Skip to main content

Harbour cranes

The MAS' largest and most impressive collection pieces can be seen on the Scheldt quays, completely free of charge. There you will find the largest museum collection of harbour cranes in the world. And just in front of the MAS, you almost bump into the showpiece of our collection: the oldest crane in the collection.

The largest museum collection of harbour cranes in the world  

On the Scheldt quays, you can admire 12 of the 18 giant museum cranes from the MAS. It is the largest museum collection of harbour cranes in the world. The oldest one dates from 1907, the newest from 1963. The cranes were built by 15 different renowned manufacturers at home and abroad and show the rapid technological evolution of the port over the last century. Most of the cranes are protected as monuments. Take a stroll there and admire these giants of the port of bygone years.

You'll find the collection on the Rijnkaai, at Hangar 26 and 27.

  • The very first crane in the Port of Antwerp
    The first mention of a crane in the Port of Antwerp is in 1263. At the time, the city council provided the city's tradesmen with a wooden treadmill crane. Since then, this service has been continued uninterruptedly by the city for 750 years.
  • The MAS' oldest crane, just outside the door
    The oldest piece in the MAS collection is a 10-tonne hand crane made by the German manufacturer Stuckenholz. The city of Antwerp bought it in 1884 for handling heavy loads and assembling shore cranes. In 2011, it was restored by Werkvormm vzw and MAS volunteers. It is a showpiece of the MAS collection to be admired daily. Don't just walk past it.
  • MAS book ‘750 Jaar Havenkranen in Antwerpen’
    This book, full of clever illustrations, gives enthusiasts a unique overview of the 750-year history of harbour cranes in Antwerp. Specialists describe the evolutions in cranes and port design and the essential linking function of these cranes between quay and ship. Een geleid bezoek of een kraan beklimmen?

Looking for a guided tour or to climb a crane?

You can visit the cranes on your own or take part in a guided tour. We occasionally organise guided walks. The more adventurous can even climb a crane, for example, during the annual Open Monuments Day. Keep an eye on this website.

Read more:

World Port

Trade and shipping

Once the largest port in the world, today the Port of Antwerp is characterised by colourful containers. It connects the city with the rest of the world. Dive into the history of our port.

Portopolis

In the shadow of the Museum aan de Stroom, you'll find Portopolis. Here, you can discover the port of Antwerp from the heart of the city through an interactive exhibition!

Subscribe to our newsletter