I've been to Antwerp 50 times I think, but somehow never on a tourist route. So it was one lovely sunny (but cold) Saturday and as I had no clear plans for the day, I decided to jump on a train and off to a day trip to the Diamond City.
Will start from the beginning and guide you with pictures through the places I've checked out. I walked about 12 km.
Antwerp Central Train Station
You can find this train station on several of the most beautiful train stations in the world list and you can clearly see why
"The original station building was constructed between 1895 and 1905 as a replacement for the original terminus of the Brussels-Mechelen-Antwerp Railway. The stone clad terminus buildings, with a vast dome above the waiting room hall were designed by Louis Delacenserie. [...] The station is now widely regarded as the finest example of railway architecture in Belgium" (Source)
Below you can also find a picture of the exterior which i took on my way back (@sunset)
Former Hotel Metropole
The construction of the ornate neo-baroque style building was requested by the City of Antwerp. The architect Frans van Dijk (1853-1939) had to design a building, which would be the mirror image of the building on the other side of the Leysstraat. This earlier building, whose construction was started in 1901, was a design by Ernest Dieltiens. The addition of a near-mirror image would create a monumental gateway to the center within the former city walls. People who would stroll from the new "Middle Station" or Central Station towards Meir would come face to face with this "gate", which could have been in Paris, Vienna or the Nevsky Prospect in St Petersburg. (Translation from Dutch)
Kipdorpvest (nr. 28-30)
Street Art on
As I walk and you with me, I'll share some street-art from around the city
Groeneplaats - âA Dog of Flanders
"Statue has been unveiled in front of Antwerp Cathedral depicting a young boy and his dog, in tribute to the stars of a beloved 19th-century novel that found fame in Japan before it became known in Flanders, where the story is set. A Dog of Flanders was written by British author and animal rights activist Marie Louise de la Ramee, under the pen name Ouida. It tells the story of young orphan Nello, who grows up with his grandfather in a village near Antwerp. " (Source)
Groeneplaats - Cathedral of Our Lady
"is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Antwerp, Belgium. Today's see of the Diocese of Antwerp started in 1352 and, although the first stage of construction was ended in 1521, has never been 'completed'. In Gothic style, its architects were Jan and Pieter Appelmans. It contains a number of significant works by the Baroque painter Peter Paul Rubens, as well as paintings by artists such as Otto van Veen, Jacob de Backer and Marten de Vos. The belfry of the cathedral is included in the Belfries of Belgium and France entry in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites." (Source)
This Grote Markt is not different from most of the ones you find in Flanders: gorgeous houses, the city hall and some cafes around.
Grote Markt - Brabo Fountain
"The ceremonial inauguration of the sculpture took place in 1887. Jef Lambeaux realized the set of the bronze fountain. The reason is the legend of the name of the city, in which it is said that the giant Druon Antigoon cut off a hand to all the ship captains who moored in the area and refused to pay toll, then throwing it to the Scheldt. The captain of the Roman army Brabo cut off the giant's hand imitating what he had done. The fountain reflects the moment when the Brabo throws the giant's hand into the river.According to this legend, the etymology of the name of the city Antwerp is a composition of the Dutch words "(h)ant" (hand) and "werpen" (launch) " (Source)
âGrote Markt - City Hall
"âErected between 1561 and 1565 after designs made by Cornelis Floris de Vriendt and several other architects and artists, this Renaissance building incorporates both Flemish and Italian influences. The Stadhuis is inscribed on UNESCO's World Heritage List along with the belfries of Belgium and France"(Source)
"Majestic wooden escalators lead you deep down into a tunnel that stretches beneath the Scheldt River. Theyâre the highlight of the otherwise staggeringly monotonous 1,876 feet of ceramic tiles that backdrop your walk from shore to shore." (Source)
The escalators were made in the 1930s. They were a novelty then and still are now, thanks to the rarity of wooden escalators. The beautiful woodwork is remarkably preserved, making this a real treat for anyone tired of the modern, more unsightly escalators that dominate pretty much everywhere else. (Source)
Is a 350-kilometre (220 mi) long river in northern France, western Belgium, and the southwestern part of the Netherlands.
Currently, November 2018, it was in reconstruction, so I skipped the photo and will pass by again hopefully after renovation will have ended.
Decorated corners around the city
I love small details, they make places more unique and so a lot of corners around Antwerp have a very nice added element.
Around the PORT
MAS - Muesum
"The 60 metre high MAS was designed by Neutelings Riedijk Architects. The facade is made of Indian red sandstone and curved glass panel construction. It is an example of postmodern Art Deco architecture. The MAS houses 470,000 objects, most of which are kept in storage." (Source)
Red Star Line - Museum
"Two million passengers travelled from Antwerp, the Red Star Line's main European port, to North America on board Red Star Line ships. The museum focuses on their stories, that of the Red Star Line that transported them and that of Antwerp, the city and port from which they embarked on their journeys." (Source)
New Port House
"Designed by the late Zaha Hadid, the bold neo-futurist architect known for her elegant curves and sweeping scale, the new Port House opened to fanfare on 23 September. Dubbed the âdiamond shipâ â a nod to Antwerpâs history as a hub for the diamond trade â the giant glass block sits proudly on its classical base, like an alien spaceship that has found a comfortable nest." (Source)
Some Extra Streetart
The Opera House
"Since 1834, French and Italian operas were performed in the Bourla-theatre (Theatre Royal). As reaction, some Flemish dignitaries of the city had the idea to found an opera company which would play only Flemish and German operas. Finally in 1899, the building of the new opera house started. It was designed by Alexis van Mechelen. In October 1907 the new opera was inaugurated with Jan Blockx' (1851-1912) opera De Herbergprinses (La Princesse d'Auberge). The opera is designed in the typical style of the late 19th Century with half-open balconies. It's striking that the lower (expensive) seats aren't visible from the upper balcony, and vice-versa. This was done to separate the poorer public from the rest of the public. This is also visible in the separate entrances and staircases." (Source)
And so I went back to the train station. Maybe as activities that you can also do are visiting the Rubens museum (if you are into art), visit the Zoo which I heard is quite cool and shop till you drop in the center of Antwerp. :)