Antwerp

 

 

Antwerp is an important tourist destination in the north of Belgium in the Flanders region on the border with the Netherlands. Antwerp is the world diamond center — more than 70% of all diamonds in the world are traded here. This concerns more than 85% of the world's rough diamonds, 50% of the cut diamonds and 40% of the industrial diamonds.

Antwerp has a beautiful old city center and it is known for its fashion designers. The port of Antwerp is an important economic factor for Belgium. Antwerp is the largest municipality in Belgium in terms of population.

 

History

Antwerp is a very old city. There are excavations dating back to the Gallo-Roman era. The name probably comes from the casting, which refers to the bend in the Scheldt where the sand was thrown. There is also a funny anecdote associated with this name, the name Antwerp is said to come from 'hand throwing'. The Roman soldier Silvius Brabo is said to have cut off the hand of Druoon Antigoon the giant because it demanded too high a toll. The statue of Brabo has been erected on Antwerp's Grote Markt, throwing away the giant's hand. You can also see the hand in the Antwerp flag.

In the sixteenth century, Antwerp was one of the most important financial centers in the world where traders from all over Europe and Asia traded goods. After the siege of Antwerp in 1585 by the Spaniards, this role was taken over by Amsterdam. Antwerp has been making an economic comeback since the 19th century and especially the 20th century. New docks were dug north of the city. The northern expansion continues until today. In the past, ships were unloaded and loaded at the quays around Het Steen. The port left the city around 1968 and all activity now takes place in container terminals. The digging in 2000 of the Deurganckdok, where even the village of Doel had to disappear, is one such example. This dock is located as close as possible to the mouth of the Scheldt to speed up the loading and unloading of the ships. No more annoying and dangerous journey on the Scheldt to the city. In the years 1956 to 1976, the largest expansion of the port up to the Dutch border was realized, including the construction of the Zandvliet lock, which allowed ships up to 125,000 tons to be received. Due to the shifting of the working area, certain port environments, such as Het Eilandje, deteriorated. Vacancy and dilapidation were rampant until these hangars, streets and squares were rediscovered by developers, who rebuilt and renovated the area. The MAS (museum on the stream) is a catalyst for these changes.

The numerous Maria façade statues are characteristic of Antwerp. Mary is usually accompanied by Jesus, as a child that is to say. There are still 164 images, but once there were twice as many. These sometimes densely populated images are usually of stone, sometimes painted and generally well maintained. They are located on the first floor in niches or on the corner of two streets under a canopy.

Antwerp was placed in the top 10 of cities to visit by the travel guide publisher Lonely planet and not unimportantly, declared in 2009 by ECA international as the second best city to live in the world after Copenhagen.

Due to the many domination that has taken place in Antwerp in the past, including by Spaniards, Portuguese, Austrians and French, the Antwerp dialect is a mixture of words that have stuck from foreign languages. To get an idea of ​​words but also of their pronunciation, it is best to consult the Antwerp dictionary.

 

Traditions

Sword dance, Volksdansgroep Lange Wapper always performs the sword dance on semi-fast in front of the main entrance of the cathedral. (Handshoe market) This dance is a reconstruction of a dance from the 15th century that was performed in Flemish villages and towns. The musical accompaniment consists of drums, violins and bagpipes.
Vette Os , The weighing of the heaviest beef takes place in March on the Grote Markt. Several fatteners compete for the main prize with their exceptional animals. The organization is in the hands of the Sint Jan Royal Society, which was founded in 1838. So this is a tradition that has existed for more than 150 years. Usually the Antwerp giants are brought out to brighten things up.
Guild parties take place the weekend before August 15th.

 

Orientation

The entire territory of Antwerp is divided into 52 districts. The district of Antwerp has approximately 183,000 inhabitants and is divided into 22 districts:

Eilandje, The newest "hip neighborhood" where wealthy people live who previously took refuge in the "South" (under construction). The sailor but also the skippers come here to do their maritime shopping. Willemdok, Bonaparte dock and dry dock are located in this neighborhood. The port area begins at the Mexico bridge in the direction of North. Around the aforementioned docks, statues of the artist Carla Kamphuis-Meijer have been set up here and there. They are all characters from paintings and drawings by Eugeen Van Mieghem who lived in Montevideostraat and portrayed harbor life. Thousands of emigrants left from here between 1870 and 1920 on the Red Star Line to America in search of happiness. The renovated marina with approximately 250 mooring places, has conquered a beautiful place here and old warehouses where tobacco and cotton used to be stacked are now sought after as a place to live. The city archives are now located in the Sint Felix warehouse. The London Bridge was put into operation in 1869, this old seesaw bridge lies across the Verbindingsdok that connects the Kattendijkdok with the Willemdok.The Kot , where dockers are recruited, is located in Cadixstraat. There are also a number of very good restaurants, eateries and many terraces around the docks. A walking brochure called Het Eilandje is available from the tourist office on the Grote Markt 13. In 2009 a new park was opened in Antwerp North, "Park Spoor Noord".
City park, Multicultural neighborhood where many nationalities live side by side. Nice city park, Russian Orthodox Church, many ultra Orthodox Jews. Here you can find many gold traders and diamond merchants as well as Jewish bakers and the famous caterer "Hoffy's", as well as the heavily guarded closed street with its diamond exchange and many international banks. The City Park itself is a triangular park located on the Rubenslei to a design by architect Friedrich Eduard Keilig from 1869. The park has an iron suspension bridge and a rocky outcrop, is 140 years old and no significant changes have been made in all those years. There is a modest skate park, a playground, a disco and many lawns that are freely accessible. In 1279 these grounds were chosen by 5 women who were sent by the bishop from Utrecht to Antwerp to found a monastery. The monastery burned down in 1542. Fort Herentals was built in 1818 on the spot where the city park is now, but it was already evacuated in 1859. The city of Antwerp then bought it for 12 million Belgian francs.
Zurenborg Many artists and intellectuals found shelter here. The Dageraadplaats , the most eastern square of Antwerp and therefore called Dageraadplaats, is the center of this neighborhood. Here are many cafes and it is pleasant to stay in the evening. Very important is the Cogels-Osylei with houses from the end of the 19th century. Those who were rich then lived there. Art Nouveau, Romanticism, Neoclassicism and Neo-Gothic, you will find it all. Around the middle of the 19th century, this area was still one of cart tracks and meadows with difficult drainage, causing the marshy soils to become acidic. Hence the name Zurenborg. The district is unfortunately cut in two by the railway to the Netherlands. To the west of the railway, the houses are less extravagant.
Harmonie a neighborhood with quite a bit of greenery just outside the slates with many mansions from the last century and parks (Harmonie, Albertpark and Park d'Hertoghe) The neighborhood is located on Mechelsesteenweg and the Harmonie (Centenary Clinic), Brederodewijk and Britselei at the old Justice Palace .
Kiel This district consists mainly of social housing. The main streets are the Sint Bernardsesteenweg, which has just been reconstructed, and the Abdijstraat for shopping.
Linkeroever , a relatively recent neighborhood with a lot of diversity. Easily accessible on foot via the Sint-Anna pedestrian tunnel, or in a few minutes by pre-metro. There is a village atmosphere around F. Van Eedenplein, despite being close to the city center. You have beautiful views of the Antwerp skyline, which consists of the cathedral and the farmer's tower. Further in the North there is the Sint-Anna beach (also called "de plage" by the locals). The beach on the banks of the Scheldt is quite spacious and has a few catering establishments and an outdoor swimming pool, open during the summer months. However, swimming in the Scheldt is strictly prohibited. Just behind St. Anna Beach is called "the Chicago of the North" because of the many gray apartment buildings in Ceauşescu style.

Luchtbal-Rozemaai-Schoonbroek
Sint-Andries , a working-class neighborhood with many restaurants. It is no coincidence that you will find the statue of Mother Netje, the main character from the novel 'Mother why we live' by Lode Zielens. The social abuses here were poignant. The people of Antwerp called this district the parish of misery. There used to be many alleys in this district. The horse gate is the only thing that survived the great remediation of 1869. A pump and three communal toilets were the only sanitary facilities for the entire alley.
Stuivenberg The workers' homes from 1861 in this district are among the first public housing in Antwerp. Nowadays a mix of many nationalities and cultures lives there. People mainly live outside. It is here that the Stuivenberg Hospital can be found. In 1885, this hospital set an example with its eight large round rooms and its many windows and garden. The Veldstraat swimming pool has recently been renovated and you will also find a hammam and Turkish steam bath.
Exhibition district - remnant of the World Fair in Antwerp in 1930.
The South- built on the edge of / on a former dock of the Antwerp harbor. Many trendy catering establishments, the most important visual arts museum, the Royal Museum of Fine Arts (KMSKA, currently closed for renovation), the Museum of Contemporary Art Antwerp MUHKA and the photography museum FOMU. After the demolition of the city walls, the South was created in the 19th century. In order to suppress the rebellious Antwerp residents, the hated duke of Alva had the Spanish Citadel built on the grounds from the new courthouse to the filled-in zuiderdokken and Kronenburgstraat. Later, during Belgium's struggle for independence in 1830, the Dutch held out here the longest. The fort was only demolished in 1872 and in its place were the wide avenues and streets that still, together with the stately mansions, give the South their special character. Until 1940, the South was the chic neighborhood, after which the district deteriorated. It was not until 1970 that the neighborhood was revalued and thoroughly renovated. On the bolivarplaats you will find the new law courts with an impressive futuristic architecture.
Schipperskwartier , notorious neighborhood with a lot of prostitution in the 80s and 90s, now somewhat in the process of recovery. Prostitution has now been reduced to three streets, including the large Villa Tinto brothel complex .
Atheneumbuurt The city council had hoped that with the arrival of the Permeke library, the area around De Coninckplein would be upgraded, but that is slow. Self-employed people complain bitterly about shoplifting and petty crime. The van Wesenbeekstraat is Antwerp's "chinatown", where you will find Chinese restaurants and shops. There is a pagoda gate and two lion statues on the side of Central Station.
Brederode A busy working-class neighborhood where a lot happens on the street. You will find a mix of Belgian and Turkish shops, cafes and restaurants.

 

Destinations

For only € 28.00, the Antwerp City Card offers 48-hour access to the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions of the Antwerp museums as well as the monumental churches. You also get a 25% discount on attractions, sightseeing and bike rental. In the accompanying guide you will find vouchers that give you all kinds of benefits on typical Belgian and Antwerp products such as diamonds, chocolate and fries. For sale at Antwerp Tourism & Congress, via their website and at the tourist information desks on the Grote Markt and in the Central Station.

Center
Rubens House, Wapper 9-11, ☎ +32 3 201 1555 . Tue-Sun 10 am-5pm, last admission 4:30 pm. Closed on January 1, May 1, Ascension Day, November 1 and December 25. Open on Easter Monday and Whit Monday. The home of Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) is now a museum of his life and work. In his time he bought it for 7600 guilders. The house that we can now visit is no longer that of the past. Parts were demolished and others added. It was not until 1937 that the city of Antwerp succeeded in taking possession of the Rubens House and starting the necessary repairs. Old prints of 17th century city palace gardens served as the basis for the construction of the garden as we know it today. In order to reconstruct the pavilion at the end of the garden, a painting by Rubens has served as depicting himself, his wife Helena and his son Nicolas. That painting hangs in the Pinakotheek in Munich. Rubens was one of the most important painters but also a diplomat in Northern Europe during the Baroque period. The term Rubensian is still used to describe ladies with luscious curves. An audio guide is available and recommended.
Plantin Moretus Museum , Vrijdagmarkt 22-23, ☎ +32 3 221 1450 . Tue-Sun 10 am-5pm. Closed on January 1, May 1, Ascension Day, November 1 and December 25. Open on Easter Monday and Whit Monday. The house of the 16th century bookbinder and printer Christoffel Plantin (1520 - 1589). The Museum Plantin-Moretus has an exceptional collection of typographic material, including the two oldest printing presses in the world and complete sets of stamps and dies, a beautiful library, a richly furnished interior and the complete archive of the Plantin company. Listed UNESCO World Heritage Site. Christophe Plantin was born in St Avertin near Tours in the South of France and first worked as an apprentice at a bookbinder in Caen before coming to Antwerp to become a printer.
Antwerp Zoo , Koningin Astridplein 20-26, ☎ +32 3 202 4540 . open every day, closing time depending on the season. The Antwerp Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the world (1843) with more than 5000 animals and a lot of 19th century architecture and design. Special are the Egyptian Temple and the Antelope Building . Scattered in the garden are some very beautiful statues. At the top of the entrance on the left is the bronze camel driver by Josué Dupon from 1899. The hunting eagle stands next to the birds of prey.by Michael Bracke from 2005. Michael Bracke is also a zookeeper at the zoo. Also a beautiful limestone statue of the Indian Rider was attacked by two jaguars by Jozef Geefs from 1869. Furthermore, the Seated Wild Boar from 1612 by Pietro Tacca and the Hippo family by Christophe Annys also adorn the garden. In the coming years, Antwerp ZOO will undergo a fundamental metamorphosis. Step by step, several of the garden are tackled. An authentic home for the animals is being built, but also an exotic garden with increased comfort for the visitor. The entire metamorphosis is carried out in different phases, over a period of no less than 10 years.
Our Lady's Cathedral , Groenplaats 21, ☎ +32 3 213 9951 . Monday-Friday 10am - 5pm, Saturday 10am - 3pm, Sundays and public holidays 1pm - 4pm. . Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal (1352-1521) is the largest Gothic church in the Netherlands and houses some of Rubens's famous paintings. It also contains the oldest prime meridian in the world, placed there by Mercator. Later it moved to Paris for political reasons, and later to Greenwich.
The pulpit was sculpted in 1713 by Michiel Van der Voort and initially stood in the church of the St Bernardus Abbey in Hemiksem. The church factory bought the pulpit in 1803 and it has been in the cathedral since 1804. The three female figures represent Asia, Europe and Africa. The image of Europe has a scepter as a sign of its supremacy over the other continents.
Climb the tower. Eight EUR, good footwear and a bit of fitness, that's all it takes. Every Wednesday from April to September at 10 am and 1.30 pm for groups up to 15 people. You can make a reservation at Prospekta vzw, Grote Markt 13, at the tourist office. Tel 03 203 95 85. Anyone who is afraid of heights would rather not start. It is more than worth it. In clear weather you can see the Atomium in Brussels.

 

Groenplaats , Numerous restaurants and bistros, with or without a terrace, are located around the statue of Rubens. There is a small flower market on Saturdays and Sundays and numerous events take place in summer. The Hilton Hotel has found shelter in the old buildings of the Grand Bazar. Stand with your back to the covered terrace of the aforementioned hotel, next to the benches and the rubbish bin and have a look at Rubens. You will immediately learn his secret.
Glove Market . On the Handschoenmarkt , to the right of the cathedral, is a black cube that pays tribute to Nello and Patrasche . They were the protagonists in A hound of Flanders, a book from 1872 by Marie-Louise de la Ramée. The book tells the story of the orphan boy Nello, who is fond of the paintings by Rubens that hang in the cathedral, and his dog Patrasche, who came every day from Hoboken to the city to sell milk. It's a sentimental story that ends dramatically with Nello's death in front of the painting, Rubens's Descent from the Cross. The book is very popular and compulsory school literature in Japan. Until a decade ago, the people of Antwerp did not know what it was about when Japanese tourists asked for an explanation about A hound of Flanders , because the book had never been published in Flanders.

Before the 16th century, the Handschoenmarkt was the cathedral's cemetery. After that it became a marketplace for glove and fur sellers. The well with forged ironwork is said to have been forged by the painter / blacksmith Quinten Matsys. Legend has it that he only used a hammer and an iron file in the creation of the artwork.

the Five Monumental Churches of Antwerp
the grand Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady with the bustling 'Rubensen'
the hidden St. Andrew's Church with the popular pulpit.
the self-assured Baroque St. Carolus Borromeus Church with Rubens' signature
the renowned St. Jacob's Church with an abundance of marbles
the (fantasy) rich St. Paul's Church with unparalleled art treasures

The Grote Markt , beautiful square with the town hall from 1564 (renaissance) and the houses of the guilds (16th and 17th century). In 1970, when a layer of plaster was removed, it was discovered that the substructure of the town hall consisted of brown marble. The marble has been completely restored with brown marble powder. If you are standing in front of the town hall, you can still see how it used to be on the right, almost on the corner behind a glass plate.
The guilds were like the unions of a particular craft. They each had their guild house that radiated the wealth and power of the guild. The Brabofontein, by Jef Lambeaux (1887) and the freedom tree are also on the Grote Markt. The statue of Saint George on the facade of the house Grote Markt 7 is by Jef Lambeaux.

Old Guild and Craft Houses :
Gildekamerstraat 3 . Former house 'Valckenborch'. At the time the room of the old longbow guild St Sebastian. The first mention of this building dates from 1350. Most likely the building had a wooden facade. During the Spanish Fury of 1576 it was ravaged by fire. It was rebuilt in 1616 and the front was completely rebuilt in 1952/55.
Gildekamerstraat 4 . Former house 'the lily' but popularly called 'the four winds'. This house dates from 1309. It was also destroyed by fire during the Spanish Fury in 1576. Rebuilt by bricklayer Zanders Yenens in 1576. This house is considered an example of Antwerp's Renaissance style. The lower façade is inspired by the Brabantine Gothic skeleton construction. Two life-size female statues, one with a rudder, the other with an anchor, adorn the wing consoles. The building was restored in 1952/55.
Gildekamerstraat 6 . Former house 'de halffmane' from 1375. At the time, it was the room of the young archers' guild. A typical example of native Renaissance style. The top of the facade is particularly tasteful, partly due to the use of S-shapes and curls. The facade was carefully restored in 1952/55.
Grote Markt 5 . Former house 'de sleevee' also called 'de Gulde sleevee' or the Cuypershuys. At that time (1427) room of the coopers' trade. Destroyed during the Spanish Fury and rebuilt on December 19, 1577. The facade was contracted out to the stonemason Gilles Woutier. Note the lion masks at the start of the gable. The façade was restored at city costs in 1906 under the direction of architect L. Blomme.

 

Grote Markt 9 . Former house 'den Spieghel' or 'den Grooten Spiegele'
Grote Markt 11 . Former house 'den Arent' or the great Arent 'also called' den Swerten Arend '. At that time room of the main craft of the Meersen or Meerseniers. In the Middle Ages, Meerseniers had a monopoly on the retail of utensils. The first mentions of this house date from 1387. Brabantine-late Gothic architectural style. Because the house survived the Spanish Fury without damage, a seated statue of the Virgin Mary was placed in the façade top in 1577. In 1906 the building was completely rebuilt by the Firma Kreglinger.
Grote Markt 38 . Former house 'de Balans', at that time a room for the cloth makers or dry-shearers office. The house with wooden facade from 1395 was completely destroyed on October 4, 1541 when a fire ravaged the houses of the Maalderijstraat and the surrounding area. It was immediately rebuilt in stone. The arched drums of the ground floor show performances from the cloth-making company.
Grote Markt 40 . The former house 'Roodenborch' that stood on this site before 1401 and came into the possession of the skin greasers and shoemakers who renovated it on November 26, 1454. In 1755 the building was bought by the united carpenters and carpenters. The façade dates from 1644 and for this the craft received an allowance of 400 pounds of artois from the magistrate on duty. The facade belongs to the full Baroque style and is comparable to houses on the Grand Place of Brussels from that period. It is unclear whether there were statues in the niches in the gable end.
Hoogstraat 62 . The corner house called 'den Peerboom'. At that time chamber of carpenters 'and joiners' crafts. Originally the house had a wooden facade. In 1704 the carpenters rebuilt the house. They stayed there until 1756 when they moved to the house 'Roodenborch' on the Grote Markt. The building is an example of Flemish late Baroque.
Cheese sweater 2 and 4 . Former Metsershuis called Het Vier crownedambacht. The crowned trade consisted of the masons, the stonemasons, the cobblers and the shale and brickworkers. (1476) In 1531 this craft built its first house (camere) on the Kaasrui. It burned down on the night of November 1, 1562. It was rebuilt a little later. This house has been wrongly regarded as the home of the executioner. The classifying cornice with triangular pediment was installed after 1708.
Lange Koepoortstraat 60 . The former house 'Het Hoefyser' or 'het Gulde Hoefyser' A few sand and brick parts of the facade are unfortunately all that remains of this house. We know from old writings that the goldsmiths came to settle here in the 16th century and that the house was connected to the yard of 'den Wolsack' located in the Oude Beurs 27.
The last house with a wooden facade in Antwerp is located in the Chair Street. This street connects Zwartzusterstraat with Zirkstraat. Here too it did not make much difference whether the house was demolished. Thanks to the passionate efforts of some art friends and local residents, their actions have enabled it to be preserved and restored.

Boerentoren , Schoenmarkt . Boerentoren , or also called the "KBC-tower" after the company that owns the tower. This skyscraper is one of the oldest in Europe. Construction took 3 years, from 1929 to 1931, making it one of the first skyscrapers in Europe (together with Edificio de Telefónica de España in Madrid). It is located at the beginning of the Meir. There is a viewpoint on the 25th floor (entrance 6E with exhibition below) with fantastic views of the city, including the nearby cathedral. The tower is known for its art deco sculptures. The Boerentoren with its 97 meters as a pioneering skyscraper on the European continent has to be put into perspective a bit compared to its counterparts on the American continent, the Empire State Building in New York was built in the same period and also in the same style and measures 381 meters. The tower with its metal supporting frame was covered with white natural stone.

Vlaeykensgang , the secret street that connects Hoogstraat, Oude Korenmarkt and Pelgrimsstraat. It is a real street but only accessible through an inconspicuous medieval portal. The medieval equivalent of a gated community ! There are beautiful houses and expensive restaurants and sometimes very busy by tourists, but intrinsically a very relaxing combination of alleys. The street dates from the end of the sixteenth century and was originally the street of the shoemakers. Ironically, the name Vlaeykens probably comes from a bakery (flan = cake). A must in Antwerp. This is the best place to listen to the cathedral's carillon.

The moulting , an experience you will never forget. Take a walk through the sewers of Antwerp. The first 100 meters are covered by boat and further you have to walk. It does not smell and it is relatively dry. Entrance at the Suikerrui. Each participant will receive protective clothing and boots. The guided walk takes approximately 3 hours.
Sint-Catherina-beguinage , Rodestraat 39, Mon-Sun 08: 00-18: 00, beguinage founded in 1234 with very nice sites within the beguinage such as the house of the Holy Spirit . The special thing about this beguinage was that the women did not stay there for life but until they were married or decided to leave it. It is an oasis of peace within the city. There is an inner garden with a small orchard, a pond and of course statues of saints. The beguinage is located in the same street as the university.
The stone, Steenplein 1, This is a small castle on the banks of the Scheldt. It was probably part of the city walls and originally had a military function. Later inmates were locked up awaiting trial and it got a bad connotation as a place of torture. In a niche above the large entrance arch is a bas-relief, probably from the second century, representing "the god Semini". Originally, this statue also had a long erect penis. This god stood for "fertility" and used to be worshiped by many women for fertility problems. In the 17th century, the Jesuits thought this was unchaste and cut off the penis. This fact was sung by many past and present Antwerp troubadours. Papa Semini or God Seminis still lives on in the typical Antwerp expletives ". Het Steen is open every day except Mondays. The maritime museum used to be located in it. From 2012, the city decided to enter into a partnership with the HETPALEIS children's theater house. Original and active workshops, guided tours and exhibitions are now organized.
Harbor cranes A stone's throw away from Het Steen are the historic harbor cranes on the Rijnkaai at hangar 26 and 27. The oldest crane dates from 1907 and the youngest of 1960. Together they form the largest museum collection of cranes in the world.
Scheldt quays From the remains of the Zuidersluis (on the damped zuiderdok) to the Pilotage, you can walk next to the water on the blue stone and along old hangars. It is a walk of about 4 km. Caution is advised, unfortunately you have to pass annoying car parks here and there. Recently, living on the Scheldt quays has become popular again and the new architecture has been abundantly present here for the past ten years. It is therefore one of the most expensive places to live in the city.
Atelier Jozef Peeters De Gerlachekaai 8 on the third floor. The studio can only be visited by appointment tel 03 238 29 44. Jozef Peeters was an avant-garde painter who came to live in Antwerp in 1920.
Aquatopia , Koningin Astridplein 7, open daily from 10am to 6pm, closed on December 25th aquarium with 1 million liters of water and more than 10,000 fish.
Museum Mayer van den Bergh ; daily 10 am-5pm, last admission 4:30 pm. Closed on Mondays and on January 1, May 1, Ascension Day, November 1 and December 25. Open on Easter Monday and Whit Monday. Fritz Mayer van den Bergh (1858-1901) was a collector of masterpieces from the Middle Ages. He preferred art from the Netherlands from the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, Breugel and portraits. After his death Henriëtte Mayer van den Bergh (1838-1920) had a museum built that housed her son's life's work. It is an intimate museum, a real gem.
Museum Vleeshuis ; Every day from 10am to 5pm, last entry at 4.30pm. Closed on Mondays and on January 1, May 1, Ascension Day, November 1 and December 25. Open on Easter Monday and Whit Monday, this museum cherishes music, musical instruments, buskers, sounds, bells and everything related to harpsichords. The sound of the city is heard through windows and doors. If that is not enough, you can visit a workshop of the bell founders Sergeys in the basement or the workshop of Van Engelen, the brass instrument maker.
Maagdenhuis ; Weekdays from 10am to 5pm, weekends from 1pm to 5pm. Closed on Tuesdays and on January 1, May 1, May 9, November 1 and December 25. from 1552 to 1882, the virgin home was an orphanage for girls (maegdckens). The girls learned household chores, sewing and crafts, some lucky ones also learned to write and count.

Rockox House ; Every day from 10am to 5pm, weekends from 1pm to 5pm. Closed on Tuesdays and on January 1, May 1, May 9, November 1 and December 25. Open on Easter Monday and Whit Monday. The houses at Keizerstraat 10 and 12 were unified by Nicolas Rockox in 1603. Rockox (1560-1640) was friends with the painters Rubens and Van Dijck. He studied law in Leuven, Paris and Douai and played an important role as alderman and mayor of Antwerp between 1603 and 1625. He owned a beautiful collection of antiques and coins. The house was beautifully restored to its former glory under the direction of the architects JL Stynen and R. De Bruyn on behalf of the Kredietbank. It was opened to the public on April 20, 1977.
MAS ; Museum on the stream. The building, of striking architecture, brings together different collections from scattered museums in the city. You will find the following: a permanent collection, a temporary exhibition, the Kijkdepot, the Knowledge corners, the pedestrian boulevard, the roof panorama, the Museumplein, the pavilions, café Storm, star restaurant Het Zilte, a panorama roof and the MASshop. It is the newest and also the largest museum in Antwerp. It is an open house, you can just walk in and out, even up to the roof panorama. Only the museum rooms are paying.
Veldstraat swimming pool ; located in Antwerp-North. The Art Deco style building was designed by the architect Joseph Algoet in 1933. It is the oldest existing swimming pool in Antwerp and it has been completely restored to its original state. The reopening party was celebrated on March 28, 2009. There is now also a hammam and a bathhouse in the basement.
Heritage library Hendrik Concience ; Named after the author of De Leeuw van Vlaanderen, the man who taught his people to read. Pierre Concience, father of Hendrik, was a carpenter from Besançon who ended up in Antwerp during the time of the Napoleonic conquests. Hendrik Concience lived in the Pompstraat.
Hessenhuis Falconrui 53, was built in 1564 and was used as a warehouse for goods from Hesse (Germany). Exhibitions have been regularly organized since 1975. It was in this building that avant-garde artists held their first exhibition in 1958, partly at the hands of the then mayor Lode Craeybeckx. The G58 would become a household name in the Antwerp art world.
AMVC Letterhuis; This museum preserves the archive relating to Flemish literature of the 19th and 20th centuries, but the museum also has 120,000 photos, posters and other documents from writers, composers and artists.
Public Library Antwerp; a new library called Permeke, located in a former car garage and located on the Coninckplein, was to give a new impulse to the troubled neighborhood. Every third Sunday of the month from 10 am to 4 pm, except in winter, numerous stalls are set up on the square in front of the library and De Coninckplein becomes a book square.
Palace on the Meir ; corner of Meir and Wapper. A typical city palace designed by JP Baurcheit in 1745/1746 in Rococo style with late Baroque influences. After the independence of Belgium, the Antwerp residence of the monarchs served to receive guests who arrived in the port. Albert I was staying at the palace in 1914 when war broke out. From 1969 the palace was used as an ICC-International Cultural Center, after that it became a film museum. Because intensive use and periods of vacancy had left their mark, the building closed its doors at the end of the 20th century. After a thorough restoration, the Paleis op de Meir has been open again since 8 May 2012. Today you can enjoy a fascinating piece of history, a visit to the Hall of Mirrors, a delicious lunch and tasty chocolate.
Comics Station , In the Central Station. Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10 am-6pm. Indoor amusement park around Belgian cartoon characters 21.50 €.
Museum De Reede , Ernest van Dijckkaai 7, ☎ +32 472 190200 , e-mail: info@museum-dereede.be. Thu-Mon 11: 00-17: 00, closed Tues-Wed. A museum dedicated exclusively to graphic art, including etchings, lithographs, engravings, wood prints and drawings. The collection includes works from the 17th to the 21st century by various artists, including some 150 works by Francisco Goya, Félicien Rops and Edvard Munch. € 8.00 adults, € 3.00 for 13-18 years, free for under 13 years. A reduced rate of € 5.00 for adults and € 2.00 for 13-18 years applies between 12:00 and 13:00.

 

The south of Antwerp
Since the upgrading of Het Zuid in the nineties of the 20th century, this has been the trendiest place in Antwerp.

M HKA. Formerly MUHKA. Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp in a converted grain silo. Was completely renovated in 2009.
Photography Museum. Just renovated and located in the former warehouse of Flanders. A fairly small exhibition space, but sometimes surprisingly good performances.
Royal Museum of Fine Art. Has a collection of paintings from the 15th century to the 20th century. The permanent collection has works by great masters such as Pieter Paul Rubens, Breugel, Van Eyck, Anton van Dyke, Jacob Jordaens and James Ensor to name a few. There are, among other things, guided tours for blind and partially sighted people. Registration is necessary and can be done by telephone on +32 3 242 0416 or by e-mail: publicswerking@kmska.be. The museum will be closed from the beginning of 2010 until the end of 2017. Modernization works will then be carried out with the aim of doubling the exhibition capacity. The outside is not affected.
The Zuiderpershuis is located on the quays. It's an old power plant. Bridges, locks and harbor cranes were put into operation via underground pipes with pressurized water from the Zuiderpershuis.
The Muntplein, the central part of the Munthof, located in the center of the city on the Muntstraat, has been transformed into a fully-fledged public space. A permanent graffiti wall has been installed on one wall of the square by some artists, together with the youth service.
Main Synagogue Only used for special occasions as the Jewish population lives around the city park. The building dates from 1893 and was designed by the architects Hertogs and Stordiau.
New Justice Palace on the Bolivarplaats is called the Butterfly Palace by Antwerp residents due to the peculiar roof construction. It is at the end of the slates, the cars drive under it towards the ring. It was designed by the British architect Richard Rogers who also designed the building that is the seat of the Strasbourg court.
Tropical Institute located at the end of Nationalestraat - corner Kronenburgstraat. It does not belong entirely to the south, but also not to Antwerp Center. This Art-Deco building was designed by Marcel Spitaels and Paul Le Bon and is still in its original state with marble stairs, wooden paneling, monumental murals and a sunken garden along the side of Kronenburgstraat. The garden and the building are protected. This building is the result of an architectural competition in 1923. The institute specializes in the research of tropical diseases, but also tuberculosis and AIDS. It was the first to isolate the HIV virus from a wild chimpanzee.
Rudolph Steinerschool Volkstraat 40, two hundred meters from the Tropical Institute. It was built in 1899. The Art Nouveau façade was beautifully restored by Rutger Steenmeier in 1994, the interior decoration is by the well-known architect Bob Van Reeth. Only the facade has been preserved, but it is also a beautiful example of Art Nouveau in Antwerp.

Theaters and theaters
Bourla Theater , Comedy Place, built by the French architect Pierre Bruno Bourla (1783-1866) In 1834, this theater still owned a permanent lamp maker who was responsible for the maintenance, lighting and extinguishing of the 80 oil lanterns in the theater. The exterior has now been nicely renovated, but behind the scene there is an authentic drawing system in wood with cords to change the decors. Het Toneelhuis currently houses here, tel 03/224 88 44.
Stadsschouwburg Congress hall, theater hall and auditorium, Theaterplein 1. Tel +32 3 229 1800
Arenbergschouwburg Theater hall and auditorium. Tel +32 3 202 4646.
Fakkelteater Red room / Cellar theater (Hoogstraat 12) and Black room Reyndersstraat 7. Place meeting +32 3 233 1588 or +32 70 240 636.
De Roma Located in an old cinema in Borgerhout. When the building was fully housed, hundreds of volunteers rolled up their sleeves to turn this building back into a cultural temple. It remains a bit quirky and the programming is excellent and very diverse. Tel +32 3 292 9740.
Real Antwerp theater There is only played in Antwerp. Arenbergstraat 10, tel +32 3 231 2008.
Het Seeftheater This smallest café theater in Flanders has existed for 29 years and can accommodate 49 people. Diepestraat 34, tel ticketing +32 472 417181. Tel theater (no reservation!) +32 3 231 2008

 

Noordteater Sint-Nicolaasplaats 3, tel +32 3 231 2008.
Theater aan de Stroom , Blancefloerlaan 181 B, 2050 Antwerp, tel +32 70 223 330
Amuz , Augustinus Muziekcentrum - Kammenstraat 81 - 2000 Antwerp, located in the former St Augustinus church, an example of early Baroque architecture. Inside, however, there is quite a bit of trompe l'oeil to be found, in other words the marble parts are painted and therefore not really. Not only can you listen to music, the renovated church and winter chapel can be visited. The tour must be requested. Tel 03/229 18 00.
De zuiderkroon , Theaterzaal, corporate events, Vlaamse Kaai 81, tel +32 3 229 1800.
The Singel International Art Center of Antwerp with programming of dance, music and architecture. Desguinlei 25, tel 03/248 28 28.
Antwerp also has a good puppet and pussy theater tradition. The name poesjenel is derived from Pulcinella. They are rod puppets.

De kitty (Poesje van Antwerp) located in the Repenstraat. Tel: 03 338 95 85. This is the oldest pussy cellar. This theater was founded in the 19th century by Louis Gustave Deschamps a French sailor. The repertoire consists of: The lion of Flanders, The nose and the bare damn, Romeo and Juliet, Isa Drolda and the Maegd van de Burchtgracht. Each performance has three stories and the audience chooses.
Straffen Toebak Grote Markt 5 in the 16th century cellar of café Den Bengel. Tradition to the old cat theater is discussed here. The folk stories are for adults and are brought in the dialect. The theater plays folk humor in the Antwerp dialect for groups and adults who know each other. Info and reservation: tel +32 3 289 5095 or poesje@straffentoebak.be.
Poesje van de Lange Wapper Stadswaag 20. Here efforts are made, among other things, to preserve the Antwerp dialect and maintain the pussy tradition. Info and bookings: tel: 03/440 60 90 (after 6 pm).
Froe Froe This company tours around and uses latex dolls in combination with roles played by actors. Namenstraat 7, tel +32 3 248 7221.
Poppenschouwburg Van Campen Tel: +32 3 237 3716. There are performances for adults in the dialect and children's performances in Dutch.
't Bengeltje Here children from 3 to 6 are the target group and they play with hand puppets. There are interactive performances on Sundays.

Cinema
There used to be dozens of large and smaller cinemas in Antwerp, each with its own character and appearance. (Rex - Metro - Savoy - Odeon etc). Pearls with lots of gold leaf, ornaments and plush seats. An usherette pointed out your seat in the dark with her light on and during the break she went around with ice cream. Unfortunately, that romance is over for good. Only room Roma still gives a vague impression of that lost greatness. We have to be content with the halls of the large groups.

Metropolis Antwerp , Groenendaallaan 394, 2030 Antwerp, tel +32 3 544 3660
Cartoon's , Kaasrui 4-6. The home of the better film, tel +32 3 232 9632.
UGC , Van Ertbornstraat 17, tel 0900/10 440.

Other
Central Station , the most beautiful and largest station in Belgium that has been modernized and expanded with a high-speed line. The price card was 1.2 billion euros and the renovation took 9 years. It may also be one of the most beautiful buildings in Belgium in an eclectic style. Outside, keep an eye out for the special resting points, a fine example of strength doctrine. Originally it was a terminus station, but since the tunnel under Astridplein, in the direction of Dam, trains can continue to run. The American weekly magazine Newsweek ranked Antwerp Central Station among the world's top most impressive station buildings. It took fourth place, ahead of St Pancras in London, Grand Central in New York and Chhatrapati Shivaji in Mumbazi.

Comic walls
Jan Bosschaert in the Wolstraat
Willy Vandersteen in the Korte Ridderstraat
Merho in the Paradijsstraat
Jan Van der Veken at the Eiermarkt
Ilah in the Keizerstraat
Dick Matena in the Korte Nieuwstraat
Philip Paquet in the Leopold De Waelstraat
Jommeke, at the Frans Halsplein
Brecht Evens, on the Oever between Kloosterstraat and Hoogstraat

 

Carillon concerts , Geert D'hollander or an international guest carillonneur will play from 6 July to 30 September. Sunday from 3 to 4 pm until September 1, also on Monday evening from 8 to 9 pm and all year round on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11 to 12 am. There are a number of favorite places to listen to the carillon, but by far the best place is Vlaeykensgang.
Zirkstraat , not only here is a very picturesque Spanish shop El Valenciano that sells beautiful products, but at number 27 there is a bronze bas-relief of a vagina on the first floor. This refers to the Payoke community center that was once located here and which campaigned against trafficking in women and prostitution.
Botanical Garden , Leopoldstraat. The lower-lying garden of approximately 1 ha is bordered along the street side by a bluestone balustrade with cast iron street lamps. The garden has its origins in the French Revolution and later belonged to the pharmacy of the adjacent St Elisabeth Gasthuis. It was classified as a landscape in 1950. Cacti and tropical plants find shelter in the greenhouses. There are about 2000 plants and a fern corner has been provided for all native fern species. The garden is open daily and free of charge until 6 pm.

Just outside Antwerp
Open Air Museum Middelheim , a permanent sculpture park opened at the time by the driving force of Mayor Craeybeckx. Consisting of Middelheim High with older works and Middelheim Low with contemporary works. Architect Renaat Braem (Sire, Belgium is the ugliest country in the world) built the Braem pavilion in the park, which houses vulnerable sculptures and temporary exhibitions. The green lung of Antwerp, just across the ring, contains in addition to the Middelheim Park also Park Vogelzang, Nachtegalen Park and Den Brandt where Jazz Middelheim takes place every two years.
House Guiette - Populierenlaan 32- is the only house in Belgium built by architect Le Corbusier. The house / studio was founded in 1926 for the painter René Guiette. Characteristic are the large glass areas and the open plan.
Sint-Anneke , once a lovely village called Vlaams Hoofdwith a kursaal and a Belvédère where people from Antwerp came to eat mussels, but eventually Antwerp became Linkeroever. Le Corbusier had plans to build a new city on LO, but that fell through. Dull high-rise buildings now predominate. What remains of the past is the beach and the walking dike. You can go swimming in the open air. De Molen swimming pool, Wandeldijk 40, Tel +32 3 219 1036. There is a children's pool and a sunbathing lawn. In 1955 the last remains of the village were demolished, but from Antwerp LO you have a panoramic view of the city of Antwerp and it is pleasant to stay on the plage in the Scheldebocht. Reachable by tram 3, 5, 9 and 15 - Frederik Van Eeden station. The Sint Anna tunnel, better known as the pedestrian tunnel, connects the Sint Jansvliet in the center of the city with the Frederik Van Eedenplein on the left bank. The tunnel is 572 meters long and was designed by Emile Van Averbeke. The building with the lifts belongs to the Art Deco style. It stands on the spot where the De Roose guards already stood in the 15th century and connected with the county of Flanders with its jetty for the ferry. From 1745 it served as a ferry house until it was listed as a historical monument in 1929 and then, as is often the case in Flanders, it was demolished for the construction of the tunnel. When you leave the building, you have a planted tree section on your right-hand side and almost against the Scheldt is a statue of King Baudouin by the Antwerp sculptor Wilfried Pas. A little further, the Boeiweide can be visited. A dozen old anchors and buoys were displayed in the meadow.
Galgenweel , In the direction of Burcht, it is about 4 km from LO and a sailing paradise of about 47 ha for the enthusiast. Fishing is also allowed, but the water has been found unsuitable for swimming or bathing.
Burchtseweel , was set up as a natural tidal area between 2008 and 2011 by order of the Beheersmaatschappij Antwerpen Mobiel. This to compensate for the mud flats and salt marshes that would be lost during the construction of the Oosterweel connection. A buffer basin has been constructed towards the Burchtseweel to collect water from the Laarbeek in case of severe weather.

Middenvijver nature reserve , opened on 8 June 2008. This area originally consisted of reclaimed soil that was supplied in 1970 from harbor works. The fertile polder landscape changed as such from a wetland into a dry and arid area. This was changed by the reconstruction of a large pond and watercourses. 38,000 trees and shrubs were planted. There are two hiking trails through the Middenvijver. Hiking trail Heron (blue) and hiking trail rabbit (yellow). The paths must not be left, dogs must be on a leash and peace must not be disturbed, all with the intention not to disturb the breeding grounds of the water birds. Middenvijver is easily accessible with tram 15 (terminus Linkeroever) and tram 3.
Fort Liefkenshoek , built during the Eighty Years' War (1568-1648) and intended to protect the city of Antwerp and to be able to continue to supply it. Spaniards, Dutch, French, Austrians and Germans have taken turns occupied the impressive fort. An exhibition can be viewed in four casemates and the renovation of the fort will be continued. Can be reached via N49 / E34 - exit Rotterdam - past the Beverentunnel - first exit Doel - at the roundabout follow the Fort Liefkenshoek signpost. To be visited Apr-Oct Wed-Sun 09: 30-17: 00 and Nov-Mar Wed-Fri 09: 30-17: 00 and Sat Sun 13: 00-17: 00.
Sterckshof Silver Museum. The collection of the Silver Museum covers a period of approximately 500 years. The museum is also a research center for goldsmithing.
Museum Stampe & Vertongen located at Deurne airport. It shows World War I fighter planes. Stampe was a fighter pilot.
Former BP Building Jan Van Rijswijcklaan 162. This building from 1960 was designed by architect Leon Stynen and P de Meyer. Specific to this building is the fact that the central column that contains the utilities is also the support from which all floors hang with steel cables. It was the first European realization of such a suspension system. The building is thirteen stories high. Antwerp Expo is diagonally opposite this building. Easy to reach with tram 2 (Stop Expo). Numerous events are organized in these large exhibition areas. The most important cultural event is the annual Flanders Book Fair, where readers and writers meet.

 

Getting here

By plane
Brussels Airport , IATA: BRU , ICAO EBBR is the closest major airport. Every hour there is a direct Brussels Airlines bus from the airport to Antwerp Central Station (De Keyserlei) with a stopover at Hotel Crowne Plaza. The cost is € 10. There is also a direct train connection between Brussels Airport and Antwerp Central, see for more information.
Antwerp airport , ANR. Few airlines use this airport for passenger transport. CityJet flies to Antwerp from London City Airport , Manchester and, via London City, also to Dublin , Dundee , Edinburgh and Jersey . There are several buses per hour to Antwerp center, and there is also a tram connection (nearest stop 1.2 km).
Eindhoven Airport , Ryanair
Charleroi Airport, Ryanair
Maastricht
Schiphol , major airport for international connections in the Netherlands.

By train
There are good train connections with Brussels Airport (train station Brussels-National-Airport ( Brussels ). The Benelux train (Amsterdam-Brussels) stops in Antwerp-Central . The Thalys also stops in Antwerp-Central.

The main stations are
Antwerp Central, ideal starting point for tourist visits
Antwerp Berchem

Less important:
Antwerp South
Antwerp East
Antwerp Dam
Antwerp Noorderdokken
Antwerp Air Ball
To plan your trip you can consult the website of the NMBS

By bus
There is a Eurolines office in the Van Stralenstraat. From there you can easily switch to local public transport, the bus station for both regional and city transport is nearby.

By car
For several years now, the city council has been doing everything it can to ban the car from the city or at least discourage car traffic. Parking meters have appeared all over the city and traffic jams in Antwerp are legendary. However, there are large Park & ​​Rides (free of charge) on all edges of the city, always close to a frequently served bus or tram stop. These are also indicated on signs at the access roads.

Tours
By public transport
De Lijn has a dense network of buses , trams and pre-metros in the city and the surrounding area. You can buy tickets worth € 15 for 10 journeys at fixed points in the city (Lijn shops), in newsagents, or at De Lijn machines. On the pre-metro lines, it is not allowed to buy a ticket on the vehicle - this must be done from the machines on each platform. It is also much cheaper not to buy a ticket on the vehicle.

Prices change according to the number of zones (based on distance). Only for journeys of approximately more than 10 kilometers (zones are marked on maps at the stop), it is necessary to buy a ticket for 3 zones or more. The central hub for De Lijn is the Franklin Rooseveltplaats near the Central Station.

A dozen tram lines and 5 pre-metro lines (underground tram) also cross the city.

By taxi and cars
Taxis are quite expensive compared to some other countries. They do not drive around looking for customers, but wait at specific places, such as at Groenplaats or at Central Station. You can try reaching out to a taxi, but usually they are already on the way. These waiting areas are marked as a test with an orange TAXI sign in some places. The prices are fixed on the taximeter, but differ according to the time of the day (or night).

There are few free parking spaces in Antwerp, you are not allowed to park on the Meir, but this is often done because the police have allowed this for a long time. On the Meir, many vehicles are broken into and recently the police have started towing away wrongly parked vehicles. You can NEVERparking on the Meir. You can drive on it from 7 to 11 am. Free parking on the Left Bank; the center is quickly and easily accessible via a pedestrian tunnel under the Scheldt or with the pre-metro that runs in a tunnel under the Scheldt. You will also notice that the large underground parking garages are signposted, often indicated by the number of free spaces. You can also easily park on the Scheldt quays. The car parks on the Noorder- and Zuiderterras are paying, but if you go a little further, past the bus parking, you can park completely free of charge, as long as you wish. The parking garage at the National Bank with entrance and exit via the tunnels at Britselei and Maria Henriettalei has recently opened. The historic Spanish walls have been partially preserved in the car park.

 

Those who come to Antwerp via the E17 can easily park their car at the P + R of Melsele. There are arrows on the car lines. The car park connects immediately to tram line 3. You are in the center within 10 minutes. Such Park & ​​Rides are provided on all edges of Antwerp, always with a good connection to public transport.

By bicycle
There are many bike paths in the city and most one-way streets are two-way for cycling. You can also find lots of street furniture specially made for attaching bicycles.

You can rent bicycles at various addresses such as:

Recumbent bike .
The Compass Rose .
Bicycle doctor , Verschransingsstraat .
The Fietshaven , in the car park under Central Station .
The Freewheeler , Steenplein .
Bicycle points ( guarded bicycle shed ), Under the Astridplein( close to Central Station ). yellow bicycles can also be rented and even minor repairs can be carried out. This is of course pleasant for day trippers who visit Antwerp by train and want to explore the city by bike.
Velo . Since 2011, you can explore Antwerp on one of the thousand red city bikes: the Velos. Wherever you are in the city center, there is always a Velo station at a maximum walking distance of 400 meters. The Velo is intended for short trips. The easiest way to reserve a Velo bicycle is via www.velo-antwerpen.be. For bike rides of half or a full day, it is better to go to another bike rental company.

On foot
Try it, Antwerp is relatively small and most destinations can be reached within half an hour. There are many things worth seeing throughout the city. You will receive a city map at the various info points, such as at Central Station.