De Ruien are former waterways around Antwerp, originally dug out in the 11th century as protective moats but later used for water supply, commercial activity and then as open sewers. In the 16th - 17th century, the ruien were covered up by the citizens as the stench from the waste flowing through them became unbearable. The varied materials used to conceal the ruien reflected the wealth of the concerned citizens - Jesuits used expensive stones while Protestants used white and red bricks. Discover more about the underground city under the archways and vaults below Antwerp on a tour of the ruien.
Nearest Transit: Groenplaats
De Ruien and Nearby Attractions on Map
Grote Markt(0.2 km)
Grote Market or Great Market Square in the old quarter is the historical centre of town, surrounded by typical medieval guildhalls that are common in most Flemish historical towns.
Diamond District(1.7 km)
Antwerp's famous Diamantkwartier or Diamond District lies to the south and southwest of the central station, along Pelikaanstraat.
Plantin Moretus Museum(0.3 km)
The Plantin Moretus Museum is one of the best printing museums in the world, and the only surviving printing workshop and publishing house in the world dating back to the Renaissance and Baroque periods.
Cathedral of Our Lady(0.4 km)
The Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal or Cathedral of Our Lady is one of the most impressive and largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe, built in 1353 - 1521.
The Vlaeykensgang is a hidden medieval street near the Cathedral connecting Hoogstraat, Oude Koornmarkt and Pelgrimsstraat.
Jewish Quarter(1.7 km)
The Jewish Quarter in Antwerp is often referred to as a Shtetl (Yiddish for village or small town) due to the high population of about 15000 Jews, several of them being Orthodox and Hasidic.
Carolus Borromeus Church(0.6 km)
The Carolus Borromeus Church is a 17th century Jesuit church with a striking Baroque façade inspired by Il Gesu in Rome.
Rubenshuis on the Wapper was the home and studio of acclaimed artist Peter Paul Rubens where he stayed from 1610 till his death in 1640.
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