The Belgian city of Antwerp is very popular among tourists, and no wonder. After all, modern Antwerp, the sights of which will impress even the most indifferent traveler, is the center of fashion and design. Artists, writers, and other artists from around the world come here all the time. In addition, there is a historic center, which has preserved its appearance since the 16th century, when the city was the main economic center of Europe.
Antwerp’s Top 20 Sights
If you find yourself in this city, you will not be bored. Here you can visit and see the following attractions.
Antwerp City Hall
The town hall is built in the center of the city and is a must-see. After all, it is a striking example of Dutch Renaissance architecture. The building was almost completely restored in the 19th century, but perfectly conveys the spirit of the Renaissance.
Located in an old printing house, the museum shows visitors the history of book printing. There are also amazingly preserved old books, some of them more than 400 years old. The name comes from the first owners of the printing house.
An amazing historical monument, preserved since the 13th century. Many sightseeing itineraries begin with a tour of the city. It is located in a picturesque place on the banks of the river Scheldt, and near the entrance to the castle you can see a statue of the hero of local legends, the giant of the Long Vepper.
The Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp
You can’t get past the Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp. After all, the inhabitants of the city at all times fanatically venerated their patroness, the Virgin Mary. This cathedral of amazing beauty has grown from a small chapel in 250 years. There are also works by famous European artists of the time.
An de Strom Museum
It’s hard not to notice this unique Indian red sandstone building when you visit the port. A wide variety of works of art are kept here, divided into different categories. The exhibits are constantly updated, which is facilitated by regular exhibitions.
Belgium is considered the center of the diamond trade and there is a museum here that preserves jewelry, some of which is several centuries old. Amazing light and sound effects complement the impression of the visit. There is also a diamond quarter, where in the numerous shops you can buy jewelry at fairly democratic prices.
And, of course, it is worth seeing one of the world’s largest ports at the mouth of the Scheldt River. Hundreds of cranes work continuously, unloading and loading ships from all over the world.
It is the most picturesque square in the historic center of the city. On it are the main Antwerp landmarks. The Brabo Fountain, the houses of the guilds of commerce and the town hall. Most of the buildings have been preserved since the 16th century, and you will feel completely immersed in antiquity here.
While we’re talking about the central square, we can’t help but talk about the Guild buildings across from the town hall. These buildings, which house various museums, are built in the best traditions of the Renaissance. The gilded sculptures at the top of the building add richness to the exterior.
Central railway station
It’s hard to go around all of Antwerp’s amazing places in one day. However, to visit some of them you just have to. Such attractions include the railway station, considered one of the most beautiful in the world. If you look at it from the outside, it is easy to confuse it with an ancient castle.
St. James Church
Equally delightful is the church dedicated to the Apostle James. Construction of the temple began back in the 15th century. In addition to the breathtaking Baroque interior, you can see the personal altars of formerly influential townspeople.
Among the famous attractions in Antwerp, it is impossible not to mention the old and very picturesque zoo. There are a lot of interesting things for both children and adults, because the presented animals from around the world will not leave anyone indifferent.
Royal Museum of Fine Arts
There are about 7,000 exhibits in this 19th-century building. For the most part, these are paintings, sculptures, and other cultural treasures, mostly dating from the 14th century to the present.
Meyer-Van Den Berg Museum
There are real masterpieces of art, starting from the Middle Ages. They once belonged to a famous collector who devoted his entire life to his hobby. After his death, his mother deeded the entire collection to the city.
St. Paul’s Church
The inimitable Gothic temple, once located on the outskirts of town in front of the cattle bazaar. Here you can see many unique works of art. The impressive structure mesmerizes any tourist.
A famous Flemish painter once lived in this building. After his death in 1937, the building was bought, restored and made a popular landmark in Antwerp. Here are the works of Rubens himself and his students.
Church of St. Carlo Barromeo
It is a majestic 17th-century church built to show Protestants the power of the true faith. At the time, huge sums of money were invested in the construction, which astonished even the Pope.
Museum of Silver
Located in an ancient castle. Here you can see many exhibits of silver from ancient times to the present.
House of Butchers
In the past this structure belonged to the butchers’ guild. It looks like a bit gloomy unapproachable castle, and it’s not for nothing. At that time the guild of Antwerp was very wealthy and had to keep its fortune behind impregnable walls.
And of course it’s hard to imagine Antwerp, the favorite place of the world’s designers, without the fashion museum. There are countless costumes of all times, from the Middle Ages onward.