Antwerp is the second largest city in Belgium and has one of the largest seaports in Europe. It is the capital of the Antwerp province of Flanders and attracts many fashion lovers, clubbers and diamond admirers. The following sites are must-sees:
The old city centre
The old city centre was built around a gorgeous cathedral. At the city centre many diamond-shops, galleries, chocolate outlets and designer shops can be found. Considering the size of the city, an amazing number of fashion designers can be found which attracts many shoppers. It’s a perfect place to spend some money. The centre’s ground is paved with characteristic cobble stones.
Antwerp’s fashion museum MoMu
In the much-celebrated ModeNatie complex, you will find the MoMu fashion museum. Museum exhibitions change every 6 months, but it sticks to avant-garde theme. Also the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and the Flanders Fashion institute are housed here.
Antwerp’s most celebrated painter, Rubens, has his studio and home in het Rubenshuis. The city acquired the building in 1937, when it was not much more than a ruin. Because the building has been restored beautifully, it is now one of Antwerp’s’ main sights. A handful of the famous painters’ works are exhibited here. On the right wing of the building you can see Rubens’ studio and on the left wing sculptures and paintings from artists he admired are displayed.
The museum was built at the end of the 19th century in a neoclassical style. Paintings from the 14th century, Flemish masters and paintings from contemporary times can be found in its imposing rooms. Because the museum has got such a large collection, paintings are rotated. Fortunately there is an audio set and a museum plan to make sure everyone is able to stay well informed.
Antwerp is famous for having the biggest diamond-cutting industry in the world. This industry operates in the Jewish neighbourhood in the highly secured Pelikaanstraat or the Hoveniersstraat, where you might catch a glimpse of diamond trading. These streets also house a few important banks and the governing diamond body, de Hoge Raad voor Diamant. Keep in mind that many shops in this area are closed on Saturday as it is Sabbath, a Jewish holy day.
Antwerp feels fashionable, historic and multinational at the same time and is definitely worth a visit when you’re in Belgium.
This is a guest post from Salop Leisure. We have more than 80 caravan holiday homes on display.