Meir Area, Antwerp
Antwerp is the place to be for shopping. The Meir is the main shopping street where most popular brands are available. Besides shopping you can also enjoy the nice architecture of the buildings. The most interesting buildings are the Palace and the "Stadsfeestzaal" that holds an indoor shopping centre with an exclusive Champagne bar. The Meir is a super place for Shopping and historical buildings.
At the next intersection, you will find a new statue depicting another of the great sons of Antwerp, Anthony van Dyck, one of the most representative members of the Flemish painting tradition.
This is where De Meir starts, Antwerp's main shopping street. This pedestrian boulevard boasts basically high street fashion, but still, your attention will be caught by several of the buildings that line it, including the Royal Palace (former residence of Belgian royals when visiting the city), the the Osterrieth house, an attractive 18th century Rococo palace (Both buildings are works of the architect Van Baurscheit), and the De Kleine Koning building, home to a former luxurious store.
Cross the Lei and you will find yourself at Leys Street, presided by a statue David Teniers, member of a local painters saga whose reputation almost pairs Rubens' or Van Dyck's. This is the starting point of a large car-free area flanked by voluptuous eclectic and Flemish-revival buildings from the 19th century which will surely catch your attention.
All the buildings are full of decorative details, but the two symmetrical domed edifices on the start of the street are particularly attractive, forming a sort of gate into the Old Town.
This is Antwerp's shopping zone, the place where you find most stores you need. Unfortunately, this makes look the pedestrian zone like most similar places in Europe - with chains like New Yorker, H&M etc. While the eastern end close to the central station has a couple of hotels (some of them with long tradition), you will see more chain shops at the western end. If you are able to have a look away from the shops, you will see that they are situated in a couple of beautiful buildings. Most of them are from the late 19th and early 20th century. Also, a couple of monuments can be seen here.
This famous street links the historical old town with the 19th century city centre. Its packed with beautiful historic buildings, including the Royal Palace where Napoleon once stayed, the Rococo Osterrieth house and the Municipal Reception Hall.
And, there's the statue of Van Dyck at the beginning of the street.
It is the main commercial way of the city of Antwerp. It cross the city center from the train station to the very hart of the city. It is a shopping paradise, if you like that, otherwise is wonderfull for sightseeing.
The Meir is often recommended as a
shopping area. I thing that is stupid since the
shops that are located on the Meir are
international concerns.(you can find them in
every big city)
It is true that the Meir is together with the
Lange Nieuwstraat in Brussels the most
important shopping street in Belgium. They
both have over a 100 000 pedestrians a day.
The Meir in Antwerp has got a big advantage ,
it is much more wide and has got stunning
Just a little hint...at the corner of the
innovasion , there is a little coffee - chocolate
shop. Order a coffee and someone with
white gloves will give you a delicious praline.
The Keyserlei, Leysstreet and the Meir make up the central shopping avenue of Antwerp. From the central station up to the Meir bridge is excellent for shopping. Almost every shop and brand can be found here. Although almost only international stores are located here the surrounding architecture makes this place typically Antwerp. So make sure to look up once in a while.
It might happen when you are walking along the Meir, the main shopping street of Antwerpen, that you see a big hand on the walkway.
It is the Hand of the Giant (see the tip concerning the Brabo statue at the Grote Markt).
However, I am not sure if Brabo did throw the Hand soo far. (LOL)
Running between the centre (Meir) and the Central Station, the "Keijserlei" can as well be called the most exclusive shoppingstreet in Belgium (though it has big competition with the Meir (as well in Antwerpen). Maybe because the Keyserlei is flanking the famous Diamond-quarter and so has in historical point of view, always attracted the once who can spend a lot of money. Anyway, now-a-days the "Keijserlei" is already little less exclusive, though it still keeps up the name to be a main shoppingstreet here.
On the shoppingstreets of the "Meir" one finds the "Feestzaal". Literally translated this would be the "party-room" and so I imagine that this is a society festivity hall. The looks of it make it obvious that it houses quite some space and maybe various rooms. This I will find out next time I will visit Antwerpen, which will be - I hope - no too long from now.
The "Meir" is a amazing long avenue, that runs slowly curved from the "Boerentower" to the Stationarea. It has on either side wonderful and huge palaces, rich houses and other beautiful buildings. It is also the main shoppingstreet of Antwerpen, competing heavily with the Keyzerlei.
We are finally on the large street called “Meir” which sinuous curve invited us to look at the beautiful façade of the grands magasins “Tietz”, nowadays warehouse “Innovation”. Bordered since the 17th century by vast manorial buildings, it is only from 1850 on that insurance companies, banks and shipping offices established their headquarters. Today, a few of these glorious buildings remain: the building of the “Feestzaal” (1908), the Osterrieth house, built by J.P.Baurscheit the Young who built also the kings palace at no. 50. This Osterrieth house, one of the finest houses in Antwerp, is a patrician house with carriage-entrance and interior courtyard dating from the Austrian period, which is 1750. It houses also a splendid collection of paintings and drawings only visible with a special tour. The building “Arenberg” (corner Meir-Wapper) has a splendid façade, often refurbished and lately by the store “Esprit”. The same with the house Pijpelinckx at no 54 (19th century) wearing the name of Rubens mother, Maria Pijpelinckx.
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 and especialy my wife:-),every day to a pleasant shopping stroll in a beautiful historic surrounding.
Go to the Meir, it's a huge shoppingstreet full with restaurants, shops, banks, bars and much more.
On Sunday's there's de Vogeltjesmarkt (Birdmarket), which is a must see. Thousands of birds and other pets are for sale. Be there early though. 9 am at least.