Remains of citadel found under Antwerp museum


The remains of a citadel known as South Castle in Antwerp were found this week during construction works associated with the renovation of the city’s Royal Arts Museum

16th-century remains

Experts have identified remains of the 16th-century citadel known as Zuidkasteel, or South Castle, under the Royal Museum for Fine Arts in Antwerp (KMSKA), Flemish science magazine Eos reports.

The remains are from the main wall of the citadel and were discovered during digging works related to the renovation of the museum. Researchers also found remains of the barracks of the South Castle and of a bunker structure from where  soldiers could fire their guns.
The citadel was built on the order of King Philip II and the Duke of Alba to help control the rebellious city of Antwerp. It served as the base for Spanish soldiers who, in 1576, pillaged the city – the historical event known as the Spanish Fury.

The imposing construction occupied almost the entire south quarter of the city. The citadel was demolished in the 19th century, and KMSKA was built on the spot.

Image: A map of 17th-century Antwerp, with the imposing citadel on the left side