St Anna’s Tunnel – or Underpass, as the locals like to refer to it – was opened in 1933. Both on the left and on the right bank, you can still access the tunnel using the authentic wooden escalators which were unique at the opening.
Back in 1874, the locals agreed on a connection between the city’s left and right banks. Many plans were submitted for a bridge over the river Scheldt, but those were each time abandoned. Particularly because the bridge would considerably hinder shipping traffic.
Eventually, it took until 1931 before a decision was made in favour of a tunnel.
Even today, the entrance buildings are still pretty much intact, from the warning signs through to the fences.
The tunnel is still very much in use. By people who need to get from one bank to the other, tourists, but also by photographers and directors who come to shoot video clips there.
It definitely pays to cross the river to the Left Bank using the Underpass. And not just for the view of the Antwerp skyline once you’re there. The tunnel and entrance buildings are a piece of living history in the heart of Antwerp.
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