Located in Flanders (Belgium) in the City of Antwerp, is the Port of Antwerp. It is Europe’s second-largest seaport after Rotterdam Port and is accessible to capsize ships. Napoleon Bonaparte was the first person to recognize Antwerp’s potential as a seaport, and he has the first lock and dock constructed in 1811. Since then, the port has continued to grow to what we know it to be today. We are exploring some of the weird and wonderful things to see and do around the Port of Antwerp, and to learn more about the maritime history of this city.
If you want to learn more about Antwerp Port, then the Port Centre is the best place to do this! This visitor centre offers extensive guided tours for groups and schools and is a hub of education about the port and its history. In the centre you’ll find interactive exhibitions which are geared towards providing lots of interesting information about the port. Outside, visitors can enjoy the maritime garden, which is a 1000m2 open-air exhibition with large part of ships and other port objects including bollards, buoys, and a dredging bucket. For maritime lovers, this is a must-visit!
Museum aan de Stroom (MAS)
Located along the river Scheldt in the Eilandje district of Antwerp is the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS). This museum was opened in 2011 and is currently the largest museum in Antwerp. The beautiful 10-storey building focuses Antwerp’s connection with the world, showcasing collections that range from maritime objects documenting international shipping and trade, to art, culture, and history of the port city. There is so much to see and do at this museum!
Red Star Line Museum
Between 1873 and 1934, Red Star Line Ocean steamers carried millions of European immigrants to America to start new lives. The Red Star Line Museum takes visitors on a journey and tells the story of these people who were desperate to leave their old lives behind for something better. The museum was opened in 2013 and is housed in the former warehouses of the Red Star Line. Exhibitions inside the museum allow visitors to follow the journey that millions of people made, from Antwerp to New York. Some famous passengers included Albert Einstein and Irving Berlin.
Antwerp is a city with so much to see and do, and the port forms a large part of the history of this beautiful city. If you’re planning on heading to Europe, add this city to your maritime bucket list!
Red Star Line Museum: By DimiTalen – Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31443289
MAS: By Zinneke – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50173630
Port of Antwerp: By Arminius, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3499475