The Castle of Counts of Flanders, in Dutch Gravensteen is a medieval castle in Ghent, East Flanders. It was built around 1180 by Philip of Alsace on the remains of a former 9th-century castle in the style of the forts of the Crusaders in Syria. It was completely restored in the 19th and 20th centuries. The building was the center of power of the counts of Flanders throughout the Middle Ages, and is the only medieval castle built by the counts of Flanders that has been preserved almost intact. A first strong wood was erected in this place, at the confluence of the two Leie and Schelda rivers, by Baldovino Arm of Iron in 867 in order to defend the city from the continuous attacks of the Vikings, but which will be devastated already in 879 . The Normans were finally stopped at Leuven in the fall of 1989; as reported by Annales Vedastini, a series of Annals concerning Lorraine written about the nineteenth century by the monks of the Abbey of Saint-Vaast and Arras in France. At the beginning of the tenth century, Arnolfo first of Flanders reconstructs what will be the first true precursor of the present castle, and gives it to management of hereditary castellans, the Wenemar, under the control of the Abbey of St. Peter. Early around the fortress, along the Leie River, a village was built, the Oudburg, the oldest nucleus from which the city of Ghent developed. It stood on an embankment reinforced by wooden poles and appeared as a large central building with various annexes including warehouses for grain storage and other food products. All the buildings were of wood. It was Count Robert I of Flanders to drastically convert the castle building. In fact, Roberto I replaced the central wooden body with a large stone tower of 33 for 18.8 meters. It was a three-storey building consisting of three large halls disposed over the other and connected by a monumental stone staircase with openings; wall fireplaces and latrines emphasize the luxury of time. Other transformations followed, especially with the excavation of the moat all around and the elevation of the embankment until it became a real motta. In fact, the ground floor hall soon became the cellar, and around a square there were other wooden buildings. However, a great fire destroyed it all in 1176. Finally, Count Filippo d'Alsace will build the present castle from around 1180. The fortification was inspired by the Syrian ones erected by the Crusaders. The hill-motta was raised and expanded as a base for a new series of wooden annexes. At the center was built the doorman, a powerful tower of about 30 meters, surrounded by a walled wall with 24 protruding towers and opened by a fortified access door. Different stones were used for the construction that gave military architecture that particular chromism to turn it into the unmistakable sign of Count's power in the fiery and turbulent Ghana of the Middle Ages. Emperor Carlo V will be installed at the castle during the repression of the revolt of 1539, as a demonstration of the punishment of the city. From there many houses were built against the walls of the castle and some of its stones were used to build other buildings. From the end of the 18th century, the castle will house a cotton weave until it was planned to be demolished in the nineteenth century. In 1872 Baron August de Maere organized a strong opposition to the demolition of the castle and managed to save it. In 1885 it will be purchased by the City of Ghent, which will begin a general restoration that lasted until 1889. The surrounding buildings were demolished and the entire complex was restored and rebuilt in destroyed parts. Today it is one of the most beautiful medieval castles in Belgium, and houses the apartments of the counts.