Het Steen, Me­dieval fortress

Timeless Travels Magazine - - BELGIUM -

Het Steen is a me­dieval fortress based by the river­bank. The fortress is the old­est build­ing in stone in An­twerp and was built af­ter Vik­ing in­cur­sions in the early Mid­dle Ages and was used as a prison be­tween 1303 and 1827. The largest part of the fortress, in­clud­ing dozens of his­toric houses and the old­est church of the city, was de­mol­ished in the 19th cen­tury when the quays were straight­ened to stop the silt­ing up of the Scheldt. In 1890 it be­came the mu­seum of ar­chae­ol­ogy.

This year it will un­dergo a sub­stan­tial re­fur­bish­ment to be­come a wel­come cen­tre and in­ter­ac­tive ex­pe­ri­ence route cen­tre that will fo­cus on An­twerp and its his­tory

At the en­trance bridge to the cas­tle is a statue of a gi­ant and two hu­mans. It de­picts the gi­ant Lange Wap­per who was said to ter­rorise the in­hab­i­tants of the city in me­dieval times. www.het­paleis.be

Above: Het Steen, the Me­dieval fortress Left: Cob­bled street in the city Be­low: Grote Markt with hand-throw­ing statue Right: An­twerp Cen­tral Sta­tion (All im­ages: © Visit Flan­ders)

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