Grote Markt, Antwerp
Horse Drawn Carriages
In the middle of the Grote Markt, the heart of old Antwerp, stands the large Brabo Fontein (Brabo Fountain) by Jef Lambeaux. Erected in 1887 it depicts the Roman soldier Silvius Brabo tossing the severed hand of the giant Antigonus into the Scheldt.
The Stadhuis, the 78m/256ft-long facade of which forms the western side of the Grote Markt, was built by Cornelis Floris de Vriendt between 1561 and 1565. Beneath the statue of the Virgin which adorns the central gable can be seen, from left to right, the arms of the dukes of Brabant, Philip II and the margravate of Antwerp with, separating them, allegorical figures of Wisdom and Justice. Inside the town hall the rooms are hung with 19th C. paintings by H. Leys illustrating the history of Antwerp.
Apart from the Stadhuis most of the buildings bordering the Grote Markt are former"gildehuizen", originally the headquarters of the city's 16th and 17th C. guilds. Among those on the north side are the Gildehuis der Kuipers (Coopers' House; No. 5), the Huis van de Schutters (Archer's House; No. 7) and the Huis van de Kruideniers (Grocers' House; No. 11), while on the southeast side stand the Huis van de Kleermakers (Tailors' House; No. 38) and the Huis van de Timmerlieden (Carpenters' House; No. 40). The streets behind and to the north of the Stadhuis (Gildekamersstraat, Zilversmid-, Braderij- and Kuipersstraat) offer further glimpses of the beauty that was once old Antwerp.
Immediately behind the town hall, in the Gildekamersstraat, two former guild-houses have been turned into a folk museum devoted to the many traditional arts and crafts found in the Antwerp area. The museum has collections of marionettes and costumes etc. and a complete chemist's shop and pharmacy.
Address: Gildekamersstraat 2-6, B-2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Opening hours: 10am-5pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), All Saints' Day - Christian (Nov 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26), Ascension Thursday - Christian
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €2.50, Group discounts €1.25, Senior over 60 €1.25, Youth 19 & under FREE
With roots in the mid 19th century 'Musée d'Antiquités' and the collections of Belgian explorers, the current Museum of Ethnography opened its doors in 1988. The exhibits highlight non-European cultures from around the world, especially Africa, the South Seas, and Mexico.
Address: Suikerrui 19, B-2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Opening hours: 10am-5pm; Closed: Mon
Always closed on: New Year's Day (Jan 1), May Day / Labor Day (May 1), All Saints' Day - Christian (Nov 1), Christmas - Christian (Dec 25), Day after Christmas, St Stephen's Day, Boxing Day (Dec 26), Pentecost Monday (Whit Monday) - Christian, Ascension Thursday - Christian
Entrance fee in EUR: Adult €4.00, Students €2.00, Group discounts €2.00, Child 18 & under FREE
This market, located in the ancient area of the Grote Markt, is held once a year on August 15. The theme is around the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens and his time. The main attraction is the stallholders wearing period costumes.
North of the Grote Markt
St Paul's Church
At its northern end Vleeshouwerstraat opens out into the Veemarkt, the former cattle market. The Late Gothic Sint-Pauluskerk in the northeast corner, begun in 1517, was not completed until 1639. The Baroque clock tower dates from 1680. A fire in 1968 badly damaged the church and only the spirited efforts of local people prevented the loss of valuable interior furnishings. The church is home to paintings by Rubens, Jordaens and Van Dyck.
Address: Sint Paulusstraat 20/22, B-2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Opening hours: May 1 to Sep 30: 2pm-5pm
Entrance fee: Adult Free
Useful tips: No Visits during services. Mass: Tuesday to Friday: 6pm and Sunday: 10:30am.
Transit: Tram: 4, 7 / Bus: 6, 34.
These include the superb Baroque confessionals by Pieter Verbruggen the Elder and three paintings by Rubens: "The Scourging of Christ" (1617) in the left aisle and the "Adoration of the Shepherds" and "Disputation on the Blessed Sacrament" in the left transept.