The Ruien

Below the city the secrets flow... A visit to the Ruien, with its old vaults, canals, bridges, sewers and drains reflects the historic city centre above you, with plenty of interesting facts and curious anecdotes from a distant and more recent past. 

A piece of Antwerp's subterranean history

The sewers, otherwise known as the Ruien, are a shadow of the rich history above ground. Sewers, streams and fortifications have crisscrossed Antwerp ever since the Middle Ages. This network of both natural and man-made waterways provided the city with water and an internal harbour. When the sewers were turned into covered drains this unique piece of heritage disappeared both from view and from our memories.

The subterranean network of passages still gives us an idea of its rich and exciting past. You can now rediscover this hidden patrimony. We take you on a strange walk, deep in the belly of Antwerp.

Guided group walk of the Ruien

A professional guide will take you to the darkest corners of the underground water system. After a short boat trip the walk continues in the semi-darkness along covered streams, fortifications and drains. The vaults from the Middle Ages reveal their secrets at each step.

Gianni Aerts


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