Surroundings

Antwerp is a vibrant city and there is always something to do.
Below we would like to give you a brief overview of some tourist attractions that are easily accessible from BDB Lapin.

 

You can find an overview of all must-sees via this link.

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MAS

01

Antwerp is the city on the Scheldt, the city on the river, facilitating encounters and exchanges between people from all over the world for several centuries.

 

The MAS museum collects proof of these encounters, using this to tell new stories.

 

About the city, the river and the port on the one hand. But also about the world. The MAS has many facets, and is teeming with stories and surprises.

 

 

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02

Market square

Grote Markt originally was a forum or square just outside the medieval residential quarter.

 

In 1220 Duke Henry I of Brabant (1165-1235) donated this community land to the city. The name Merckt was used for the first time in 1310.

Around this time the first annual markets or foren van Brabant (Brabant fairs) were organised.

 

Here English merchants would do business with Italians, Spaniards and merchants from the Northern German Hanseatic cities as well as from Southern Germany and Flemings of course.

 

At the end of the fifteenth century Antwerp overtook Bruges as the most prominent city of the Low Countries.

Vlaeykensgang

03

The secret Vlaeykensgang alley dates from 1591 and connects Hoogstraat, Oude Koornmarkt Pelgrimstraat with one another.

 

Walk through the gate at Oude Koornmarkt 16 and you feel as if you have journeyed back in time.

In the past this alley was where the shoemakers and the poorest people in the city lived.

The shoemakers were also in charge of sounding the alarm bell of the cathedral. These days you can find antiques stores and art galleries here as well as the exclusive restaurant Sir Anthony Van Dyck.

 

The atmosphere is very intimate which is why many people also like to come here to listen to the carillon concerts during the summertime.

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Cathedral of Our Lady

04

After 169 years of construction the cathedral of Antwerp finally dominated Antwerp's skyline in 1521 with a height of 123 metres. It's the highest Gothic building in the Low Countries.

It took 169 years (1352-1521) of labour to raise the 123m heavenward-reaching steeple of the Cathedral, the highest Gothic building in the Low Countries.

The Cathedral is an iconic treasury, with an impressive collection of major art works, including a series of paintings by Rubens.

 

Now, after twenty years, the seven-naved church has been restored to its former architectural glory. Fascinating features include Rubens’ ‘Elevation of the Cross’ and his ‘Descent from the Cross’.

 

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Antwerp's Central Park

05

It is not only the buildings that have survived the test of time in Antwerp, the triangular Stadspark is all that remains of Fort Herentals, one of the forts that guarded the city in the 16th century. Not far from the city centre and the hustle and bustle of the shopping streets the park borders onto the Jewish neighbourhood.

During Rosh Hashanah, you will see the neighbourhood’s orthodox Jews cluster around the pond, throwing a piece of bread into the water, symbolically drowning the sins of the past year.

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06

Botanical Garden ('Botanic')

The Botanical Garden along Leopoldstraat is a unique green haven in the city centre. It is a world in one garden, exceptional trees and shrubs, 2000 herbs, cactuses and foreign plants will inspire the plant fundi.

It is a world in one garden, exceptional trees and shrubs, 2000 herbs, cactuses and foreign plants will inspire the plant fundi. Built almost 200 years ago, it grew only medicinal plants to supply the St Elisabeth’s hospital next door.

 

The city has managed the garden since 1926 and in 1950 the Botanical Garden was listed as a valuable landscape for the city of Antwerp and its inhabitants. Indeed it is not to be missed!