From Classicism to Art Nouveau - 18th and 19th century Antwerp

<p><strong>Refined bourgeois architecture</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Grand city hotels and spacious bourgeois residences, churches that reinvent ancient architecture or exotic art nouveau fa&ccedil;ades that make you dream about bourgeois grandeur&hellip; 18th and 19th century Antwerp offers a mosaic of elegant architectural styles.</p>

 

Classicism:grand class

Eighteenth century architecture moved away from lavish Baroque and reflected the language of classical antiquity and French elegance.Pure classicism was very popular in Antwerp.Those who could afford it, adapted their homes.With their strict symmetry and elegant lineation, the façades of De Groote Robijn, the Osterrieth House and the Hofkamer are sublime examples of classicism. Other examples are the Bishop’s Palace, the hotel Van Ertborn and the country cottages of Middelheim and Sorghvliet. The Bourla theatre is Late Classicistic.

Art-nouveau:the façades of the belle époque

In the 19th century, Antwerp’s residents dreamt of the heyday of yore.That inspired architects to neo-styles and eclectic styles.A neo-style is a total concept:it puts previous styles in a consequential 19th-century jacket.  Examples include the neo-Baroque Hanzahuis located in the Suikerrui and the neo-Gothic St George’s church. The eclectic style draws from different movements and combines them into a new total concept.Examples include the hall of Antwerp’s Central Station, the façades in the Leysstraat, the old court of justice and the Museum of Fine Arts. During new city developments at the end of the 19th century, Antwerp’s architects drew from both styles freely. On the Vlaamse Kaai you find neo façades next to an eclectic Zuiderpershuis. On the Cogels-Osylei an eclectic style runs rampant - next to the art nouveau buildings that put the Zurenborg district on the map.

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Central Station

Central Station

The Antwerp Central Station, also known as Middenstatie (Middle station) or Spoorwegkathedraal (Railroad Cathedral), was first used in 1905. The structure is made up from a steel platform covering and a stone station building in an eclectic style. Recently, the station was completely renovated and in 2007 a tunnel underneath the station and a part of Antwerp was opened, reverting the station’s status as a terminus where are all trains have to turn back. In 2009, the American magazine Newsweek chose the Antwerp Central Station as the fourth most beautiful train station in the world.

Vlaeykensgang

Vlaeykensgang

The secret Vlaeykensgang alley dates from 1591 and connects Hoogstraat, Oude Koornmarkt Pelgrimstraat with one another. Walk through the gate at Oude Koornmarkt 16 and you feel as if you have journeyed back in time. In the past this alley was where the shoemakers and the poorest people in the city lived. The shoemakers were also in charge of sounding the alarm bell of the cathedral. These days you can find antiques stores and art galleries here as well as the exclusive restaurant Sir Anthony Van Dyck. The atmosphere is very intimate which is why many people also like to come here to listen to the carillon concerts during the summertime.

The Underpass

The Underpass

St Anna’s Tunnel – or Underpass, as the locals like to refer to it – was opened in 1933. Both on the left and on the right bank, you can still access the tunnel using the authentic wooden escalators which were unique at the opening.

Medieval Antwerp

Medieval Antwerp

Those who want to discover medieval Antwerp must dare to look beyond façades and buildings.Traces of the earliest city by the river mainly reveal themselves to alert detectives – look at street names and city maps.

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Antwerp in 24 and 48 hours

Antwerp in 24 and 48 hours

Whether you’re coming to Antwerp for a hefty helping of culture, to soak up some history, to shop or to enjoy Antwerp’s culinary delights, you’ll find them all within reach. Antwerp may be compact, but it has a great deal to offer. Get all you can out of it by using the Antwerp City Card as your guide. The card (valid for 24, 48 or 72 hours) will open the nicest, tastiest and most surprising doors of the city for you, for free or at a discount. Discovering is now up to you. Have fun!

Discover Antwerp

Discover Antwerp

Shorter days and longer nights… Yes, autumn is here. But don’t worry, because in Antwerp we always make sure that every day and every night is simply unforgettable, with fun parties in unexpected places, concerts in palaces and exhibitions and culinary highlights in the city centre. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, we have another surprise up our sleeve for you. Book the Discover Antwerp package, spend the night in Antwerp and make the most of your stay with the Antwerp City Card that is included.

Antwerp Fashion Weekend

Antwerp Fashion Weekend

Antwerp has a solid national and international reputation as a creative fashion city. The well-known Fashion Academy and the amazing Fashion Museum as well as the inspiring shopping streets and the various fashionable events organised in the city all contribute to this. The new Antwerp Fashion Weekend event only helps confirm why so many visitors from neighbouring cities and further afield think of Antwerp as the shopping capital of Belgium.

MAS | Museum aan de Stroom

MAS | Museum aan de Stroom

The MAS is the most prominent place where the city and the port come together, both literally and figuratively. The 60 metre tall tower – a feat of daring architecture – has already become a new landmark in Antwerp. The MAS is focusing on the city’s diversity and reflecting on the many contacts between cultures, both past and present. The museum collection tells the story of the city, the port and the world. On the roof of the MAS, you can also enjoy panoramic views over Antwerp.

Beer in Antwerp

Beer in Antwerp

Belgian beers are world-famous, and Antwerp is an excellent place to improve your acquaintance with them. The De Koninck Antwerp City Brewery offers an ideal introduction to the world of beer. Het Pakhuis is another brewery where you can taste authentically brewed beer. In addition, there are plenty of typical ‘brown cafés’ which often have dozens and in some cases hundreds of Belgian beers on the menu. Examples include Bier Central, ’t Waagstuk, Paters Vaetje, de Kulminator and Gollem. 

Vlaeykensgang

Vlaeykensgang

The secret Vlaeykensgang alley dates from 1591 and connects Hoogstraat, Oude Koornmarkt Pelgrimstraat with one another. Walk through the gate at Oude Koornmarkt 16 and you feel as if you have journeyed back in time. In the past this alley was where the shoemakers and the poorest people in the city lived. The shoemakers were also in charge of sounding the alarm bell of the cathedral. These days you can find antiques stores and art galleries here as well as the exclusive restaurant Sir Anthony Van Dyck. The atmosphere is very intimate which is why many people also like to come here to listen to the carillon concerts during the summertime.

Markets

Markets

Nothing is more fun than a market.You get a taste of the city and its local offerings.Antwerp has several weekly and monthly markets spread all over the city.They’re highly recommended for those who want to experience the real Antwerp.

The Rubens House

The Rubens House

Step into the shoes of the leading Baroque artist of his era. Rubens and his family lived in this palatial setting for well over 25 years and it is here that the artist created the lion’s share of his work. Here he entertained Europe’s nobility and Royalty and stored his impressive art collection in a beautiful art room. The garden, the creators’ workshop and the fabulous collection draws 150 000 visitors from all over the world, year after year.

Renaissance and Baroque – 16th and 17th century

Renaissance and Baroque – 16th and 17th century

The wealth of the Golden Age is reflected in the perfect beauty of Renaissance façades and the flamboyant excesses of Baroque friezes and gates.A selection from the architectural high feast that Antwerp experienced in the 16th and 17th centuries

Steen Castle

Steen Castle

Het Steen was home to the Maritime Museum for many years. Now that its collection has been moved to the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS), HETPALEIS and the city of Antwerp have reopened this legendary building as a ‘question centre’ for visitors (and anyone looking for answers), young or old, aged six years or over.