There is so much to say about Antwerp that it is impossible to summarize this on one page. Yet we are going to do our best to enlighten you.
On and around the Meir, the commercial heart of Antwerp beats. The pedestrian shopping street is the busiest street in Belgium. The new ‘Stadsfeestzaal‘ with over forty shops is a huge attraction for shoppers and tourists.
But the Meir and surroundings are more than just shopping. There is an abundance of cosy terraces and cafes and restaurants. The Rubens House is one of the top museums in Antwerp and the historic city centre with the ‘Grote Markt‘ and the ‘Groenplaats‘ is nearby.
This cathedral is undoubtedly the pride of Antwerp. With its 123 meters height, it is the largest gothic cathedral in Belgium and the Netherlands. It took a hundred years to build the cathedral. Or at least …. almost: the second tower, which was provided in the plan, was never completed. Inside the church there are many works of art to admire, one in particular: the uprooting of the Cross and the Descent of Rubens. In the summer, on Monday evening, all the terraces and corners in Antwerp are full because then there are carillon concerts.
The cathedral plays an important role in the book “The Dog of Flanders“, or the story of Nello, and his dog Patrasche. This book, which is particularly popular in Japan, was originally unknown in Antwerp. In 2016 a marble statue representing a sleeping Nello and Patrasche was placed on the ‘Handschoenmarkt‘ in front of the cathedral.
Antwerp is a city on the Scheldt. It is a port city and the interaction between the city and the port has made Antwerp what it is today. In 2011, the ‘Museum Aan de Stroom‘ (Museum on the river) opened. The past, present and future of Antwerp are highlighted here in a unique way. But the MAS is more than a museum. It is total experience and definitely worth a visit. Moreover, there is a beautiful panoramic view of Antwerp.
Step in the footsteps of the greatest Baroque artist of his time. Rubens and his family lived in this beautiful house with palace allure for more than 25 years and it is here that the artist created most of his work. Here he, as an icon of Antwerp, received visitors from all over the world, not only during his life but even now.
Antwerp is on the river Scheldt . The old port and the city form what is now known as Antwerp and annually attract thousands of tourists from home and abroad. With the realization of the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) and the Red Star Line Memorial, the city center received two new tourist attractions. The port of Antwerp is the largest sea port in Belgium and the second port in Europe, after Rotterdam.
There are no dusty relics here in this museum where the history of printing comes to life. In 1555 the printer Christopher Plantin settled here. He was a French bookbinder, but had a printer and later a publishing house. Plantin became one of the most famous printers in the world. He even printed books for the Spanish king. At the height of his fame, 70 employees worked here and there were 16 printing presses. After they died, his son-in-law, Jan Moretus, took over the business. For 300 years, the printing business was in the hands of the Moretus family. In 1866 the last book of the presses rolled and the house with its contents was sold to Antwerp. It is a fascinating museum with a beautiful courtyard where people can quietly read a book, or rest from the visit to the museum.
These where just ‘the basics’.
There is a lot more to do, discover and learn in and about Antwerp. Take a look at the website www.visitantwerpen.be