Yes, I actually passed on a chance to visit Antwerp’s famed diamond district in favor of a walking tour (actually, two separate walking tours; one for food, one for the sights, so today’s post is a smorgasbord of cultural and culinary delights!) through the medieval streets of Belgium’s second largest city. That doesn’t mean I still didn’t come across a few gems deserving of your attention.
And now for the juicy pieces of history! Above the entrance to the Steen Castle gate is a relief of Semini, the Scandinavian God for youth and fertility. As the story goes (at least according to our Belgium guide), for ages female citizens of Antwerp would come to Het Steen to touch a well-endowed statue of Semini to ask for fertility and easy pregnancies; at least, until Jesuit priests chopped off the, ah, appendage, in the 17th century. Why'd they do that?
We emerged on this idyllic relic of the past (now painted white as per government regulations) via the Oude Koornmarkt 16 gate. Blink and you’ll miss it!