Steen Castle, Antwerp

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#8 of 26 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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  • The Steen is the oldest building in the city. You can visit it for free. That said this isn't a must. To do if you walk along the quays
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  • This castle is small and you can simple walk though the courtyard. It’s worth a quick walk though and a few pictures.  more »
  • In this castle which is on the banks of the Scheldt River, is a gracious statue of Lange Wapper, who according to the story, was devoted to scare residents. By the way, on the central square there is a statue of Brabo throwing a hand, as it is this giant, that's considered him as their hero. The entrance to the castle is Free, but there is nothing particular, unless you can take nice photos
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