The Eilandje's Past

Weather-beaten statues, rusty wharf cranes, old bridges and locks, historic warehouses… in and around the hip Eilandje neighbourhood one finds references to an eventful maritime past and traces of the legendary Red Star Line shipping company. 

Moving statues, rusty port cranes, sturdy bollards, old bridges and locks, scenic docks and historic
warehouses pay tribute, with a hint of nostalgia, to an eventful past.
 
Along Rijnkaai you will be able to discover traces of the legendary Red Star Line shipping company. Like the drawings of artist  Eugene Van Mieghem, an enthusiastic guide will tell you all about the busy activity of shipping companies, nations, dock workers, sailor’s bars and the impressive steam ships of yesteryear.
 
You will relive the unique history of the ‘Eilandje’ where the stories of people reflect the major technical, economic and social changes.
 
Wear good walking shoes.
 
The trail takes you along: NAPOLEONIC DOCKS - PILOTAGE BUILDING - RIJNKAAI (old port cranes and buildings of the Red Star Line) - KATTENDIJK (lock and dock) - NASSAU BRIDGE.
 
Start and finish:  MAS square, Hanzestedenplaats 1.


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Dave Van Laere

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Bank and embankment recreated - copyright Jan Crab

Bank and embankment recreated

Along the banks of the Scheldt, across the Eilandje and straight through the Schipperskwartier (sailor’s quarter)… your guide walks you through the earliest history of the port of Antwerp - from the bank of the Scheldt to lively city on the river.

Touring around (and in) the MAS - copyright Foto Bart Huysmans & Michel Wuyts | Neutelings Riedijk Architecten

Touring around (and in) the MAS

Old Docks, Cadix and Montevideo… the once so faded docklands are rejuvenating. Today we call them ‘het Eilandje’ – because the neighbourhood was formerly enclosed by water when the locks of the Bonapartedok and the Verbindingsdok were open. A fascinating walk along Antwerp’s first docks. 

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