In the shadow of the towers

Antwerp wasn’t built in a day. It experienced chaotic growth. Buildings rose up hastily, were renovated, destroyed and demolished. Stroll through historic Antwerp and discover how a small city became a 16-century metropolis - the pearl of the Habsburg crown.

Antwerp was not built in one day. For centuries the town experienced chaotic growth. Like elsewhere, buildings were built, rebuilt and, unfortunately, destroyed or demolished. In the last centuries the medieval heart of the city was subjected to an irreversible facelift.
During this city walk past some prominent towers you can explore the beautiful historic centre. Strolling along winding streets you can experience first-hand how a relatively small town grew into a sixteenth-century metropolis, the jewel in the crown of the Habsburgs. The Butchers’ Hall, Town Hall and towering guild houses will bring to life the splendour of the Golden Age. But you also walk past the elegant tower of St. Charles Borromeo’s Church, a Rubentian Baroque campanile.
Elsewhere the contours of the modernist Boerentoren, the oldest skyscraper in Europe, will surprise
you. The many different architectural styles bear testimony to a very eventful history and contribute to Antwerp’s individual style. The highlight of this program is your guided visit to the Cathedral of Our Lady, the huge sacred shrine for the worship of the Virgin Mary in Antwerp and four masterpieces by Rubens. The imposing building with its magnificent gothic tower and splendid interiors are like a summary of the growth and prosperity, decline and resurrection of our proud city.
The Cathedral of Our Lady is closed to tourist visits during religious services.
Tickets for the Cathedral of Our Lady are not included.
The trail takes you along: GROTE MARKT - Museum Vleeshuis | Sound of the City - H. CONSCIENCEPLEIN - MEIRBRUG - GROENPLAATS.
This includes a short visit to: the Cathedral of Our Lady.

Start and finish: Visit Antwerpen, Grote Markt 13.

Information, prices and bookings.


Jan Crab


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Accompanied by experienced city guides you’ll walk to the unique Market place, surrounded by the mighty Renaissance Town hall and numerous guild halls. You’ll be astonished when seeing the famous Cathedral of Our Lady, coronated with a unique Gothic steeple, the symbol of the City of Antwerp. You’ll then pass through a charming sixteenth century inner yard, the ‘Vlaeykensgang’, and will continue your stroll alongside many sites and places which you have never imagined before.

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