Steen Castle

Steen Castle is all that remains of the walled fortress city of Antwerp, which was demolished in 1885 to re-align the Scheldt quays. Steen Castle narrowly escaped a similar fate thanks to one vote during the town council meeting. The structure, which was built around 1100, was the margrave’s residence. After the building was decommissioned in 1302, it was used as a prison for five centuries. Afterwards the fish market stallholders used the building to dry fish. In 1864, the town council decided to transform it into a Museum for Antiquities. In 1952, “Het Steen” reopened as the National Maritime Museum. In 2009, it closed and the collection was transferred to the MAS Museum.

Steen Castle during the realignment of the Scheldt quays
 Photo “Anvers, Steen Prison”, before 1882
Overview of the fortress
Leg iron from the prison in Steen Castle
Branding iron from the prison in Steen Castle
Watercolour “Steen Castle” (J. Linnig)
Watercolour “Steen Castle after the demolition works” (F. Truyman)