Meir area, Antwerp
The David Teniers statue stands just off the Frankrijklei in between the Keyserlei and the Meir.
Daid was a famous painter (1610-1690) and he made several hundreds of paintains. Farmer landscapes are amongst the best-known by his hand.
Antwerp is known as the diamonds capital of the world. But not always it had this title. In fact, the city of Brugge was the first to discover diamonds' polish technique. Lodewyk van Bercken, native of Brugge, came up with a unique idea polishing one diamond using another. Brugge was diamonds' center until the end of 14th century and from the beginning of the 16th century Antwerp is leading the industry. It did have to struggle in the middle of the 20th century but all in all it has no competitors.
Until nowadays van Bercken's diamonds' polish technique is in use and his statue can be found on one of the historic buildings along the Meir street
I like Antwerp for its interesting stories and farytales. And the most famous story gave the city its name. Literally translated as "Throwing hand" there are at least 2 statues I know of that remind us the legend of Brabo, the hero who killed a giant, cut its hand and threw it into the river Schelde.
This hand statue is probably the most photographed one in the city. Kids like climbing the huge hand-statue and tourists take pictures of them selves probably without even knowing what the monument represents. I was one of them. IT took me some time to learn about Antwerp's saga.
If you walk from the central train station towards the Grote Markt you will find the "Hand" on your left side, walking along the main street Meir.
Favorite thing: In a side street off main shopping area Meir, the "Eikenstraat" (Oak Street) the gable of a school is adorned with a rather remarkable work of art. It is only 100 yards or so into the street and in my opinion well worth taking a look at.
Favorite thing: The Meir is the main shopping street in Antwerp. It's the connection between the Central Station and the city center. Most houses in this area are of the mid 18th century. There are a lot of famous shops in this street as well as some local ones. If you walk here you are bount to twist your neck, as you'll be looking upwards a lot, admiring the beautiful houses.
Walking along the Meir, a major shopping street in Antwerp you just have to look around and up once in a while. The shopwindows are nice to see but don't miss the buildings and statues along the way.
In this picture you see the statue of Antony van Dyck, who lived from 1599-1641. He was a famous painter from Antwerp. More about him, his life and work can be found at this website: http://www.vandyck.co.uk
Behind the statue is a building with a golden figure of electra on top. It used to be a building of the electricity company.
Fondest memory: I visited Antwerp several times and have tons of fond memories. However, nothing can compare with 'summer of survival' as I would call it now. Yes, it was the summer I discovered it and soon found out that I just couldn't leave. However, I had practically no money (I was robbed a few days before in Poland) so I took up any job I could find. I scrubbed the floor of a furniture exhibition sale, did cleaning in the hostel (so that I could stay for free), and babysitted. I lived hand to mouth, hanged around with locals and loved every moment of it. I never thought I could do it. As I was pushing the pram with the little boy down sleepy streets one morning, I wore a broad survivor smile. I met a friend who kissed me on the cheek and asked me how I was. 'Plain happy,' I replied. 'You definitely look so,' she said.
Favorite thing: Visit the square of the Wapper, a side street of the Meir where you find this beautiful fountain. You find here also the Rubens House. More information about the Rubens House you find in my “Must see activities” or in my travelogues.
Favorite thing: On the corner of the Meir and the Wapper (a side street of the Meir) you find the Royal Palace. Due the changes on VT, I will give info that is more detailed later. I will place only pictures now and I will see what will happen after the start of VTML. To stay on VT or not to stay, that is the question ;-)
Favorite thing: Now, with the transformation of the Central Station, the front gate is not on the Queen Astrid Square anymore. It was under the pressure of the shopkeepers in the Keyserlei that the portal removed to the front of their street. The reason of this is very normal, more shoppers! As I am not a shopper, I will not make any advertising by taking pictures here, although, nice but very expensive pubs and restaurants have their place here. Nevertheless, this way brings you to the Meir. It is there where your visiting to the old part of Antwerp begins. Notice this beautiful house in the beginning of the Meir.
Favorite thing: On the other corner of the former house you saw before, there is another magnificent building as you can see. The Meir is full of old and gracious buildings as long you looking above. Most of the time, the ground floor is a modern shop, and not related by its traditional outlook. This because the Meir is a popular pedestrian shopping street, that links the old city with Central station.
At Meir 85, almost the opposite side of the Wapper you can see the beautiful front of the Osterrieth House
Fondest memory: On working days, the door is open and you can have a glance in the nice hall and the attached rooms (bank).
Feel free to visit my travelogues
The Wapper looks like a little square at your right on the Meir when you keep the Central Station in your back.
It is in this street that you can find the Rubens Museum and it connects the Meir with the Theatre and Fashion district.
Fondest memory: Rather not so fondest memory:
Not all times this Wapper looked like a square.
Until the 60ties, it consisted out of two narrow streets with houses on the spot of the fountain.
But some very honestly project developers thought that if they demolish those old houses they could make an EXIT!!!! of the HIGHWAY!!!! directly coming into the CENTER!!! of the city!
I think a lot of profit must have been sticking on this project to tear down historical buildings and get a excit of a highway in almost the middle of this historical centre!!!
Lucky there were still people with brains and a little contra political power that could convince the responsables that if you have an excite... it means the cars need to be going SOMEWHERE!!???
So where were they supposed to go?
They would have been obliged to tear down more historical beautiful houses in order to make a road to let the cars drive further into the city.
Oef!!! Someone listened!!!
So no highway excit (people who have been on the highway around Antwerp will know how crazy this idea must have been!!! the idea of a lunatic!) but the houses at the Wapper were gone, so they just made the place look a little nicer and added a fountain.
Some other *** however decided to build a very VERRRY UGGLY tourist information desk just in front of the beautiful house of Rubens.
Now you can forget to put it nicely on a picture.
The UGGLY AQUARIUM is blocking the nice view!!!
Do people that come up with these kind of infrastructure ever get carried away in a long with coat with their arms tied up ??? in a little white van with a bleu flickering light on it?
Or worse... Do these people actually get PAID??? for those architectural monsters?
Every time I look at it I feel that the good taste of esthetics is raped again :-((
Pls Antwerp, hasn't it been enough???
The Meir is the name of the most famous shopping street of Antwerp. The large avenue is now free of traffic and invites thousands of people every day to a pleasant shopping stroll in a beautiful historic surrounding.
Roughly spoken, the shopping district of the Meir stretches from Our Lady's Cathedral to Central Station.
As long as I can remember, Antwerp has been my fave place to go shopping (Guys, don't read any further - Girls, do continue). When you leave the train station on the lefthandside, you immediately face the Meir, the main shopping street. First you come across a lot of restaurants and grand cafés (which don't seem very special to me though), but at the first crossroads you turn right into this square surrounded by more restaurants and bistro. Here you can surely find a good place to eat or have a drink. There are many different food styles you can choose from.
Continueing on the Meir, you will find traffic has been banned from a large part of the shopping area. So you can go crazy and shop. Do not forget about the smaller streets to left and right, they can often surprise you with beautiful boutiques and shops. Here are some tips: Habitat (interior design), Dille&Kamille (cookery, interior design), Cora Kempermann, Mie Katoen - which happen to be my favorites.