Hidden Belgium: The tunnel under Antwerp’s river

Hidden Belgium: The tunnel under Antwerp’s river

Many tourists don’t realise you can walk under the River Scheldt in Antwerp.

Just over half a kilometer long, the white tiled Sint Anna tunnel was built in 1933. You find the entrance in an Art Deco brick building behind the basketball court on Sint Jansvliet. A creaky wooden escalator takes you down to the tunnel level where you can walk to the other side in about ten minutes.

But what do you do once you have made the crossing? In the past, people headed along the waterfront to the Sint-Anna beach, a strange resort that was the height of fashion in the 1930s.

Locals still come to Sint-Anna beach to eat in the fish restaurants behind the sea wall, swim in the open-air pool and cycle along the dike towards the Dutch border. But the beach huts and night clubs have gone long ago.

Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.

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