Belgium 2012: sights of Antwerp

by | Dec 16, 2012 | International Travel, Travel

Our daytrip to Antwerp in 2011 left us interested in the city, so we made it the middle city of this trip and spent two nights in town.

The skyline of old town is dominated by Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal (Our Lady’s Cathedral) which can be seen from a number of vantage points around the city.

clocktower  Groenplaats 

clocktower at sunset

Nearby is the wide open Market Square with it’s narrow buildings all seeming to lean against each other.

Grote Markt

Vlaeykensgang (hidden street) is a small medieval ‘street’ and nearby our hotel. It is quite amazing how fast the noise fades away once you are behind stone walls.

courtyard after dinner  Antwerp courtyard
night and day

The old Het Steen castle and the odd statue of the giant Lange Wapper stand along the active riverfront.

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Lange Wapper    reflection

Last time we were in Antwerp The MAS, a museum about Antwerp, was still under construction. Now complete, it is an interesting modern building with a nice (and free) 360 degree views from the roof. We tried to go up our first night but the security guards shut the doors just as we were getting there (about 5 minutes earlier than it was supposed to close I might add…). We gave it a second chance during the middle of the next day and the view was quite nice.

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museum panorama

A series of escalators takes you to the roof, and along the way were several interesting art installations.

long legs  large hands

Finally, we tried out the St. Anna tunnel which takes pedestrians and bicyclists under the river. To get down to the tunnel you can take an elevator or a rather unique old-timey wooden escalator

wooden escalators

a very loooong tunnel
about a 10 min walk to the other side

Definitely worth a peak at the escalator!

Unlike last time we didn’t do much shopping, one of the signature things to do in fashionable Antwerp. Perhaps next time!

Tagged with: Antwerp | Belgium 2012 | canals | churches

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