Sunday, January 30, 2011

Antwerp, Belgium

The Cathedral of our Lady - Antwerp, BE

Today we ventured to Antwerp, Belgium.  That’s right we crossed the border into another country.  Way back when, that might have been a big deal.  Today, we didn’t even see a ‘Welcome to Belgium’ sign.  Of course, we could have missed it since we don’t speak dutch or french!  The trip was easy and less than an hour and a half from Utrecht.

Antwerp – city on the Scheldt, city of Rubens, of diamonds, of fashion, a port city. It’s said that most of the worlds diamonds pass through Antwerp. Well, we opted for the architecture and strolling the shopping areas. But most of our time was spent on the Grote Markt and Cathedral area. Once we parked the car, we followed the signs and emerged into a town square with magnificent architecture. Within our sites (as is the case throughout most of the city) was the Cathedral of Our Lady. This was a site to behold. It took nearly 170 years to build but it was worth it. I must have taken 150 images of this place. After 169 years of building [1352-1521] the Cathedral raised up, like lace-work in stone, 123 meters high above Flanders. It became the largest Gothic construction in the Netherlands. The Cathedral is a vast treasure chamber, preserving masterpieces by Rubens. The paintings were incredible. The architecture of the seven-aisled church has been restored to its full splendour after twenty years of work.

We wanted to visit the Foto Museum. It was a bit of a walk but after getting there, it was closed to change exhibits. It would have been nice if they would have posted that fact on their website! Ah well, it was a bright sunny day and it gave us a chance to see more of the city.  We had an early dinner at a very casual place in the heart of the old city center, captured some night images and headed home.  

The Cathedral at night

No comments: