Steen Castle, Antwerp

2.8
#8 of 27 in Museums in Antwerp
Het Steen is a medieval fortress in the old city centre of Antwerp, Belgium, one of Europe's biggest ports. Built after the Viking incursions in the early Middle Ages as the first stone fortress of Antwerp, Het Steen is Antwerp's oldest building and used to be its oldest urban centre.Previously known as Antwerpen Burcht (fortress), Het Steen gained its current name in around 1520, after significant rebuilding under Charles V. The rebuilding led to its being known first as "'s Heeren Steen" (the King's stone castle), and later simply as "Het Steen" (the stone castle). The Dutch word "steen" means "stone", and is used for "fortress" or "palace", as in the "Gravensteen" in Ghent, Belgium.The fortress made it possible to control the access to the Scheldt, the river on whose bank it stands. It 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. The remaining building, heavily changed, contains a shipping museum, with some old canal barges displayed on the quay outside.In 1890 Het Steen became the museum of archeology and in 1952 an annex was added to house the museum of Antwerp maritime history, which in 2011 moved to the nearby Museum Aan de Stroom. Here you’ll also find a war memorial to the Canadian soldiers in World War II.
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  • Beautiful views and wonderful operation on the history of the port of Antwerp ... including prison time
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  • This beautiful medieval castle is the oldest building in the Belgian town and beautiful photos can be taken in this beautiful setting.
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  • This castle isn't open. Its fine to look at but you can't go in . Right on the river bank and interesting to look at only.  more »

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Where to stay in Antwerp

Many visitors to Antwerp choose to stay in the Oude Stad neighborhood, which offers accommodations with character. The city features a wide range of lodging options including budget hostels, bed and breakfasts, private apartments, and luxury hotels. To score discounts on weekends, check out hotel chains on the city's outskirts, which cater to business travelers during the week. The area around Antwerp's central station offers the most choices. When in doubt, check in with the city's tourism bureau, which maintains a list of the best lodging prices and can make reservations for you.
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