The port city of Antwerp, Belgium: top attractions.

The port city of Antwerp, Belgium: top attractions.

Are we interested in the Dutch Renaissance? Regardless of the answer, the Antwerp City Hall in the central square of the Grote Markt is exactly the place to visit, as it is a striking example of the Dutch Renaissance, one of the first buildings built according to the classical canons of the era.

Antwerp Zoo

Boys and girls and their parents, don’t you want to see hippos? That is how the Antwerp Zoo could jokingly invite visitors if it were not already one of the most popular among the oldest and most beautiful zoos in the world.

The Castle Wall

One of the popular routes for walking in Antwerp begins on the right bank of the Scheldt, namely the stone castle Sten, which, without thinking too much, was called “stone”. And all because in the 13th century, when the fortress was built, other buildings were mostly made of wood.

Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp

The collection of the Royal Museum of Fine Arts (Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten van Antwerpen), housed in a 19th-century building, contains over 7,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints covering the period from the 14th to 20th centuries.

Museum Mayer van den Berg

The Museum Mayer van den Bergh collection once belonged to collector Fritz Mayer van den Bergh, who devoted his entire life to art. The museum holds masterpieces from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, as well as a number of 19th-century works, tapestries, drawings, sculptures and stained-glass windows.

Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp

Antwerp has fanatically and reverentially worshipped the Virgin Mary since ancient times, she was seen as the city’s protector and patroness. The statue of Our Lady was kept in a small chapel in the center of the city, where the beautiful Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp grew over 250 years.

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Antwerp Central Station

Located on Astrid Square, not far from the diamond quarter, the modern Antwerp Central Station itself boasts a diamond gallery with 30 jewelry boutiques. Of course, it also serves its primary purpose.

Antwerp Port House

The port of Antwerp is the engine of the city. It employs about 60,000 people and is Europe’s second largest port by turnover after Rotterdam, handling 26% of the containers that come into Europe. The importance of the port of Antwerp is hard to overestimate.

Rubens’ House

Rubens House (Rubenshuis) is the former studio house of Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens. Rubens lived in this house for most of his life and it was not until 1937, after the artist’s death, that the house was bought by the city and extensively restored.

Letterenhuis literary house

Since 1933 Letterenhuis has become the largest literary archive in Flanders. The museum exhibits letters, manuscripts, documents and portraits of Flemish authors.

Diamond Museum in Antwerp

The Diamond Museum’s collection tells the story of the origins of diamonds and diamond jewelry from the 16th century to the present. The exhibition uses light and sound effects and illustrations.

An de Strom Museum

The Aan de Stroom Museum is housed in a 60-meter building designed by Dutch architects Neutelings Riedijk. The museum building is a curved glass structure with an Indian red sandstone façade.

Fashion Museum in Antwerp

The collection of the Fashion Museum (ModeMuseum) contains more than 25,000 items, including clothes, shoes, accessories, embroidery and lace. The museum presents both historical costumes, the oldest of which dates back to the 16th century.

Plantin-Moretus Museum

The Plantin-Moretus Museum is dedicated to two famous publishers, Christopher Plantin and Jan Moretus, and is located in their former printing house, founded in the 16th century.

Antwerp Silver Museum

The Zilvermuseum Sterckshof is housed in the 16th-century Sterckshof castle, named after its owner Gerard Sterck. The museum displays a fine collection of silverware from the 16th century to the present day.

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Fort Breendonk

Built at the beginning of the 20th century to defend Antwerp, Breendonk was powerless against German attacks during World War I and II. In 1940, the Nazis occupied Belgium and built a concentration camp in the fortress, which was surrounded by water.

The city of medieval castles, Gothic cathedrals, museums, legends embodied in the stone, diamonds and Belgian fashion – all this is Antwerp. Here, even the train station resembles a cathedral on the outside and a jewelry boutique on the inside. But above all: Antwerp is the city of Rubens!

Antwerp’s fame as an artistic city was certainly born in the 16th century with the emergence of the “Antwerp Painting School,” which includes Pieter Bruegel the elder, Pieter Paul Rubens, Antonis van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens and other painters.

The many Antwerp museums offer a chance to see the paintings that have become marvels of the arts around the world with your own eyes, akin to a pilgrimage to the source of beauty.

The spirit of Rubens is omnipresent in Antwerp: in the churches, in house names and street histories, in the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and the museum house named after him, in the Plantin-Moretus print shop, but most of all in the Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp.

Several of the painter’s paintings adorn the cathedral, including the monumental The Exaltation of the Holy Cross, The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Deposition of the Cross and The Resurrection of Christ, which is considered his finest work.

The girl’s “best friends,” according to Marilyn Monroe, are undoubtedly in Antwerp, for it is the capital of valuation, trade and diamond-cutting. Antwerp’s central station is located just outside the “diamond quarter,” which was historically conceived precisely to facilitate trade for all parties involved in it.

Antwerp is also a very cheerful city, with countless cafes and pubs playing music until nightfall. And, of course, for children and adults works Antwerp Zoo, the only one in Belgium and one of the most famous in Europe, located in close proximity to the same notorious Central Station.

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