#12  Antwerp
#97  Belgium

Hetsteen

Local name: Hetsteen

Hetsteen is a medieval castle built in the years 1200-1225, currently the oldest building in Antwerp. At the entrance to the castle, a statue of Lange Wapper - a giant prankster, a fairy tale hero popular in Belgium, the first of which was written in the 16th century, was set up. The castle is open to visitors and also serves as a venue for cultural events.

Above the arch of the main entrance to the castle there is a wooden bas-relief depicting the pagan god of youth and fertility called Semini. In ancient times, childless women prayed to him to beg for the gift of motherhood. In 1587, at the order of the Jesuit inquisitors, the bas-relief of naturalistically devoted masculinity was deprived.

In the vicinity of the castle you can see an outdoor exhibition of historic ships, boats and barges. It is part of the National Maritime Museum exhibition left behind at the former headquarters, which in 2010 was moved to the Museum aan de Stroom building.

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Hetsteen map
Steenplein 12000 Antwerp, Belgium