Antwerp Journals

Antwerp-The Flemish Gem

Best of IgoUgo

A January 2003 trip to Antwerp by zabelle

Our Ladys Cathedral Photo, Antwerp, Belgium More Photos
Quote: Antwerp is Belgium’s second largest city yet still maintains it's small town ambience. Walking the beautiful streets you are never far from its historic past. The architecture is spectacular yet familiar. .

Antwerp-The Flemish Gem

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Our Lady's Cathedral Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
I am not the kind of person who usually sits and just drinks in the atmosphere, I invariably have an agenda and it doesn’t allow for much sitting. In Antwerp, I sat on the Grote Markt and stared at the beauty of the buildings and the wonderful statue of Brabo. Even in the January cold it warmed my heart. The Cathedral is one of the most spectacular in Europe. I can’t begin to describe its glory. It is jam packed with great pieces of art and the ceiling of the dome is so utterly magnificent that some people where literally lying on the floor to photograph it. I didn’t go that far but I certainly did my share of photo taking. There are a hand full of other churches which are also worthy of a visit...Read More

Radisson Sas Park Lane Hotel

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "SAS Radisson"

Radisson Sas Park Lane Hotel Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
We have never found an SAS Radisson in Europe that we didn’t fall in love with, and this one is no exception. From the moment we pulled up to the curb, we were treated as if we were very special guests. I will always remember this hotel fondly because Joseph, our bellman, was such a delight. He was given the unenviable task of carrying not only our luggage, but also my new replacement bag from British Airways, up to our room (it had been delivered to the hotel before we arrived). I gave him a good laugh when I got into the wrong elevator and had to return to the lobby. He waited by the elevator to direct me through the lounge to our elevator. Evidently, he had tried to stop me, but I am usually on my ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 20, 2003

Radisson Sas Park Lane Hotel
VAN EYCKLEI 34
Antwerp, Belgium
323-285-8585

Longchamps

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Longchamps Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
The hotel has a very nice restaurant, and after an exhausting day, we didn’t feel like finding a taxi and going out to dinner, so we ate in. They seated us in a raised area just outside the bar. We literally had the entire restaurant to ourselves for most of the evening. One disconcerting note was that I caught the men looking through the etched spots in the frosted glass at our backs, and guess what, the bikini-clad woman in the swimming pool area had caught their attention. I wonder if she knew she was dinner entertainment? It put me off wanting to take an evening swim. I began my meal ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 20, 2003

Longchamps
SAS Radisson
Antwerp, Belgium

Nuova Era

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant

Nuova Era Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
After spending an hour in the Antwerp Art Museum, we were ravenous. It is a hard to find food in Europe at 5pm. Our first choice was an Argentinean steakhouse, but they weren’t serving until 6pm. Across the street we spotted this small Italian restaurant. Nuova Era was a great find, with excellent food in an Art Nouveau setting. We were welcomed with crisp bread served with garlic butter and little ramekins filled with black and green olives. This was definitely a positive beginning. Once we had our Primus Pils, we were ready to order our meals. We began with an Insalata Mista. This might be one of the best salads we have ever had. It was served with cruets of red wine vinegar a...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 20, 2003

Nuova Era
Graaf Van Hoornestraat 3
Antwerp, Belgium
(03) 248-9620

Nord Café

Best Of IgoUgo

Restaurant | "Quick Bites"

Nord Café Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
Nord Café Grote Markt 24 03/232/82/16 Located on the south side of the Grote Markt this café/restaurant was a lifesaver. It was about 5pm an impossible time to find food. We had not had any lunch and were starving. What to do? We weren’t too sure by looking at the Café exactly what they might serve at this time of day, but desperation took over and we walked in. The area where we were seated is really an outdoor atrium with glass windows. I bet that in the warm weather this is outdoor dining. People around us appeared to be having afternoon tea with dessert or beers. We ordered beer -- Leffe for Bob, De Koninck for me (Joe and Al had hot chocolate) -- and asked ou...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 20, 2003

Nord Café
Grote Markt 24
Antwerp, Belgium
+32 03 232 82/16

Rubenshuis

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Rubenhuis"

Rubenshuis Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
Imagine getting to visit the place where the Master not only lived, but worked, to see a recreation of what his own personal collection would have been and how it was displayed, and to see where he shared his vision with his students. This is the Rubenshuis Your visit begins across the street, where you purchase your ticket and get your audio guide. The store is in an adjacent building also across the street. Carefully cross the street and pass through the classical portico to the gardens. This is where the audio tour begins. This is also the only area where photography is allowed. The pavilion in the garden dates from Rubens’ time, but the actual layout of the garden can only be guessed...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 20, 2003

Rubenshuis
Wapper 9-11
Antwerp, Belgium 2000
+ 32 3 201 15 77

Mayer-van den Bergh Museum

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Mayer van den Bergh"

Mayer-van den Bergh Museum Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
If you only have time for one museum in Antwerp, make this the one you visit. It was built specifically to house this collection; therefore, it displays it to the best possible advantage. Mayer Van den Bergh spent the last 10 years of his life collecting treasures, both art and applied arts. His taste changed over the years, and at the time of his sudden death in 1901, he was leaning more toward the late Gothic and early Renaissance works. What the final collection would have been, had he not died so young, we can only guess. Everything on display here was purchase by Mr. Van Den Bergh...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 20, 2003

Mayer-van den Bergh Museum
Lange Gasthuisstraat 19
Antwerp, Belgium 2000
+32 3 232 42 37

Museum Plantin-Moretus/Pretenkabinet

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Museum Plantin-Moretus"

Museum Plantin-Moretus/Pretenkabinet Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
This is the former home of the great printer Christophe Plantin (1520-1589). He was certainly the greatest printer in the history of Belgium and perhaps of all time. His works were held in esteem by all the great men of his time. Philip II appointed him Royal Printer, and he was granted a monopoly on all religious printing in the Spanish Empire. The Moretus family are his descendants, and the museum now carries both names. I wish there were an audio guide to this museum, but there isn’t. The rooms are numbered, and you get a small paper guide to help you locate the most important items in each room. You get to visit over 30 items. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to photograph the inside of th...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 20, 2003

Museum Plantin-Moretus/Pretenkabinet
Vrijdagmarkt 22-23
Antwerp, Belgium 2000
+32 3 221 14 50

Churches in Antwerp

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Churches in Antwerp Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
Sint Jacobkerk Antwerp is the city of Rubens. No visit would be complete without the inevitable pilgrimage to his grave. Sint Jacobkerk is the church that has the grave of Rubens. There is no entrance fee, and there was a very friendly man at the little gift shop. He gave us a guide and some postcards for free. The Rubens Chapel contains his grave and the painting he created to be displayed in his chapel. It is entitled Our Lady Surrounded by Saints. There are also some very fine artworks in the church by Jacob Jordaens. I loved the carved choir stalls. S...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 20, 2003

Churches in Antwerp
Variety
Antwerp, Belgium

Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen (KMSKA)

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten"

Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen (KMSKA) Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
The Museum of Fine Arts is located a little outside the center of Antwerp. It is about a mile south of the Grote Markt. We took a taxi to get there and then walked back to our hotel. It was not an easy walk mainly because there are some very busy streets between. Crossing can become a bit of a challenge. Unfortunately, after the museum closes there aren’t many taxis around that area. There is a trolley but we never mastered the trolley system and none went right to the Stadpark. We got to the museum just before 4pm. Be warned: at 4:45pm, you are hounded until you leave the museum. I was quite appalled actually. At 4:55, I could understand, but I lost 10 minutes of museum time because the staff ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 20, 2003

Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen (KMSKA)
Leopold de Waelplaats 1-9
Antwerp, Belgium 2000
+32 3 238 78 09

Rockoxhuis

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Rockoxhuis Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
Nicholas Rockox was a friend and patron of Peter Paul Rubens. He was a humanist and a deeply religious man. He and his wife remained childless, but his will provided 31 scholarships for poor children. His will also left his home to his nephew Adreaan, with the stipulation that when the last of his heirs had died, the house would be sold to benefit the poor. What interests us most today, however, is that he was also a great collector of artworks. His home was opened as a museum in 1977, and it is a delightful house to visit. Great care and research has gone into the restoration of the house. An...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on June 20, 2003

Rockoxhuis
Keizerstraat 12
Antwerp, Belgium 2000
+32 3 231 47 10

Maagdenhuis

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Maagdenhuis Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
Right down the street from the Mayer Van den Burgh Museum, this small museum is a poignant testimony to the fate of orphaned and abandoned children. Founded in 1552, the Maagdenhuis girls orphanage remained open until 1882, when the children were moved to a more modern facility. Today it houses an interesting collection of art and applied arts. We came here to see the Van Dyke and the Rubens, which are certainly are worthy of a visit, but what would make me want to come back are the many souvenirs and mementos of the children who have passed through its doors....Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 20, 2003

Maagdenhuis
Lange Gasthuisstraat
Antwerp, Belgium