Antwerp Journals

Bill in Belgium - MECHELEN (side trip from Antwerp)

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A March 2004 trip to Antwerp by billmoy

Brasserie Brouwerijmuseum Het Anker Photo, Antwerp, Belgium More Photos
Quote: Mechelen is a pleasant day trip from either Antwerp or Brussels. This compact and charming ecclesiastical town with a population of approximately 75,000 is only about 15 miles from either city. Mechelen is known as Malines in French.

Bill in Belgium - MECHELEN (side trip from Antwerp)

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Overview

Stadhuis Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
A climb up to the top of the Tower of Sint-Rombout (St. Rumbold) is an exhilarating and exhausting experience. The views are simply amazing from this vantage point. Perhaps the most distinctive annual event in Mechelen is the Procession of Our Lady. Locals turn back the clock by donning colorful medieval costumes for a celebratory parade through the town. This pageantry is scheduled to take place on the last Sunday in May. Quick Tips: The tourism office at Hallestraat 2-4 is conveniently located right beside the Grote Markt. It has interesting displays, including a 3-D model of the old town and informative interactive displays. You can get free brochures and buy souvenirs here too. ...Read More

Brasserie Brouwerijmuseum Het Anker

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Restaurant

Brasserie Brouwerijmuseum Het Anker Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
This venerable brewery is located along the ring road in the northwest part of old Mechelen. It is now a multi-purpose complex with the actual brewery, museum, bar, restaurant and even a hotel. The brewery dates back to at least 1369, and it specializes in brewing "grand beers" that are quite strong. The buildings have been renovated, including old houses formerly belonging to the local Beguinage. The beer is still brewed here, but the bottling and kegging processes are now performed elsewhere. After a tour of the facilities, visitors can sample some of these Mechelse beers. A better way to complement your tour is by having a meal at its restaurant. The Brasserie Het Anker has a comfo...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 22, 2004

Brasserie Brouwerijmuseum Het Anker
Guido Gezellelaan 49
Antwerp, Belgium
1528-7147

St. Rumbold's Cathedral

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Attraction | "Sint-Romboutskathedraal (St. Rumbold Cathedral)"

St. Rumbold's Cathedral Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
This Gothic cathedral is famous for its attached tower, which is its signature element. However, it should not overshadow the beauty and significance of the cathedral itself. The structure and its tower create an impressive silhouette overlooking the Grote Markt. There are plenty of interesting details on its attractive exteriors and its bright interiors. The width of the tower is as wide as the 12th Century nave of the cathedral. The tower and church interior merge practically unnoticeably to form an uninterrupted space. The length of the cathedral is 325 feet, barely longer than the height of the tower. The interiors reach the height of 92 feet. After a fire in 1342, an ambulatory and an apse ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 22, 2004

St. Rumbold's Cathedral
Sint-Rombout
Mechelen, Belgium

St. Rumbold's Cathedral

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Attraction | "Tower of Sint-Rombout"

St. Rumbold's Cathedral Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
Tower of Sint-Rombout (St. Rumbold) This glorious campanile next to the Sint-Romboutskathedraal is renowned as the most impressive Gothic bell tower in Belgium. The imposing whitish structure is as wide as the nave of the Kathedraal. It is visible even on the highway between Brussels and Antwerp, with a view that features the tower jutting up from the horizontal plain. The tower reaches a height of 318 feet, although it was intended to reach as high as 550 feet. There are different images showing the possible designs of the completed tower, but there is no real "official" version. Construction on the tower started in 1452 and was halted in 1521 in its truncated state. No one is really sure why...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 22, 2004

St. Rumbold's Cathedral
Sint-Rombout
Mechelen, Belgium

Grote Markt

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Attraction | "Grote Markt and Stadhuis"

Grote Markt Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
The Grote Markt is the large central square of Mechelen, but it seems almost like a stage set when compared to the busier plazas in the larger cities of Brussels and Antwerp. This plaza is surrounded by facades from the 16th to 18th Centuries for most but not its entire perimeter. In fact, when you see the tower of St. Rumbold and then the rest of the cathedral lurking over the northwest corner, the eye notices the depth of the buildings beyond rather than the space within. Only when you shift your perspective away from the cathedral backdrop to include the marzipan-like front of the Stadhuis (Town Hall) does it seem like you are within a confines of a grand and wonderful space. The Stadhuis i...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 22, 2004

Grote Markt

Antwerp, Belgium 2000

Churches in Antwerp

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Attraction | "Other churches and buildings in Mechelen"

Churches in Antwerp Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
The compact town of Mechelen is filled with many interesting churches and old palaces. They are all conveniently located near the center of town and you will encounter many of these attractive structures as you wander around town. The Begijnhofkerk, or Church of the Beguinages, is a hidden gem with colorful Baroque interiors that have pastel walls reminiscent of Caribbean colors. Constructed from 1629 to 1647, the church has a fancy high altar designed by Jan van der Steen. The exterior of the church is sadly surrounded by rickety looking scaffolding for now, but go inside for an uplifting experience. A great portion of the two former Beguinages in the area have been converted to lovely residen...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 22, 2004

Churches in Antwerp
Variety
Antwerp, Belgium

DeWit Royal Manufacturers

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Attraction

DeWit Royal Manufacturers Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
This institution of Mechelen has been renowned as the “Royal Manufacturers of Tapestry” since 1889. Museums and private institutions from around the world employ the services of DeWit, whose goal is not only to preserve the delicate artworks, but to maintain the overall traditions of Flemish tapestry-making as well. The workshop is involved in conservation, weaving and the purchase and selling of tapestries. DeWit is headquartered in the former Tongerlo Abbey refuge which dates back to 1484 although the complex has been heavily restored. This is a unique and historic location in its own respect, so it is a natural fit for a company that emphasizes restoration to be based here. The Flemish styl...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on April 22, 2004

DeWit Royal Manufacturers
Schoutetstraat 7
Antwerp, Belgium

Jef Denyn Royal Carillon School

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Attraction

Jef Denyn Royal Carillon School Photo, Antwerp, Belgium
Quote:
Mechelen is famous for its beautiful Tower of St. Rumbold and its world-famous carillon. It became famous in the late 1800’s with the emergence of Jef Denyn as perhaps the greatest carillon player in the world. He founded a carillon school in 1922 that today still bears his name as the most famous of its type in the world. The school attracts talented students from around the world, and it seems the locals informally adopt each of these young musicians as one of their own. Once they have completed the program, the musicians have been known to play around the world at various carillons, including the one at St. Rumbold. In a sense the new carillonneurs become cultural ambassadors of Mechelen and of Fla...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on April 22, 2004

Jef Denyn Royal Carillon School
Frederik de Merodestraat 63
Antwerp, Belgium