Giants at the quay of the river Scheldt

We walk along giants from the past. There is colour in the row of 12, but they do better in black and white, in the heavy iron and immeasurable power of construction and technological ingenuity. Monumental and industrial, you feel dwarfed in their shadows.

Year after year, they were pivotal in the harbour’s activity. They came alive with freezing dock water. They nodded and toiled, the water forced through the undergound city veins and reached the harbour cranes’ limbs, prompting them into action. Electric cranes came on, but until 1974 they proudly held their ground. Now they point and nod to the new harbour further along. Technology has outrun them.

The colossuses have numbers, no names. It makes no difference for the history buffs; there is admiration, even love for these museological showpieces. The 20th century action and liveliness has completely died down and all is quiet now.