Antwerp Journals

Bill in Belgium - ANTWERP

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A March 2004 trip to Antwerp by billmoy

Hippodroom Photo, Antwerp, Belgium More Photos
Quote: The Flemish city of Antwerp is going all out in 2004 to "rediscover" the life and times of one of its most famous citizens, Peter Paul Rubens. The city is called Antwerpen in Flemish, and Anvers in French.

Bill in Belgium - ANTWERP

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Overview

Rubenshuis Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
Antwerp has carved out a niche as a fashion mecca in Europe, although it still is a bit of a kid sister compared to Milan or Paris. Antwerp was designated the Fashion Capital of 2001, is the home base for the designers nicknamed the Antwerp Six, and is now the home to the Mode Museum (MoMu), dedicated to fashion design. The patron saint of Antwerp is the Virgin Mary. This fact is celebrated by hundreds of devotional Madonna shrines and sculptures carved into the sides of buildings throughout the city. Kids and animal lovers will enjoy a visit to the Antwerp Zoo (Dierentuin), conveniently located just east of Centraal Station. Quick Tips: If you can tear yourself away from...Read More

Charles Rogier XI

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Hotel

Charles Rogier XI Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
This unique and elegant bed and breakfast is located on a somewhat quiet street in Het Zuid ("the South" of Antwerp) but not far from many hip bars and restaurants. The remarkably genial "master of the house" Claude greets you and leads you to one of the three rooms in his luxury 19th-century establishment. He will lend you a set of keys, one for your door and two for the front door. I was assigned the Scottish Room on the second floor (the English Room is on the first floor, the French Room is in the attic suite, and Claude’s reception and residence are on the ground floor). The Scottish Room is in essence a string of separate rooms (bedroom, bathroom, and toilet stall). The bedroom has a moodi...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2004

Charles Rogier XI
Karel Rogierstraat 11
Antwerp, Belgium
(475) 299-989

Hippodroom

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Restaurant

Hippodroom Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
This stylish restaurant and bar, stationed across the street from the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten (Royal Museum of Fine Arts), is in a hip area amongst many popular clubs and bars. It takes its name from the former Hippodroom building of 1903, a popular entertainment palace of circuses and theaters that was formerly at this location in Het Zuid (the South of Antwerp). The current building, designed by architect Marc Corbaiu to have an imposing but retro look, also is home to the flagship outlet of Ann Demeulemeester, one of the famed "Antwerp Six" fashion designers. After passing through the curtain, the interior of the restaurant is marked by a playful layout of fluorescent light fixt...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 8, 2004

Hippodroom
Leopold de Waelplaats 10
Antwerp, Belgium
(3) 248-5252

Adriaan

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Restaurant

Adriaan Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
This eclectically decorated French-International restaurant draws its name and physical location from Adriaan Brouwers, an artist who was a contemporary to Peter Paul Rubens but who was not quite as celebrated, talented nor fortunate as the latter. Interestingly, Rubens was known to own at least 17 of Brouwers’ works, and his patronage helped to keep Brouwers afloat. The restaurant actually incorporates part of the former home of Brouwers, but with a few more contemporary spaces tacked on. The dining area that is part of Brouwers’ old home is very formal and masculine in style with richly decorated dark wood furniture and tablecloths. The adjacent room is a bright courtyard-styled space with ru...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2004

Adriaan
Everdijstraat 13
Antwerp, Belgium 2000
+32 3 231 60 35

De Muze

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Attraction

De Muze Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
This is a popular bar in the historical center of Antwerp, and considering the finicky tastes of people in general it is interesting to note that this popularity has carried over from the 1960’s. The pub packs them in with the young and trendy locals, and the not so hip visitors like to come by and see what is going on as well. The place is loaded even in the middle of the afternoon, where one can enjoy a beer on tap, a smoke or a snack. The bar area is comfortable and one can appreciate the variety of different glasses designated for all the specific Belgian beers. My colleague and I each had a cool and frothy glass of De Koninck "bolleke", a traditional light brown ale that has become perha...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2004

De Muze
Melkmarkt 15
Antwerp, Belgium 2000
32 3 226 01 26

Onze Lieve Vrouw Kathedraal

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Attraction | "Kathedraal (Our Lady’s Cathedral)"

Onze Lieve Vrouw Kathedraal Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
The Onze Lieve Vrouwkathedraal is in the heart of old Antwerp very close to the Grote Markt. The Kathedraal is the largest in Belgium (it occupies about 2.5 acres and has seven aisles with 48 columns and 128 windows), with its construction lasting from 1352 until 1521. Architects and masterbuilders involved with this massive project include Jacob van Thienen, Jan and Peeter Appelmans, Jan Tac, Everaert Spoorwater, Rombout Keldermans, and Hermann and Dominicus de Waghermakere. Over the years the Kathedraal has suffered damage due to fire and physical ransacking, but it has been lovingly renovated and today is in fine condition. Its delicate Gothic tower (403 feet high) is the dominant pinnacle of...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2004

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

Rubenshuis

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Attraction

Rubenshuis Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
The house of Peter Paul Rubens is prominently featured as a tourist site in Antwerp, and even more so during the year 2004. After the well-to-do artist purchased the house in 1610, he revamped the original Flemish-style house and added a huge studio sporting an Italianate Baroque style to create quite a palatial effect overall. The complex was refurbished in 1946 as a museum. The plaza area in front of the house is occupied by a glass box pavilion designed by Stephane Beel in 1999. This structure is now the ticket booth and museum shop, though not everyone cares for its intrusive location in the middle of the Wapper. One enters the older north section of the house, which served as the living qu...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2004

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

Rubenswalks in Antwerp

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Attraction

Rubenswalks in Antwerp Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
If you take one of the special Rubenswalk tours, it will be heavily emphasized that Peter Paul Rubens was not just a great artist, but he was quite the well-rounded Renaissance man of Flanders. He was also a patron of the arts, a mentor, a noble, a guild member, a diplomat, a politician, a family man.... Rubens was born in 1577 in Siegen (near Cologne), Germany, but he is almost universally regarded as one of Antwerp’s own and finest. He apprenticed under master artists in Antwerp, and after about eight years of studying the masters in Italy, he returned triumphantly in 1608 as the official court painter of Antwerp. His works over the decades symbolized the Flemish school of painting, though wit...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2004

Rubenswalks in Antwerp
Various locations
Antwerp, Belgium

Museum Plantin-Moretus/Pretenkabinet

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Attraction | "Museum Plantin-Moretus"

Museum Plantin-Moretus/Pretenkabinet Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
Christophe Plantin lived and worked in this venerable complex, which contained his printing workshop with a whopping 16 presses. His works and publications during the 16th Century created the standards of his era, to such a degree that he was the official Royal Printer of his time. Plantin established the Antwerp School of Engraving. His Golden Compass symbol along with the Latin motto "Labore et Constantia" appears throughout the complex. The shop eventually expanded to 34 rooms during the next two centuries under his descendents, most significantly by his grandson Balthasar Moretus I. The house in its heyday also was known as a gathering place for intellectuals and humanists. The complex debuted as ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2004

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

Grote Markt

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Attraction | "Grote Markt and Stadhuis"

Grote Markt Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
The Grote Markt is an irregularly shaped plaza and is not the largest open space in Antwerp, but it is an attractive and historic location. It is surrounded by the Renaissance-era facades of guildhalls from the 16th and 17th Centuries, with many of them reconstructed during the 19th Century. Although not as famous as the equivalent Grand Place in Brussels, Antwerp’s version is certainly not too shabby. The Stadhuis (City Hall) forms the western boundary of the Grote Markt. The Stadhuis was designed by Cornelius Floris and others in 1564. After being damaged during the Spanish Fury of 1576, it was reconstructed by Pauwel Luydincx in 1579. The imposing facade is 282 feet long and its design incor...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2004

Grote Markt

Antwerp, Belgium 2000

Architecture in Het Zuid

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Attraction | "Innovative architecture in Het Zuid"

Architecture in Het Zuid Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
Het Zuid (the South of Antwerp) has seen a revival in recent years thanks to the addition of numerous museums and restaurants. A newfound sense of appreciation has led to the restoration of colorful buildings, many dating from the late 1800’s. Newer constructions have contributed their own stories to the continuing chapter of Het Zuid. The Zuiderpershuis was designed by Emiel Dieltiens in 1881. This distinctively blocky building actually contained a hydraulic power station. It now houses the Centre for World Cultures. The Liberaal Volkshuis (Liberal People’s House) has the unusual nickname "Help U Zelve". The facade of the former political hall is beautifully decorated with mosaics, wrought iro...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 8, 2004

Architecture in Het Zuid
Various locations
Antwerp, Belgium