Kortrijk, the garden of many castles
Discover some remarkable locations where an imposing structure once stood or still stands. Go in search of castles, country houses and palaces that relate part of the city's history.
For a long time, a castle was considered synonymous with a fortified structure; the Castle of the Counts (Gravensteen) in Ghent being a case in point. Throughout the centuries, the need of the world’s elite to defend themselves disappeared and their properties made room for large country houses or pleasure gardens instead. People used to often refer to them as 'castles' in everyday speech. Some of those ultra-rich did not retreat outside the city but rather chose to live in the city centre. The interior of these luxurious houses resembled that of royal palaces, which is why they were called city palaces.
> Discover Kortrijk’s gems
* Please note that the existing buildings cannot be visited and are often in private hands. Please respect the privacy of the owners and do not enter the sites.
However, at some of them, the castle garden is accessible and there is even a picnic area and play area.
Click on the link below for an overview of the Castles Route.