Located between 1515-1520 in Neo-Brabantian/Gothic buildings built by Antwerp Mayor Arnold van Liere it became the residence of the Jezuit order from 1607 onwards. It was claimed by Austrian authorities in 1773 who installed a military college and academy in its place.
Referred to as Prinsenstraat or Rue du Prince close to the heart of Antwerp near Saint Jacobs’ church it featured a military hospital and a headquarter which also served as barracks until 1930.
Under French rule (1794-1815) it was transformed into a military hospital which function was maintained after the Belgian Uprising/Revolution in 1830. During the Siege of Antwerp in 1832 it rose to the occasion as it served wounded Belgian and French soldiers and officers – after the citadel’s commander surrendered wounded Dutch soldiers were treated as well.
Because of the increasing size of the Antwerp garisson in the second half of the 19th century and serving the role of “reduit national” the hospital was deemed too small. Prinsstraat was supplanted by the new to be erected military hospital at Berchem on the former site of Fortje 4.
After the Great War Prinsstaat became a barracks quarter and was sold to the Jezuit Order in 1929 who installed an institute of higher education: Universitaire Faculteiten Sint Ignatius Antwep (UFSIA) well known through the french rendition “Saint-Ignace” focusing on economics education. Several attempts to restore the building to its pre-military conditions were carried out erasing a part of its past.
At the end of the 20th century UFSIA merged to become the University of Antwerp (UAntwerpen) which was finalised in 2003 – Prinsstraat is commonly known today as “Stadscampus” or “City Campus” of the university.