The Underpass

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.

Bridge or tunnel?

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.

History coming to life

The tunnel is still very much in use by people who need to get from one bank to the other.

It definitely pays to cross the river to the Left Bank using the Underpass. Not just for the view of the Antwerp skyline but also to admire this gem in the heart of Antwerp. 

Check on if the elevators and escalators are operational. 

Renovation of the lifts (pedestrian tunnel)

Both lifts are being restored in 2022. This means you cannot currently use them. If all goes as expected, the lift on the left bank will reopen this summer. By the end of 2022, the lift on the right bank should also be operational again. Both lifts cannot be restored simultaneously for technical reasons.

All work is being done behind the scenes, causing hardly any extra nuisance for tunnel users. The escalators will remain operational at all times but regular maintenance is scheduled to guarantee their operation.

Crossing the river quickly

Besides the St Anna Tunnel, pedestrians and cyclists can reach the other bank via the Kennedy (bicycle) tunnel and the St Anna ferry. Check for status updates about the escalators and lifts of the St Anna Tunnel and the Kennedy Tunnel and the sailing schedule of the St Anna ferry. That way, you will always know if there is a defect or a disruption of service, ensuring you can get to the other bank as quickly as possible.


Dave Van Laere



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