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.

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30 Responses

  1. ashok says:

    very interesting!

  2. Very fascinating castle with such long history !

  3. Sylvia K says:

    I do love the tours your take us on and they are the next best thing to being there myself! Fascinating history and a beautiful old castle! The history of the giant and little children statue is fascinating! Have a wonderful week, Indrani!


  4. WOW! That's a HUGE castle!

  5. What a fabulous castle.

  6. magiceye says:

    the making of a fairy tale!

  7. ladyfi says:

    Wow – what a fairytale castle!

  8. Leovi says:

    Delicious photo, an excellent view of the castle. Greetings.

  9. Emille says:

    I probably have seen this castle in my childhood, because I lived on the Dutch side of De Schelde! But I don't remember it…

  10. fascinating castle! and the giant sculpture is impressive, too.

  11. Gary says:

    Another fascinating tour Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  12. Dianne says:

    a beautiful castle

  13. arabesque says:

    haha! the statue doesn't look that scary though,
    i;m enoying your Antwerp series Indrani.

  14. Last photo was funny:)

    Visiting for Our World Tuesday- hope you can stop by:)


  15. Carver says:

    I enjoy seeing the interesting places you've visited.

  16. There's something incredibly modern about this oldest of buildings. I love the shapes that emerge from it.

  17. Krishna says:

    Another beautiful castle

    beautifully narrated

    thanks for sharing

  18. neverr seen a real european castle before, but this is the prototypical castle i have in mind.

  19. George says:

    The castle is definitely impressive, but I think the sculpture is even more so. This would be a wonderful place to visit.

  20. The giant looking after the castle, fantastic photos.

  21. Gattina says:

    Of course, as Antwerp is just around the corner, I know it very well, lol !

  22. Beautiful castle and fascinating statue.

  23. Tito Eric says:

    Glad to know they have been refurbishing these structural gems for greater reuse.

    Thanks for sharing!

  24. magiceye says:

    fascinating history

  25. Vetrimagal says:

    One after other, you keep posting such pretty places , and scenic views. If I dont view the blog once in a while, I miss a lot!

    Thanks for sharing.

  26. Pietro says:

    Nice and interesting post, Indrani.

  27. The Castle looks like Hogwarts (harry Potter) and I loved the statue

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