Good morning (well at least for me) wonderful people in the world!
I’m back at it again with the Pinterest bucket lists of several cities and next on the list is Antwerp, the most populous city and capital city of the same named province, This province is the most North province of both Belgium and the Flemish region also commonly known as Flanders.
The official and standard language spoken in Antwerp is a Flemish variety of Dutch, the same in all Flemish provinces. The province Antwerp is divided into three arrondissements: Antwerp, Mechelen and Turnhout. But this article will focus on Antwerp.
The origin of the name Antwerp, I learned this information about two-three years ago and my mind was absolutely blown, because it makes too much sense. I will copy and paste it from another website, because it’s kind of too much work to put it in my own words and pretending that this information is in my head everyday of my life.
“The legend says that the name ‘Antwerpen’ comes from the Dutch “hand werpen’ meaning “hand thrown”. The story has it that a mean and nasty giant controlled the river traffic, demanding exorbitant tolls. Those who refused to pay had one of their hand cut off.But one day, a young and brave Roman soldier named Silvius Brabo managed to kill the giant. He cut the giant’s hand and threw it in the Scheldt River, giving the city its name. The name comes more probably from the word ‘aanwerp’ (alluvial mound’), which describes the first settlement’s geographical feature.” Find more info and the entire article here!
Even if it’s just a legend, isn’t it a cool legend at least?
I think it’s time now to see what Pinterest has to offer and to make the legend from above more visual and logical as well. We have to start with the…
The brabo fontein, is one of the most famous statues in the city. This bizar piece of work is the roman Silvius Brabo standing on the body of the giant and throwing a hand. This fountain is illuminated in summer nights and it feels awesome walking under the water on hot summer nights. Others may call me disgusting but that’s honestly what you have to do. Go hard in Antwerp or Go home.
2. Onze-lieve-vrouwe Kathedraal
Next up on our list is the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwe Kathedraal also known as the Cathedral of our Lady. A Roman Catholic Cathedral in the city. The building started in 1352 and ended in 1521, but hasn’t been completed.
The church’s one finished spire is 123 metres high,the highest church tower in the BeNeLux. BeNeLux is the combination of the three countries: Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.
3. Antwerpen Centraal Station
One of the most beautiful stations in the world! Only the beauty of it alone makes this a place worth to visit. Just spend an hour in the station and see amazing sights.
Fun fact: The residents of Antwerp also call this beautiful building the spoorwegkathedraal which can be translated as railwaycathedral. Isn’t that a FUN FACT, Okay I have to admit I’m a sucker for random pieces of interesting informative facts. That’s why I love to take walking tours, a blog will follow soon!
My first time in Antwerp completely blown my mind and walking through the station had blown my entire body! I was completely enchanted and mesmerized!
So just go and take some time exploring it.
4. De Meir
Have you spend some time wandering in Antwerp, gazing at the beautiful Art nouveau architecture, snorting up some history and mentally being replenished at museums. Are you kind of tired of that
(what would be blasphemous thing, but I’m not judging)
But do you want to have a time-out, relax and maybe do some abroad shopping* Than our dear friend Pinterest advises you to go to the Meir. The Meir is the biggest and busiest shopping street of Antwerp. Due to the extremely high rental fees, there’s a lack of independent, smaller stores, simply places you won’t find elsewhere. That hasn’t stopped anybody from going.
*Buying things, you can also buy in stores at home or in the exact same stores you have at home.
5. Museum aan de Stroom (MAS)
Are you feeling a beautiful view, are you actually craving one? You’ll find one in MAS museum on the tenth floor, which is accessible with escalator there’s a terrace with a panorama view over the city.
The MAS itself is a combination of several museums and expositions, in the neighbourhood called ‘Het Eilandje’. One entrance fee grants you a 24 hour access to the entire museum. Though the rooftop terrace is free of charge for everybody.
6. Plantin-Moretus Museum
We’ve reached half off the list and now it’s time for us to go the Plantin Moretus museum. This building wasn’t always used as a museum, in the 16th century it belonged Christoffel Plantijn who lived and worked in it. He also owned the same located printing establishment ‘Plantijn’ which was taked over by his son-in-law Jan I Moretus after his death, Edward Moretus sold the establishment with everything in it to the city Antwerp and to the state Belgium.
Now 300 years later,
it’s a museum open to the world. You can find artwork, furniture, printing presses and a ginormous number of literature. It was also a meeting point for humanists so several humanist works can be found in the museum. Plantin-Moretus was in 2002 nominated as UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 2005 was inscribed onto the World Heritage list.
Worth a visit right?
Walking on this square and realizing that you walk on a former cemetry, ah the beautiful, yet disturbing talent of having an abundance of random facts in your head. The groenplaats is a square in the old city, a place of peace and senerity. It’s easy to stumble upon the square. In the summer it’s quite chill to relax there even when it’s kind of crowded.
8. Antwerp Zoo
Yeah it’s a zoo, what do you expect me to say?
One of the most beautiful and one of the oldest zoos in the world. This zoo has a variety of buildings and animal habitats. So even with the small size it’s extremely packed. So even if I never visited the zoo, I do encourage others to spend a day. Well if it’s your cup of tea, it isn’t mine, but it seems to be an extremely beautiful and interesting place to explore.
Another museum that was first a home and studio, well this time it was the home of Peter Paul Rubens, who was a Flemish painter and draughtsman. ‘He is widely considered as the most notable artist of Flemish Baroque art school. A proponent of an extravagant Baroque style that emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality, Rubens is well known for his Counter-Reformation altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings’ According to Wikipedia.
`After his death, his wife Helena Fourment rented the building to William Cavendish and his wife. After the Cavendishes left in 1660, the house was sold.The city bought the house in 1937, and after an extensive restoration the Rubenshuis was opened to the public in 1946. Dozens of paintings and artworks by Rubens and his contemporaries were installed in the rooms, as well as period furniture’ again according Wikipedia.
10. Paleis op de Meir
In the middle of the commercial heart, -yes in the shopping street we talked about before- there’s a real royal palace. In my first time in Antwerp we had to look for it, but we continuously walked past it, we even asked people where it’s located like the stupid sheepminded teenagers we are. So now you must think, what’s the exact problem then?
We were standing right in front of it. Yeah it was sad.
A mad rich entrepeneur gave orders to built the Palace and Napoleon bought and renovated it to never actually stay in it. Now restored and open for the public for lunch, decoration and chocolate.
The Stadspark is a triangle shaped park in the city centre. The park is a remainder of Fort Herenthals. It’s extremely close to the Meir and the Jewish neighbourhood. During the Rosh Hoshana you see many Orthodox Jews in the park. Don’t know why I decided to put that in my blog, it’s probably a filler.
Antwerp offers many other parks such as: Nachtegalenpark, Park Spoor Noord, Middelheimpark etc. So if you’re into nature and parks, like I am than take your time to wonder around.
12. Sint-Anna Tunnel
The Sint-Anna Tunnel, called by the residents of Antwerp de Voetgangers tunnel that can be translated as the walkers tunnel. Opened in 1933 to connect the left side of Antwerp with the right. There were plans to connect these places since 1874, but the residents were debating whether the connection should be a bridge or a tunnel. In 1931 the city finally decided to go for the tunnel since that was the most convenient decision.
Most of the parts of the entrances are still original and the tunnel is still excessively used to this day!
Now since we’ve reached the end of our list, I want to thank you for reading and thank Pinterest for being so awesomely useful. It was more to create this list, it’s becoming more and more pleasant. I am looking forward to make more of these to give you and myself some helpful tips.
Tell me what’s one of your favourite cities in the world and what’s a city you’d like to visit one day?
PLEASE DO COMMENT,LIKE,SHARE,FOLLOW and I wish you an awesome and wayfaring life!