The Maidens’ House is a former orphanage for girls, dating from the 16th century. At present, it is home to the art collection of the Public Centre for Social Welfare, which includes some two centuries of art. From the 15th to the 17th century.
On Mechelseplein, one of Antwerp’s trendiest squares, is the Maidens’ House. In the summer especially, there’s an agreeable bustle there, but once you step inside the Maidens’ House, you are immediately struck by the peace and quiet and pious atmosphere.
Until 1882 the house was a girls’ orphanage. The orphans were then moved to more modern buildings, and the Maidens’ House became the headquarters of the Board of Civil Hospices, and later the Public Centre for Social Welfare. In 1884, the chapel was converted into a museum, where the Civil Hospices’ art treasures were put on display.
In 1925, the art collection was significantly expanded and since 1985, the entire ground floor of the old orphanage has been a museum.
But the Maidens’ House is more than works by great masters such as Rubens, Van Dyck and Jordaens. The museum is also dedicated to care for foundlings, orphans and the poor in Antwerp over the centuries. You will find objects from the orphans’ daily lives and products made by the girls.
A visit to the Maidens’ House is more than an ordinary museum visit, in other words. As you enter, you literally step from trendy modern Antwerp into medieval Antwerp. You become immersed in the lives of medieval orphans and foundlings. A tour of the Maidens’ House is guaranteed to leave a deep impression.
Special opening days
Special closing days
Price per person: 7
< 12: 0.
12 - 25: 1.
26 - 65: 7.
> 65: 5.
City Card: true.
Minimum people per group.
Maximum people per group.
Price per person: €5
Price per group: €
The history of the book printing industry comes to life in the house and studio of the Plantin-Moretus printing family.
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.
Near the river Scheldt you find Saint Paul’s Church, the former Dominican church, which was completed in 1639. The church has some splendid Baroque altars, more than 200 statues and 50 paintings. Masterpieces by artists such as Jordaens, Rubens, Van Balen and Van Dyck emphasise the church’s unique appeal. The Calvary garden looks like a set from an epic film about Christ’s suffering and resurrection.
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.
Step inside the home of the greatest Baroque artist north of the Alps.
Get all you can out of Antwerp! Are you interested in exploring all of Antwerp? Then use the Antwerp City Card as your guide. The card will open the nicest, tastiest and most surprising doors of the city for you, for free or at a discount. What’s more, you can choose how long you want to use it.
Antwerp is a pocket-sized city. Many of the attractions are within walking or biking distance of each other. Another way of getting around the city is on the trams and buses of De Lijn. Tip: buy your tram or bus ticket in a point of pre-sale (newsagent’s, supermarket, the vending machines at the various stops or in the visitor centres of Visit Antwerp), where tickets are cheaper.