Historic Centre of Antwerp Reviews
my beautiful city Jul 10, 2010
As with most cities in Europe, the historic centre is Antwerp's main attraction. The best place to start would be Groenplaats, where a lot of trams stop, both above and underground. Here you can see a statue of Pieter Paul Rubens, one of Antwerp's most famous painters.
Then continue to see the Cathedral of Our Lady, a beautiful building that you can see from most places in the centre. Building took 169 years, from the 14th to 16th century. Unfortunately you have to pay to see the inside. Other beautiful churches in Antwerp are the Saint-Carolus Boromeus Church, Saint Paulus Church, Saint Andries Church (see my seperate review) and Saint Jacob's Church.
The next place that everyone should see is the Grote Markt, Antwerp's main square. The beautiful City Hall takes a prominent places on one side of the square, but the other houses around the square are worth a look too. They used to belong to the guilds, you can still tell from the decorations which is which. In the middle of the square is a fountain representing the hero Brabo, throwing the severed hand of the giant Sus Antigoon, who had previously been extracting a toll from all the ships passing through Antwerp and reigning in terror. In Dutch, throwing hands = hand werpen, hence the name Antwerpen. (though in reality, the name comes from Aanwerp, the places the ships went to shore)
The next must-see is the castle "Het Steen" on the bank of the river Schelde. It dates back to the 13th century and is the oldest remaining building in Antwerp. When I showed my boyfriend around Antwerp the first time, this was his favourite building. It was originally part of the city walls and was rebuilt in the 16th century. It used to be a lot bigger but unfortunately part of it was torn down in the 19th century.
After you've seen these main sights, take some time to just wander around the historic centre.
Part of the Antwerp is not boring travel blog
Part of the list Sight-seeing in Antwerp
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