Het Steen - National Maritime Museum, Antwerp
The Steen was altered several times during history. It was extended during Charles V's reign around 1520 by the architects Keldermans and De Waghemakere. The chapel above the entrance dates from this period.
From 1549 till 1823 the building served as a prison and in 1862 it became an archeological museum. The Steen was renovated again in 1890 and a wing in neo-gothic style was added.
Today the Steen houses the National Maritime Museum. Adjacent to the ancient structure, the Maritime museum also displays several old vessels in open-air.
The entrance is free of charge although there is an information on the web that you need to pay.:-)
The National Maritime Museum is the only general maritime museum in Belgium. It boasts a collection of more than 94,000 items, ranging from a uniform button... to actual boats. The maritime history of the regions (Belgium, Northern France, and the Netherlands) is central in the museum's collection policy. The maritime park, next to the museum building, displays actual ships and archaeological findings.
De Steen (Dutch for stone) is located near the river Scheldt. We were over by the river Scheldt after 5 pm so we didn't have a chance to go inside this medieval fortress from the 13th century that is Antwerp's oldest building. The Steen was used as a prison from 1549-1823, then as the Archeological Museum and since the 1950s as the National Maritime Museum.
I somehow missed the "Lange Wapper" statue (Albert Poels, 1963) which guards the entrance. The Lange Wapper is Antwerp's version of the boogie man who likes to be near water and can make himself as small as a child or as big as a giant and particularly likes to taunt children and drunks.
There’s been a fortification along the River Schelde at the site of ‘t Steen since the early 9th century. It takes its name from the material from which it was constructed, stone. Used as a prison from 1549 until 1823, the castle currently houses the national maritime museum.
The Steen dates back to around the year 1200, which makes it the oldest building in Antwerp. It was part of a fortification on the 'aanwerp' or alluvial mound in the river bend. Actually 'Steen' is the Dutch word for 'stone'. The castle is called that way because it was one of the earliest buildings in Antwerp constructed with stones (at a time when most houses were still built with wood).
The first major alterations took place in 1520 when Charles V commissioned a renovation of this fortress. The Emperor's coat of arms and his motto 'Plus Oultre' still adorn the entrance of the museum. The crucifix opposite the entrance recalls the time when the Steen was a prison (1549 - 1823). It marks the spot where prisoners who were condemned to death murmured their last prayers. The fortifications were largely demolished in the 19th Century in order to straighten the quays of the River Scheldt. As from 1862 it was used as the Archeological Museum. It was again renovated in 1889-1890 and a Neo-gothic wing was added to the building. Since 1952 the National Maritime Museum is housed in The Steen.
The fascinating collection is constituted of ship models, paintings, nautical instruments, photos and documents. Next to the Steen, in the aisles under the sheds, visitors can admire the Maritime Park, with a number of real ships and relics of the industrial and archaeologica past of the Antwerp port. The tow barge 'Lauranda', which was built in 1928 in Baasrode, frequently serves as a venue for exhibitions. The Bonaparte dock is a 10 minute walk from the museum and houses the museum port. During the opening hours of the museum you can visit the Lightship 'West-Hinder III' for free.
Open: Tuesday-Sunday 10 am - 5 pm
Easter Monday and Whit Monday
Closed: Monday, January 1st and 2nd, May 1st, Ascension Day, November 1st and 2nd,
December 25th and 26th
Admission fee: 4 Euro
Het Steen (Maritime Museum) is located in Antwerp City centre. Originally it was built from wood, but It was then rebuilt around 1200 with brick and today stands on the banks of the Schelde River.
It was originally used as a prison, but today it houses the National Maritime Museum.
Again as with the Cathedral, visit it at night when its all lit up and looking amazing. Unfortunately I dont have any daytime pics of it, as it was raining loads when we visited.
This is probably one of the oldest building in Antwerp, built in 1200 (and renovated several times), it has been a fort and prison, but is now the National Maritime Museum. Even if you don't (or can't - like us) visit the museum you should make the effort to visit this building. Adjacent to the museum are various historical ships in the river.
the Castle Steen is Antwerp's oldest building. Built on the banks of the river Scheldt in the 13th century, this fortress has served a number of purposes over the centuries and today it houses the National Maritime Museum. Near the castle you will also find the Flandria river boats which you can take for a tour of the port of Antwerp -- one of the largest in the world.
With its collection of more than 94,000 items ranging from a uniform button to actual boats, the National Maritime Museum is the only general maritime museum in Belgium. The maritime history of the neighbouring regions (Belgium, Northern France and the Netherlands) plays a central role in the collection. In the maritime park which is situated next to the museum, you can see actual ships and archaeological findings.
The many items of this collection are organized around certain themes such as inland navigation, fishing, training ships, the ‘Belgica’ expedition to the North Pole (the first expedition spending the winter there), shipbuilding, pleasure craft, red star line (which brought many immigrants to the USA around the end of the 19th, beginning of the 20th centuries) and the oostende-dover ferry service.
Steen is the Dutch word for “stone” and is also the name of the little castle located at the entrance of the city center.
The castle was renovated several times and following the renovation in the period 1889-1890 a Neo-gothic wing was added to the building.
The Steen was used as a prison between 1549 and 1823 and from 1862 until 1952 it was used as the Archeological Museum.
Since 1952 the National Navigation Museum is housed by the Steen.
Next to the castle, on the right side of the entrance, is a large storage halls where can be seen numerous vessels and boats belonging to the Maritime Museum.
Right on the bank of the Scheldt, there's this castle, old as the city itself.
According to a legend, giant Druoon Antigoon lived in the castle with the towers. The same giant was said to have cut off the hands of all the captains who didn't pay his toll when crossing the Scheldt. But, Julius Caesar's nephew, Silvius Brabo, vanquished him 1 day and punished him the same way-he cut off the giant's right hand and threw it into the Scheldt.
Around 693 St. Willibrordus attempted to convert the population from here. In 830 the Vikings destroyed the fortress, although around 1520 the Steen was restored by the order of King Charles V. In the 18th century, the castle was used as a prison.
Wednesday, August 3, 2005
Located on the banks of the River Scheldt, the NATIONAL SCHEEPVAARTMUSEUM or National Maritime Museum, is housed in the old fortification known as the Steen. Inside you will find ship models, maritime paintings, navigation instruments and a whole host of other objects and visual images from the maritimes.
There are impressive models of eighteenth-century ships that sailed to the East Indies, a 400-year old astrolab and glass-encased models of how Antwerp was in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, showing how ships were built then.
Besides the indoor Museum in the Steen, you can also walk around the Maritime Park, where real ships, boats and equipment are on display.
Entrance fee was 5 Euros for Adults.
The fort "Steen" is situated along the river Schelde and is the oldest building in Antwerp. They started building the site in the 10th century, but they continued building until the 13 century when it was finally finished. In the Middle Ages the building was used as a prison.
Nowadays the building has 12 rooms that are part of the National Maritime Museum. Outside of the Museum you can see a collection of old ships.
Entry to the museum is 4 euro's and there is a concession price of 3 euro's. The museum is quite nice, but cannot be compared to the quality of maritime museums in for example Sydney or London.
In Antwerp there is only one building at the river banks that survived the destruction that was caused when the quays were built in the 19th century. This building is called ´T Steen (Stone), because it was one of the first building made of stone, in the year 1200.
Throughout the centuries there has changed a lot in this building. Charles V ordered the architects Keldermans and De Waghemakere to built a chapel above the entrance.
From 1549 until 1823 the building was used as a prison, in 1862 it became a archeological museum. In 1890 `t Steen was renovated and the neogothical wing was build. Today, it is the homebase of the National Maritime Museum.
The first piece of wall that you cross when you come in, is the oldest wall in whole the city of Antwerp, and was built between 1200 and 1225.