Het Steen Castle, Antwerp

Antwerp’s oldest building, Het Steen Castle is one impressive structure standing tall and mighty on the banks of river Schelde. The origin of this castle is from 650 AD. But nothing from that period remains any more. The building ceased to a castle long back, instead it housed many different characters including prisoners from 1303 to 1827. It was converted to museum of Archeology in 1890. Until 2008 it was the National Maritime Museum.

The castle was under renovation when we visited. We wandered through the courtyards, walkways and riverfront. That in itself was a pleasant experience. The old hangars next to the castle Het Steen, house some boats belonging to the collection of the Maritime Museum. The old warehouses and halls, some being renovated, some had old abandoned look.

The latest I read about this place is: On May 19, 2012, the Steen castle was reopened. The building is now being used as a space aimed at young children, with some limited animation. The first floor features a café-for-all, with windows overlooking the river.

At the entrance bridge to the castle is a statue of a giant, which is seven or eight times the size of two humans in front of it. It depicts the giant Lange Wapper who used to terrorize the inhabitants of the city in medieval times. A very interesting photo subject for the tourists around that day.

Statues of Antwerp
... Along River Schelde, Antwerp

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