhof
9 Stedelijk Museum voor Aktuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.)
10 Vrijdagmarkt
6 Prinsenhof

Wander through a virtual castle where the Emperor Charles V was born and Maximilian of Austria spent his honeymoon.

In the 13th century the Counts of Flanders were already living in the huge castle known as 'Prinsenhof'. It had more than 300 rooms, a pleasure garden and a zoo and became the refuge of Maria de Medici, widow of the French King Henri IV. This area is known to Ghent residents as the place where the Emperor Charles V first saw the light of day on 24 February 1500. His statue, a gift from the Spanish city of Toledo, stands on the peaceful central square, near the only part of the castle still standing, the Donkere Poort. In the 19th century many textile factories, breweries and soap works were established in the rooms of the castle which contributed to the rapid decline of the building. The people who live here now each have a small remnant of the castle in their back gardens and enjoy a calm and peaceful neighbourhood. A model shows what the castle used to look like and helps to fuel your imagination, whilst the fairytale exteriors of some of the buildings transport you to another time. The mix of architectural styles makes this area more than worth a visit. On the one hand there are the castle remains, on the other a mixture of hidden workers' cottages and ultra modern houses. Furthermore, many present-day architects who have designed their own houses live here.

Address: Gewad, St Antoniuskaai, Prinsenhof, Lievekaai and the the narrow streets in between
Restaurant: Restaurants on St Veerleplein (Moderately priced)
Bus: Tram 1, 10, 11, 13
Accessible: Good

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