Het Steen, Medieval fortress
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)