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St-Pauluskerk

This church is only open from either April–October or May-November (live in Europe and you’ll get used to these sorts of uncertain schedules) but supposedly has a baroque interior and over 200 sculptures and 50 paintings, including works by Jordaens, Rubens, Teniers and Van Dyck. I say supposedly since our March visit did not enable […]

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Rubenshuis, Antwerp

Rubenshuis is, as you can imagine, the house and studio that Pieter Paul Rubens and his family inhabited. Rubens bought the property in 1610, upon returning from an eight-year stint in Italy, and spent the next eleven years turning it into a stunning Italian palazzo. Then came the fun part: decorating! The enormous house was […]

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Museum Plantin-Moretus, Antwerp

Museum Plantin-Moretus was my favorite museum-house in Antwerp. It was one of those places that sounded so-so, but ended up knocking my socks off. I really should say “our socks” since my husband also really loved it. So what makes it so great? The museum takes you through 300 years of printing activity. As in, […]

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Museum Mayer van den Bergh, Antwerp

This museum houses Fritz Mayer van den Bergh’s extensive and eclectic art collection. Who was Mayer van den Bergh? He was an avid art collector who lived with his mother until he died unexpectantly at age 43. After his death in the early 1900’s, his mother built this museum next door to their residence. If […]

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Grote Markt, Antwerp

Like any good medieval Flemish city, life in Antwerp revolved around the market. Although the vendors have disappeared, ornate guildhalls and the gorgeous 16th century Italo-Flemish Renaissance-style stadhuis flank the square. And is that a baroque fountain? With a man throwing a…hand? Why yes, yes it is! The baroque fountain in the middle of the […]

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‘t Elfde Gebod, Antwerp

Everyone should learn the 11th Commandment (translated from Flemish), which clearly involves sampling a variety of Trappist beers while crowds of saints and angels peer down at you. It could be the easiest one! Tweet

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Ubiquitous Virgin Mary, Antwerp

Don’t forget to look up in Antwerp! You don’t want to miss the colorful 18th and 19th century Marian statues built into building corners. The Virgin Mary is Antwerp’s patron saint. Tweet

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Belgian Waffles

It’s impossible to walk very far in the city center without encountering a waffle stand. The enticingly sweet scent hangs in the air at almost every turn. I always try to withstand the siren call of the first one or two, but eventually I cave. I am a weak, weak person. Belgian waffles are served […]

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Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal, Antwerp

This is the largest Gothic church in the Low Countries. If you’re not impressed by this superlative, just know there are a lot of churches in the region. The 123-meter spire dominates Antwerp’s skyline. It feels roomy inside, too, as the wide central nave is flanked by three aisles on each side. Antwerp’s centerpiece originated […]

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G. Bastin Chocolatier, Antwerp

There’s a lot of family history behind chocolatier G. Bastin’s delicious pralines, which makes them even more special. The story: In 1908, Theofiel Adriaenssens opens the shop. He tires of it by 1918 and passes it to his sister, Leonie. Leonie marries Raymond Bastin, they have a son, Gilbert. Raymond dies when Gilbert is 18 […]

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