Escorted Rail Tours to Antwerp
Belgium's second city and home of Rubens
Antwerp is Belgium's second city, and the largest in Flanders. It rose to prominence when it became part of the Duchy of Brabant in 1106, and became the region's main port. Over the next 200 years Antwerp continued to thrive as a hub of the European cloth industry. It also enjoyed a rich arts heritage, with many artists including Pieter Paul Rubens, who was generally recognised as an artistic genius in his lifetime.
Today, Antwerp still reflects its mercantile (and cultural) past. The Grote Markt is the main square, flanked by ornately decorated, gabled buildings. Perhaps the pick of these is the Stadhuis (Town Hall), which was completed in 1564. It has beautiful fresco paintings of the Dukes of Brabant on its interior (with these paintings taking up an entire wall). The tallest building on the Grote Markt is the House of the Crossbowmen, on top of which is a statue of St George and the Dragon. The buildings on the Markt all surround the central Brabo fountain, which is one of Antwerp's noted landmarks.