The oldest building in Antwerp, it lies on the banks of the Scheldt, near the former peninsula called De Werf (shipyard). The castle stands on the site of a fortification dating back to the 9th century that was the beginning of the rest of the city. Of course, Steen has been rebuilt many times over the centuries. The only thing that has survived to our times is the entrance gate and the front part.
In 1302 the castle lost its military function and from 1823 it was used as a prison. Then there was a sawmill here, as well as a fish warehouse. From 1862 the castle served as a museum. Initially as the Museum of Antiquities, and then in the years 1952-2008 as the National Maritime Museum.
It is easy to see the difference in colors between the medieval gray stone and the 16th-century sandstone, which is the result of repeatedly rebuilding the stronghold. As you walk towards the castle, you pass a huge statue of a giant called Lange Wapper. He is an extraordinary folk hero, according to the legend, half-cheater, half-voyeur, who, despite his sympathy for children, used his height to look into other people's bedrooms.
Steenplein 1 Antwerpen