A day in Antwerp

Antwerp Travel Blog

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me in Antwerp

Antwerp was my first city to visit in Belgium, so I was excited to see what it has to offer. After parking my car at Waalsekaai (which is a bit south of the centre and free of charge to park there) I walked along the Scheldt river to the city center. My first stop was at the viewpoint close to Het Steen where you have a good view of the river and the Church of Our Lady (Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal).

There I also got a first taste of Belgian waffels for which the country is well known. One plain waffel costs about 2 Euro and it was very delicious. After this snack I walked to Het Steen (literally: The Stone) which is the only remaining part of Antwerps fortifications. Later I walked to St Paulus Church which has a nice front garden with statues, a little cave and a beautiful white interior.

Belgian waffels

Walking south I reached the Grote Market, the beautiful main square framed by pretty house walls and the town hall. In the middle of the square stands a statue which shows the giant´s hand being thrown into the Scheldt river by Brabo. Silvius Brabo was a mythical Roman soldier who is said to have killed a giant. This story also explains the name of the city Antwerp, meaning "hand throwing". So this Brabo guy once killed a giant who asked money from people who wanted to pass by the river Scheldt. When they didn't want to pay, he cut off their hand and threw it in the river. Because of this Brabo also removed the hand of the giant, and threw it away. Just a little culture here for you ;-)

From the Grote Market it´s not far to the Church of Our Lady. Entrance fee is 5 Euro (3 Euro for students).

Cathedral of Our Lady
The interior is quite nice and it also houses some interesting paintings, some of which are by Rubens, the most famous ones being "The Raising of the Cross" and "The Descent from the Cross".

After all this sightseeing I was hungry again and got some French Fries, another specialty not to be missed in Belgium.

Vincent: You know what they put on French fries in Holland instead of ketchup?
Jules: What?
Vincent: Mayonnaise.
Jules: Goddamn.
Vincent: I've seen 'em do it, man. They fuckin' drown 'em in that shit.

Well, even though in Pulp Fiction they are talking about Holland, I thought it was more appropriate for Belgium. The fries were indeed drowning in mayonnaise, but still they were quite tasty :-)

After finishing this greasy meal I sat down in a café on Grote Market and had a coffee. After a while there was a kind of folklore show going on on the square with drummers and elderly people all dressed up in traditional costumes which was quite nice to watch.

After basking in the sun for a while, I decided I had seen enough of Antwerp, walked back to my car and drove on to Bruges...

Vikram says:
I hated Antwerp to be honest, but I loved the frites with mayo.
Posted on: Mar 29, 2010
Larrys says:
We really like the fries with mayo. Yum...good stuff.
Posted on: Sep 03, 2009
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me in Antwerp
me in Antwerp
Belgian waffels
Belgian waffels
Cathedral of Our Lady
Cathedral of Our Lady
me in Antwerp
me in Antwerp
me in Antwerp
me in Antwerp
Belgian waffle
Belgian waffle
Belgian waffles
Belgian waffles
houses on Grote Markt
houses on Grote Markt
In the shadow of the cathedral
In the shadow of the cathedral
Cathedral of Our Lady
Cathedral of Our Lady
inside Cathedral of Our Lady
inside Cathedral of Our Lady
inside Cathedral of Our Lady
inside Cathedral of Our Lady
painting
painting
inside Cathedral of Our Lady
inside Cathedral of Our Lady
painting
painting
painting
painting
painting
painting
ceiling
ceiling
ceiling
ceiling
ceiling of Cathedral of Our Lady
ceiling of Cathedral of Our Lady
inside Cathedral of Our Lady
inside Cathedral of Our Lady
inside Cathedral of Our Lady
inside Cathedral of Our Lady
street in Antwerp
street in Antwerp
flowers on Grote Markt
flowers on Grote Markt
looking at the menu
looking at the menu
Antwerp buildings
Antwerp buildings
nice corner house
nice corner house
Antwerp bar
Antwerp bar
Steen Castle
Steen Castle
Lange Wapper
Lange Wapper
detail of Steen Castle
detail of Steen Castle
Vleeshuis
Vleeshuis
St Paulus church
St Paulus church
St Paulus Church
St Paulus Church
detail
detail
inside St Paulus church
inside St Paulus church
inside St Paulus church
inside St Paulus church
organ
organ
during mass
during mass
empty street in Antwerp
empty street in Antwerp
houses on Grote Markt
houses on Grote Markt
I love those houses
I love those houses
people in traditional costumes
people in traditional costumes
drummers
drummers
drummers, Cathedral of Our Lady in…
drummers, Cathedral of Our Lady i…
drummers
drummers
traditional costumes
traditional costumes
marching through the city
marching through the city
in front of town hall
in front of town hall
in front of town hall
in front of town hall
Statue of Giant´s Hand being thro…
Statue of Giant´s Hand being thr…
Antwerp town hall
Antwerp town hall
Antwerp
photo by: skydiver