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Harbour cranes

You will find the largest and most impressive items in the MAS collection on the Scheldt quays, free of charge. There, you will find the world’s largest museum collection of harbour cranes. And right in front of the MAS you will all but bump into the real showpiece: the oldest crane in the collection.

The very first crane in the port of Antwerp

A crane at the port is first mentioned in 1263, when the city council made a wooden treadwheel crane available to merchants. This service has now been maintained in the city for 750 years without a break.

The world’s largest museum collection of harbour cranes on Antwerp’s Scheldt quays

On the Scheldt quays, you can admire 12 of the 18 giant cranes belonging to the MAS. It is the largest museum collection of harbour cranes in the world. The oldest dates from 1907, and the youngest from 1963. The cranes were built by 15 different renowned manufacturers from home and abroad, and demonstrate the rapid technological developments that took place in the port during the last century. Most of the cranes are protected monuments. Take a walk over and discover these giants of the old port.
You can find the collection on the Rijnkaai, near Hangars 26 and 27.

The oldest crane of the MAS, right on our doorstep.

The oldest crane from the MAS collection is a ten-tonne manually operated crane from the German manufacturer Stuckenholz. The city of Antwerp purchased this crane in 1884 for handling heavy loads and mounting shore cranes. In 2011 it was restored by the non-profit organisation Werkvormm vzw and the volunteers of the MAS. A showpiece of our collection that can be admired right on our doorstep every day. Stop and take a look as you walk past.

MAS book on 750 years of harbour cranes in Antwerp

This book full of attractive illustrations gives enthusiasts a unique overview of the history of 750 years of harbour cranes in Antwerp . Specialists describe the development of cranes and port construction and the essential function played by cranes in transferring goods from dockside to ship and vice versa. Intrigued? Take a look in our MAS shop.

Interested in a guided tour or a climb up a crane?

You can look at the cranes on your own or with a guide: we occasionally organise guided walks. The adventurous can even climb a crane, for example on the annual Open Monuments Day. Keep an eye on our website or subscribe to the MAS newsletter and you’ll be the first to be informed.


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