In the Vicinity of the Cathedral
The Put (well) on the Handschoenmarkt, the former glove market in front of the cathedral, has a 15th C. wrought-iron canopy adorned by a figure of Silvius Brabo attributed to Quentin Massys.
The Handschoenmarkt leads into a street known as the Oude Koornmarkt, off which (at the side of No. 16) runs the Vlaeykensgang, an alleyway of houses dating back to the 16th C. and altogether typical of old Antwerp.
Immediately south of the cathedral lies the bustling Groenplaats, cafes on every side. The statue of Rubens was erected in 1840.
Facilities: Restaurant or food service
Two Jesuit priests named d'Aguillon and Huyssens were the architects of Sint-Carolus Borromeuskerk, built between 1614 and 1621 on Hendrik Conscienceplein, a couple of minutes walk northeast of the cathedral. A devastating fire in 1718 largely destroyed the church, after which it was rebuilt in a less opulent style. Among the decorations lost forever were ceiling paintings, 39 in all, by artists from Rubens' workshop and also by van Dyck. The full Baroque splendor of the original church can now only be glimpsed, primarily in the magnificent, clearly articulated main facade the design of which is attributed to Rubens himself. The 58m/190ft bell tower is considered one of the loveliest in Belgium.
To left and right respectively at the western end of Suikerrui, the Ernest van Dijckkaai and the Jordaenskaai separate the Old City from the Scheldt, forming a no-man's-land ripe for redevelopment and a challenge for the architects and planners of the "City on the River" project.Antwerp's 100m/330ft-wide quays, built in the 19th C., extend along the river for 5.5km/3.5miles providing berthing for the largest seagoing ships. Considerable areas of the Old City were ruthlessly demolished to make way for them, including sections of the fortress. Running the length of the two quays, above the warehouses, are pedestrian terraces, complete with cafes, from where excellent views are obtained of the busy river, the Cathedral and the Steen.A trip along the Scheldt, or one of the longer tours of the harbor, provides a different kind of alternative to the museums.
Facilities: Gift shop, Restaurant or food service
Typical Visit: 30 minutes