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Castle ‘Het Steen’ at Antwerp (Belgium) by Mark Billiau.

Castle ‘Het Steen’ at Antwerp (Belgium)


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25.05.2012 at 8:00h
, License: All pictures © by the senders.
Castle ‘Het Steen’ is the oldest building in the metropole of Antwerp.

In the 9th century there was already a stone fortification on this spot to protect the city against attacks from the Vikings.
That fortress made it possible to control the access to the Scheldt, the river on whose bank it stands.

Several expansion works took place in the 13th and 16th century and the fortress became an impressive castle.
One can see very well the color difference between the original dark chalk stone and the lighter coloured sand stone that was used later.

Perhaps you noticed that there are few windows in the edifice.
That is because the castle was used as city jail (with lots of torture chambers) for 500 years long (14th till 19th century).

What we see now is only a small part of the original castle, which at one point in history was almost six time the current size.
At the end of the 19th century, the city authorities decided to widen the river and a big part of the castle was pulled down to make room for the development of the port of Antwerp.

The castle survived barely.
The Antwerp city council agreed to the conservation of a small part of the castle with just only 1 majority vote.
Without that 1 vote on surplus, this great historical castle would have been completely demolished !


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viola d, 25.05.2012 at 8:15h

This is almost unbelievable what you wrote: to wipe out shch a marvellous testimony of the past - just like that??
I will never understand the line of reasoning of some people.
Well, we should be happy that at least a part of this grand architecture has survived to our days and that we can admire the construction skills of the builders in the centuries past.
Great picture. Bw, Viola

Sigrid E, 25.05.2012 at 8:18h

Eine richtig schöne Ritterburg wie aus dem Märchenbuch!!!

Charly Roggow, 25.05.2012 at 9:29h

jetzt fehlen nur noch die Ritter...---)))
LG Charly

Norbert Kappenstein, 25.05.2012 at 9:58h

Man denkt jeden Moment kommt der Ritter durchs Tor geritten. Eine wunderbare Burg ist das. Sehr schöne Aufnahme.
LG Norbert

s. sabine krause, 25.05.2012 at 10:03h

i agree with viola! what a shame to tear such a great silent "witness of the past" down! but luckily enough, it's still there, looking fabulous and imposing – the epitome of a medieval "old knight's castle", as one automatically – romantically! ; ) – pictures it in his mind, when thinking about the term! greetings, sabine.

ARTURO MEDINA, 25.05.2012 at 11:04h

Fantástica imagen Felicidades
Un saludo

Sylvia Schulz, 25.05.2012 at 11:20h

wunderbar anzusehen, herrlich das alte Gemäuer vom Wasser umgeben

Fons van Swaal, 25.05.2012 at 11:25h

Very nice image Mark and interesting story....
Best regards and good week-end..

Alfred Schultz, 25.05.2012 at 15:03h

If the Antwerp city council had asked the foto community, it would have helped to saved much
more of the castle.
But still: your presentation is great.
Cheers - A.

Fábio Santos, 25.05.2012 at 15:20h

Very nice :)

Claudio Oldrini, 25.05.2012 at 15:56h

Wonderful presence,very good frame.
Ciao Claudio

Vera M. Shulga, 25.05.2012 at 17:38h

Very nice presentation of this very old castle!
Very interesting info to this beautiful photo.
Regards, Vera

Leo_nid, 25.05.2012 at 17:49h

in a democratic country 1 vote matters
in non-democratic systems thousands of votes go down the drain
great shot and story

Irbenika, 25.05.2012 at 20:25h

Impressive castle! Interesting story


Vitória Castelo Santos, 25.05.2012 at 21:30h

Tolles Motiv - perfekt fotografiert! Gefällt mir sehr gut!!
LG Vitoria

Gunther Hasler, 25.05.2012 at 21:39h

Zum Glück ist es erhalten geblieben! Eine Burg wie aus dem Bilderbuch, Mark und von Dir sehr wirkungsvoll präsentiert!
Gruß, Gunther

de ceulaer, 26.05.2012 at 0:26h

zeer mooi !
goie we !

Adele Oliver, 26.05.2012 at 4:06h

a very handsome and very old castle ... and so interesting its history ... good to see that it was preserved, and I wonder how the whold building looked like so many years ago.
greetings, Adele

Markus 4, 26.05.2012 at 9:05h

a very strength fortification.
Very good

Wolfgang Bazer, 26.05.2012 at 12:44h

Marvellous! This is a fav.

Luigi Scorsino, 26.05.2012 at 17:12h

Herrliche Arbeit Mark
Kompliment und guten Wochenende

Othmar W. Mayer, 26.05.2012 at 17:31h

As your accompanying refer to the preservation of historic buildings is still not a given.
Voting results as of the Antwerp city council can doubt the democracy. Unfortunately, I do not know any better shape.
Kind regards

TeresaM, 26.05.2012 at 20:10h

Une grande et splendide addition à ta série "Castles of Belgium", Mark !
Une excellente photo.

qRudi, 26.05.2012 at 20:34h


Angelika El., 26.05.2012 at 22:32h

Die Farbunterschiede zwischen den beiden Steinarten ist ganz wunderbar zu sehen - fast wie ein Strich, der mit dem Linial gezogen wurde! Es wäre schade, wenn dieser so wunderbar aussehende Rest der einst stattlichen Anlage nicht erhalten worden wäre!
Eine ganz feine Aufnahme!!!


Sepideh Q., 27.05.2012 at 14:47h

Very beautiful and great historic place.
A wonderful presentation and info to it.
Thank you.
Best wishes from Persia,

adriano j faria, 27.05.2012 at 18:11h

Magnific detail of this beautiful castle!!!


Brigitte Hoffmann, 28.05.2012 at 13:43h

Gestochen scharf und perfekt ins Bild gesetzt!
Danke für den Kommentar dazu.
Salut Brigitte

aline64, 28.05.2012 at 16:25h

un très beau chateau; superbe prise dans ce ciel bleu

Bernhard Kuhlmann, 28.05.2012 at 19:00h

Das sind Burgen, wie sie den Vorstellungen eines Mannes entsprechen !
Fantastisch die tolle Architektur.
Gruß bernd

willy ombret, 28.05.2012 at 20:51h

très belle prise de vue de ce château
très bonne photo
willy ombret

Silvia Simonato., 29.05.2012 at 0:11h

Que bonito lugar, un castillo de cuentos de hadas!!
Saludos Silvia

Ushie Farkas, 29.05.2012 at 4:29h

Erinnert mich irgendwie an den Grafen von Monte Christo......und andere Geschichten aus dem Mittelalter, die bicht minder grausig gewesen sind.
Das Bild ist excellent! Gruß Ushie

Allan Thompson, 30.05.2012 at 7:11h

Solid building and photo both are artworthy!

annegretfunk, 28.06.2012 at 12:01h

"Harry Potter"
ein sehr schönes Foto
von dieser alten Burg !!!

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