/ Antwerp / Places to Visit / De Ruien
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.
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.
Het Steen is a small medieval castle on the banks of the river Schelde that was originally used to control access to the river and protect against Viking raids as a fort
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
The Vlaeykensgang is a hidden medieval street near the Cathedral connecting Hoogstraat, Oude Koornmarkt and Pelgrimsstraat
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
Vleeshuis, which literally translates to 'Meat Hall', is a 16th century Gothic guildhall where butchers set up shop
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
Muntplein is the street artists' corner in Antwerp, with walls splashed with colorful, everchanging graffiti
ModeMuseum is the fashion museum of Antwerp
St Paul's Church is a beautiful mixed Gothic and Baroque church that was earlier part of a nunnery