Two years ago, I was with some friends in Antwerp.Time to freshen up the memories 🙂
Now I have the remaining buildings for you, as I proposed in my last post: the central station and the Stadtfeestzaal.
The Stadtfeestzaal was built in 1908 following the styles of the neoclassicism. I was used for exhibitions and other events. It is located in the middle of one of the most important shopping streets of Antwerp. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed the building in 2000. After the reconstruction was finished, it is now used to be a luxury shopping center.
The central station was finished in 1905. It’s an replacement for the oder wooden train station. More and more traffic made it necessary, to build a bigger station. It’s kind of unusual style for a train station, thus is it also called as a ‘train cathedral’. It was inspired by the Pantheon in Rome as well as central station in Luzern, Switzerland. During the middle of the 20th century the building was in a bad shape, and there were considerations to remove it completely. But, luckily they decided to renovate it in 1993. Now, it’s a very impressive building again!
On Saturday we have had our monthly photographers meeting. Because we have Easter holidays here and Good Friday was already a public holiday, we have planed a trip to a quite farther destination, than usual. We were 8 people and car-pooled for the trip.
You might know, Antwerp is the world diamond city. Here is the diamond-cutting industry located with the many, many diamond shops, the polishing workshops and the diamond exchange. The whole diamond industry is dominated by Jews, and Jews celebrate their weekly work-free day on Saturdays. Thus, all the shops were closed. Only the tourist show room was open, but offered no guided tour, because we were not registered in advance (and no-one of the craftsmen was at work). Bad luck!
So, if you want to see a bit of the diamond industry, don’t go on a Saturday! And, register in advance of a guides tour. They told us to make the reservation at least 3 weeks in advance!
Also, the cathedral wasn’t open to the public. Although usually open until 5 p.m., it was closed earlier for an Easter concert. And, in opposite to other churches, I visited in the past, there is an entrance fee of 6€ for an adult.
Nevertheless, we have had a nice day in Antwerpen. We visited the central station, the main shopping street and the old town with many building constructed during the 16th and 17th century.
I split this post in 2 parts. This post is a bit more general. The other post will focus on the central station and the Stadsfeestzaal Antwerpen.
Unfortunately the weather wasn’t that good. Most of the day it was called (only about 5°C) and a completely covered sky. At least, in the afternoon, the sun came through and gave us a bit of a blue sky.
In many places of the city, there were breakdance and other dancing competitions and demonstrations. Thus, it was quite loud and very crowded. Even in the central station there was such a competition.