This walk will take you from Steen Castle to the heart of Antwerp’s former fortress. Learn more about the city’s history, lost relics and medieval core.
After 1875, the Scheldt quays were re-aligned. The largest part of the fortress city of Antwerp disappeared as a result. This included “Werf” (the wharf) and St. Walpurga’s Church.
The “Werf” or “Kranenhoofd” was the wharf where the port crane stood. It was located on a spit of land in the River Scheldt, near the fortress. It was a perfect mooring for ships.
Antwerp’s Steen Castle was part of the walled fortress city of Antwerp. It served as a residence for the margrave and at one time was also a museum. Nowadays it is an educational space for children.
Probably St. Walpurga’s Church became the court chapel of the margrave’s residence around the year 1000. The church was dedicated to Saint Walpurga.
The “Vierschaer” was the Antwerp law courts, named after the four “scarren” or benches used to demarcate it: a bench for the accused, the judge, the public prosecutor and the party claiming damages.
The house’s name refers to the giant Druon Antigon, who is said to have lived in the fortress during the Roman period and demanded tolls from skippers passing through. He would chop off the hands of those who refused to pay up.
The street named “Burchtgracht” owes its name to the moat which encircled Antwerp’s old fortress and which no longer exists.
The Fortress of Antwerp was fortified in the Middle Ages with a wall built of Tournaisian limestone. The wall was cut through when Vleeshuisstraat was built.