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The Outrageous Beauty of MEDIEVAL CASTLES..Gravensteen Castle, Belgium (above) Gravensteen is one of Europe’s most impressive remaining examples of defensive architecture. Originally built to defend against Viking attacks in the ninth century. The castle as seen above is the work of Filip of Alsasse, the Count of Flanders from 1157 until 1191. He modeled it after crusader castles that he saw in Syria during his time at the Crusades.