This important sight in Ghent is a castle with a very turbulent past, closely intertwined with the complex—often stormy—political and social history of the city.Read more
Antwerp is the most distinctive Baroque city of the Low Countries. In this program, multiple historic sights of the Baroque will be visited. Enjoy the city of P.P. Rubens. You might even bump into Rubens at the Rubenshuis...
Day 2: Exploring Brussels
Lunch at Chez Léon
A stone's throw from the Brussels Grand Place, the “rich theatre” to borrow a phrase from Jean Cocteau, is the Ilot Sacré. At the heart of this neighbourhood, the Léon restaurant, temple of mussels and chips, has been in existence for more than 100 years.
Check-in Boutique Hotel Julien**** or similar (not included)
In the heart of the historic city of Antwerp you will find the upscale and beautifully designed Hotel Julien. This urban retreat offers guests an oasis of tranquillity in a relaxed and welcoming setting. Situated in two 16th century properties, the hotel has been lovingly restored and authentic features are effortlessly combined with contemporary furnishings to offer you every comfort.
Day 3: Introducing Antwerp
Visit MAS Museum
Visitors to Antwerp have been flocking to the hip Eilandje district, an old dockside neighborhood, to visit the MAS, which opened in 2011. This is where the city and the port - the second largest port in Europe even - converge. The stunning architecture and the museum collection are perfect examples of this. The viewing deck on top of the museum offers a unique panoramic view of the city.
Cathedral of Our Lady (Included)
The Cathedral of Our Lady is the largest Gothic edifice in the Low Countries. After 169 years (1352-1521), the cathedral finally reached its full height, towering over Antwerp at 123 meters. The cathedral is a huge treasury and owns several masterpieces, among others by Rubens. Eye-catchers include Rubens’s “The Elevation of the Cross” and “The Descent from the Cross”.
Free time (Shopping)
Shopping in Antwerp is a real experience that perfectly fits with Antwerp’s status as a fashion city. Whatever your personal style, you are sure to find elegant pieces from large fashion houses, trendy boutiques, small independent shops and avant-garde concept stores. They are all within walking distance in a city that is both hip and historic, cool and classic, trendy and traditional.
Day 4: Get to know Antwerp
Welcome to the house of the famous Belgian painter Peter Paul Rubens. Within this mansion, Rubens created a large portion of his paintings. He even designed the mansion himself, after he returned to Antwerp from Italy, where he fell in love with Italian architecture. The building has been restored to how it used to look when Rubens himself was still living there. So who knows, you might even bump into Rubens himself!
St. Charles Borromeo's Church
“Heaven on earth”, “the eighth world wonder” ... in the seventeenth century, people came up with the most eloquent descriptions to express their admiration for this church, which looks as if it is situated in an Italian piazza. It was built (1615-1621) during the pinnacle of the Counter-Reformation, by and for Jesuits. Peter Paul Rubens had a hand in the tower, the façade, the main altar, the stucco on the ceiling and the chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, as a painter, decorator and architect.