Antwerp is about I hour by train, from Brussels, and is an old port city … and the 5th largest current port in the world. Much of Antwerp is rather modern but the old sections are well worth seeing. Most museums and attractions are closed on Monday.
RUBEN’S HOUSE: 91 Wrapper Street. Hours 10-5. Rubens lived and worked here for 30 years. The museum contains some paintings and his original furniture. See his personal studio, and the large studio for his pupils. He also designed part of the building. Most of the present structure has been reconstructed. The garden in the back is lovely.
ROYAL MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS (Koninklijk voor Schone Dunsten): Hours 10-5. Good natural lighting … Flemish, Italian, French, Dutch, and German paintings. There’s a snack bar in the museum.
OPEN MARKET (Grote Markt): A beautiful square with fountains … a statue of Rubens in the center… surrounded by old Guild houses.
OUR LADY CATHEDRAL: A spectacular Gothic structure … the largest in Belgium. There are paintings by Rubens, in particular, his DESGENT FROM THE CROSS, which hangs above the TOMB OF RUBENS and his wife.
MAYER VAN DEN BERGH MUSEUM: On Lange Gasthuisstraat near Ruben’s House. Hours are 10-5. The main reason to go is the see the famous Brueghel painting. However, the interior of the old building is quite interesting.
CASTLE STEEN: A beautiful story-book fortress from the 10th century … and the oldest building in Antwerp. Located on,the harbor.
THE PORT: The 5th largest in the world. Short cruises are available.