The Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp is a treasure trove for art lovers. Although completed in 1521, nearly 170 years after the first foundation stone was laid, the original design was never fully realized. Even today, one of the two towers remains incomplete, while the completed spire is reputed to be the tallest in Benelux at a height of 123 meters (403.5 feet). An impressive example of the Gothic style of architecture, the historic church boasts a detailed front that draws the eyes upward to the pinnacle of its lofty spire. The cathedral also houses an extensive collection of ecclesiastical art, including four altarpieces painted by Peter Paul Rubens. Vibrant stained-glass windows and rich carvings are some of the other treasures enshrined within the Cathedral of Our Lady. It was especially a stunning sight when lit up at night.
One of the largest squares in the city, Groenplaats is the ideal starting point for visitors of the historic center. It gets quite busy during the summer tourist season. You'll enjoy numerous café terraces and restaurants. Street musicians provide background music, and the pubs provide great Belgian beers. Don't forget to try a Bolleke Koninck, a light brown ale which is brewed in Antwerp. Nearby you'll find cute copper, pewter and lace shops, the Fnac bookstore, the Hilton and the Cathedral.
The Grote Markt makes for a splendid vision in the middle of the city and evokes instant awe with its varied sights, smells, and sounds. Dominated by the renaissance style Stadhuis (city hall), the square is lined with numerous guildhalls, high patrician houses with step gables and gold-plated ornaments and statuettes. The famous tavern Den Engel is located here, and it is also home to several traditional cafes and shops. One of the square's most enchanting landmarks is the Brabo fountain, which is steeped in mythical history. It features the late 19th Century statue of the legendary Roman Silvius Brabo, a braveheart, who according to Danish folklore, saved Antwerp from Druon the giant.
The Echt Antwaarps Teater is geared toward those who understand Antwerp Flemish, the regional variant of Dutch that is the standard language in Flanders. The group is directed by television director Ruud De Ridder. Together with his wife, children and other actors they deliver slapstick theater in Antwerp Flemish. The dialect has a different vocabulary and pronunciation than the standard language. No subtitles are offered for those not in the know.
Bobbejaanland has more than 50 dry and wet attractions including some amazing roller coasters. Try the exciting El Rio, Locomotion, Bob Express and the spectacular Thrillenium Ride. Younger kids will enjoy the fairytale ride through "Kinderland." And, don't forget to buy your coin for the car park before you leave. Please call for open hours.
Home to some of the most mesmerizing masterpieces of the Flemish Baroque school of art, Rubenshuis is one of the best repositories of fine art in the city. It was also the home of one of the most influential artists of his time, Peter Paul Rubens, who continues to assert artistic influence in Brussels even after four centuries of his existence. His collection of artwork is housed within Rubenshuis, a grand Italian-style villa which he designed himself. Equal parts home and art studio, Rubenshuis was where some of his most renowned artworks were birthed, including Adam and Eve and The Annunciation. The collection at the museum also includes myriad artworks produced by his protege, Anthony van Dyck, and four of Ruben's self-portraits.
The Boerentoren, or Farmers' Tower, was built specially for the world exposition, which was held in Antwerp in 1930. On a site which had been bombed in the war, one of the first US-style skyscrapers was erected with a façade consisting of art-deco elements. The original tower was 87.5 metres high but after restoration in the seventies, when the whole building was transformed into office space, it reached its current height of 97 meters. The name of the building refers to the farmers' co-operative, which was the main investor of the original project. The tower is currently leased by KBC, one of Belgium's largest banks.
For unlimited fun and entertainment, head to the Outpost Gamecenter. A wide variety of games is on offer, and you can choose from some of the latest versions here. The place is equipped with 24 computers with LAN connections. DSL and cable connections are also available. You can play card games, board games, shooting games, strategy games...the list just goes on and on!. There is also a cafe, if you want to sip on a coffee or enjoy some snacks.
El escultor de Amberes Willem Geefs modeló la estatua de bronce, que se expuso en 1843 en honor del pintor Peter Paul Rubens.