Het Steen castle - Antwerpen, Belgium
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member lopac44
N 51° 13.346 E 004° 23.862
31U E 597604 N 5675488
Quick Description: Castle on the border of the Westerschelde in Antwerpen.
Location: Antwerpen, Belgium
Date Posted: 3/20/2012 1:18:48 AM
Waymark Code: WME16B
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member lumbricus
Views: 18

Long Description:

"Het Steen, het oudste gebouw van Antwerpen, werd gebouwd tussen 1200 en 1225 en werd destijds Antwerpse burcht genoemd. Rond 1520, ten tijde van Karel V, werd de burcht grondig verbouwd en noemde men het voortaan "'s-Heeren Steen ". Van 1303 tot 1827 werd het gebouw als gevangenis gebruikt. Een groot deel van de burcht werd in de 19e eeuw afgebroken toen men de kades rechttrok en de Schelde verbreedde. Het overgebleven gebouw werd hierna simpelweg "Het Steen" genoemd. Sinds 1952 is in het Steen het Nationaal Scheepvaartmuseum gevestigd. Het binnengedeelte werd gesloten op 28 december 2008. De collectie van het Scheepvaartmuseum werd hierna overgeplaatsd naar het Museum aan de Stroom (MAS)." wikipedia (visit link)


"Het Steen is 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 WWII.

At the entrance to Het Steen is a bas-relief of Semini, above the archway, around 2nd century. Semini is the Scandinavian God of youth and fertility (with symbolic phallus). A historical plaque near Het Steen explains that women of the town appealed to Semini when they desired children; the god was reviled by later religious clergy. Inhabitants of Antwerp previously referred to themselves as "children of Semini". An organization concerned with the historic preservation of Het Steen and Semini, Antwerp Komitee Semini in Ere (AKSIE), formed in 1986, holds annual celebrations at Het Steen as cultural events.

Het Steen was portrayed in a painting by Rubens, 'A View of Het Steen in the Early Morning' c.1636, having bought the Manor House in 1635. Here he enjoyed the pleasures of being a member of the landed aristocracy for the last five years of his life.

At the entrance bridge to the castle is a statue of a giant and two humans. It depicts the giant Lange Wapper who used to terrorise the inhabitants of the city in medieval times." wikipedia (visit link)
Year photo was taken: 1920

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