The city of Antwerp, which has an important place in maritime transportation, should of course have a museum about maritime history. Steen Castle, named Het Steen, was in charge of this task until 2011.
Dating back to the 13th century, the artifacts in the museum were moved to the Museum aan de Stroom, which can be seen from all over the city with its large and modern structure. The Riverbank Museum, abbreviated as MAS, sheds light on the history of Antwerp.
Each floor of the museum allows you to look at the city from a different angle. The sides overlooking the view are covered with glass up to the ceiling. The size of the windows makes the museum very spacious.
Each floor of the museum is designed as an exhibition room. The main subject in the exhibition rooms, where there are many different subjects in different concepts, is the history of the port of Antwerp. In this 60-meter-high structure, topics such as the Viking wars, the development of the port of Antwerp, and working conditions in the port are discussed.
The second floor of the museum is mostly used as a warehouse. More than 180 thousand artifacts are open to visitors on this floor, which is used as a warehouse. On the fourth floor, symbols of power in various parts of the world are exhibited.
On the sixth floor of the museum, there are many artifacts about the Port of Antwerp, one of the largest ports in the world. Ship models, movie shots, stories, maps used in the period, auxiliary tools used in ports other than ships are among the artifacts you can see.
On the seventh and eighth floors of the museum are objects on the themes of life and death. Death plays an important role in every culture and there are noticeable cross-cultural differences on the theme of death.
Some fear it, others see it as a new beginning. Being a port city means a gathering of different cultures. Death-themed sculptures, clothes and rituals from different parts of the world are exhibited on these floors.
After having been fed with information on all the floors of the museum, we can go up to the terrace floor to see the Old Port of Antwerp in a more comprehensive way and reinforce what we have learned. Although the terrace is protected by glass, there are small holes in the middle of the sides where you can see the view without glass. Be sure to enjoy this 360-degree panoramic view.
One of the things you should not miss in the museum is the mosaic work made on an area of 1600 square meters. The work by Luc Tuymans is located right next to the museum building. It is used as a meeting point and when it is on the ground, you don’t realize what it is.
However, when you go up to the terrace of the museum, you face the reality. The mosaic, which we didn’t realize what it was when it was on the ground, suddenly becomes a big skull.
Museum aan de Stroom opening hours
Museum aan de Stroom is a building built on Bonapartedok, which is no longer used as it used to be. The museum opens at 10:00 every day except Mondays, on weekdays until 17:00, on weekends until 18:00 and entrance is free if you have an Antwerp City Card.