<div> The town hall is the beating heart of Antwerp politics. The impressive building is one of the eye-catchers in Grote Markt along with the statue of Brabo. Antwerp’s town hall was included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1999. </div>
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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 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.
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.
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.
It took 169 years (1352-1521) of labour to raise the 123m heavenward-reaching steeple of the Cathedral, the highest Gothic building in the Low Countries. The Cathedral is an iconic treasury, with an impressive collection of major art works, including a series of paintings by Rubens. Now, after twenty years, the seven-naved church has been restored to its former architectural glory. Fascinating features include Rubens’ ‘Elevation of the Cross’ and his ‘Descent from the Cross’. Any visit to Antwerp starts with a visit of the Cathedral of Our Lady.
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.
Grote Markt originally was a forum or square just outside the medieval residential quarter. In 1220 Duke Henry I of Brabant (1165-1235) donated this community land to the city.
The name Merckt was used for the first time in 1310.
Centrally on the Antwerp Meir you can find a genuine palace. The originally 18th century building used to be a thingummy of important rulers such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Willem I of the Netherlands and the Belgian Royal House. Nowadays one can enjoy a luxurious lunch and stylish pralines. Complete your visit of Antwerp and discover the Palace in Meir.
The “Handelsbeurs” (New Exchange) was built in 1531, as the Old Exchange on Hofstraat had become too small. It was the first exchange ever built specifically for this use, and became the model for other exchanges all over the world.