Antwerp Journals

'appy in Antwerp

A September 2003 trip to Antwerp by davidx

Quote: Antwerp brings out thoughts about diamonds and palatial buildings, but there is so much to see, and it doesn't have to cost too many arms and legs.

'appy in Antwerp

Overview

Quote:
I am not sure I did enough to be able to judge the best. Certainly, spending one night in Antwerp is not enough to reveal even its main treasures. The weather didn't help much, either. Thunderstorms were included in what was on offer! I decided early on that I should have to give up the main art museum, and this was a major omission; in the end, I did not see the diamond museum, not the sort of thing that bothers me in general terms, but clearly something unique to Antwerp; the famous Plantin-Moretus Museum, so important in the story of printing, was another miss on the rather thin grounds that I had been to the print museum in Innerleithen, Scotland. That leaves me with the old quays, the...Read More

B&B Family Bousard-Rodiguez

Hotel | "B&B Family Bousard-Rodiguez"

Quote:
Sudermanstraat is very centrally situated, near to the Grote Markt and the cathedral. For this central position, it would be worth giving up some amenities. However, such an idea is not part of the owner's scheme of things, unless you count a lift which could not easily be fitted. There is a spiral staircase with a room off on each floor - I booked early enough to get the bottom one. There was a double bed and a full-size single, en-suite facilities, a huge wardrobe, TV, telephone, and tea- and coffee-making facilities, plus a fridge, and it would all have fit in comfortably again. For all this, I paid €45.00, which included a good continental breakfast. The owner asked me over breakfast ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 24, 2003

B&B Family Bousard-Rodiguez
Sudermanstraat 18
Antwerp, Belgium
(3) 227 1530

Mama's Garden

Restaurant

Quote:
In England, most restaurants which could be classified as Middle Eastern fall into one of two groups. Most are little more than take-aways, and most of the rest are expensive. Belgium, Antwerp, and Brussels in particular have far more middle-of-the-road places in terms of quality where the prices are still pretty low.

Mama's Garden is one of these, and I was able to really enjoy a well (though quickly) cooked meal at low cost near to the cathedral.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 24, 2003

Mama's Garden
Oude Koornmarkt 41
Antwerp, Belgium

The Cathedral

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Near the Cathedral"

Quote:
Except for the two principal art museums, everything in Antwerp is probably within walking range. Even so you could get very tired walking between places. On the other hand the places on this page can genuinely be seen on a short walk starting near the cathedral. 1. THE GROTE MARKT This is terrific - as good a square for the majesty of its buildings as I know anywhere at all. On one side is the superlative city hall and flanking it are the old guild houses. They are all built to 16th century pattern although some are reconstructions. I defy most people (me included) to tell which! The tops are adorned by huge gilt symbols of the guilds. Also here is the well known statue of what ga...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 26, 2003

The Cathedral

Antwerp, Belgium

Mayer-van den Bergh Museum

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Museum Mayer van den Berg"

Quote:
I am chancing my arm just a bit in giving this the top recommendation, because restoration was taking place upstairs and the amount that I could visit was restricted – the entry fee being reduced for the duration of the work. However, it is only just a bit, as both what I was able to see and what I have read and heard persuade me that it merits it. Fritz Mayer van den Berg had accumulated a fabulous collection of art treasures when he died in his forties at the beginning of the 20th century, and his mother had this house built in 16th-century style as a setting for the collection. The house itself would seem to justify a visit even if it were empty, with its beautifully carved woodwork and ornate ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 26, 2003

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

Cogels-Osybuurt

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction | "Cogels - Osy lei"

Quote:
This is a really extraordinary road forming the centre of about ten roads with utterly amazing houses. Apparently Cogels and Osy were men who sold farmland they had inherited to a firm which then made it over to domestic building. Since the building was done at the end of last century, even some otherwise sane enough websites call it an art nouveau area. In truth the houses were built in a great variety of styles of pretty well every period (including art nouveau but by no means confined to it). About all that they have in common is that all are big and all are amazingly ornate. One guide book says it is like a film set, but what sort of film wants an ancient Greek house and an art nouveau...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 26, 2003

Cogels-Osybuurt
Cogels-Osylei
Antwerp, Belgium 2000

Tram

Attraction | "Antwerp Tram"

Quote:
I don't know about contact info, but you are unlikely to have any problem. Unlike many of these articulated and incredibly bumpy tourist buses, this calls itself a tram rather than a train, not that the description matters. Basically it was a good introduction to the cathedral area and the Grote Markt and to the rver Schelde and its quays. These cover a huge area and the oldest of them was intended by Napoleon to be 'a pistol, aimed at the heart of England.' It gives a particularly good view of the Steen, the old fort of Antwerp. I should never advocate one of these things as an alternative to walking to get your bearings, but for those whose walking is limited it can be invaluable, provid...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on September 26, 2003

Tram
Groenplatz
Antwerp, Belgium

Quote:
The Cathedral of our Lady is a bit difficult to appreciate fully from the outside and quite impossible to photograph except from the air because other buildings are so close to it. Yet it is a very large cathedral, beautifully restored, and it has priceless works of art--significantly, Rubens triptychs. White paint is used inside the cathedral to enhance the light and the scale, not that much enhancement is needed in a building 117 metres long by 65 wide and with a tower going up to 123 metres.

There is a small entry charge (€2), but it is then possible to admire the Rubens works at really close range.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 26, 2003

Onze Lieve Vrouw Kathedraal
Handschoenmarkt
Antwerp, Belgium 2000
+32 3 213 99 40

Rubenshuis

Attraction

Quote:
This is where Rubens had his house built to reflect his own high status. This was no struggling artist in a garret, but a highly respected citizen who could charge pretty astronomically for his work. There are quite a few of his paintings here, but personally, I think I prefer to see the great works in the cathedral, more or less where they were intended to end up. The virtue of this building is of a house typical of the wealthy citizen's home of the early 17th century, with the furniture and artifacts to match. The entrance price entitles you to borrow earphones (which of course can be programmed to English) which let you hear a commentary on the garden, the house, the artwork, and the fu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 26, 2003

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