UNESCO Sites of Antwerp (Flanders - Belgium)

Antwerp boasts of 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 1 on its own and 2 shared with other locations. On my recent day trip to Antwerp from Brussels, I managed to visit all these 3. So here's all about them for you when you visit Antwerp as well. 

This museum is a printing and publishing house since 16th C CE. First of all, this is the only museum as of now, in the list of UNESCO! This place in Antwerp, along with Venice and Paris were the 3 strongholds of Renaissance & Baroque printing in Europe. Christophe Plantin and Jan Moretus together set up with prestigious printing company. This site was not just their publishing site, but also the home of Plantin, the workshop, the library, the garden as well as the shop!
The house begins with the portraits of Plantin family members, incl. paintings by Rubens. There were globes too in this room and my fascination with historical maps was fed well! Do you spot PazhaverkaduMadrasPondicherryFort Saint DavidTharangambadi and Nagapattinam? I don't know what's that place between Madras & Pondicherry though. (Update: It's Meliapur. Today's Mylapore!). 
There are some exquisite age-old machinery, typesets, books and more. Plantin not only published books in local languages, but also in a wide variety of ancient and foreign languages including, Aramaic, Hebrew, Old Syriac, Arabic, Latin, Greek etc. This also included some dictionaries and bibles!
He was a visionary of his times and even came up with unusual, exquisite font types (while font type sounds silly today, here we are talking in the pre-computer era in 16th C CE!). Not just religious books, but he was also publishing scientific books including lithographic prints of drawing of plants etc. 

Where is Plantin Moretus Museum (on Google Maps)Plantin-Moretus Museum
How to reach Plantin Moretus Museum: 1.8km (25 mins walk) from Antwerp Central Railway station. Take Antwerp DeLijn Metro Route 3 or 5 till Antwerpen Groenplaats and then walk 350m (4 mins). 
Plantin Moretus Museum Tickets:  €6 (free with museumpassmusees & Antwerp City Card)
Plantin Moretus Museum Opening Hours: Tue-Sun: 10:00AM - 5:00PM

Plantin Moretus Museum Sites to see in Antwerp

Plantin Moretus Museum UNESCO World heritage sites in Antwerp Belgium

Plantin Moretus Museum UNESCO World heritage sites in Antwerp Belgium

Plantin Moretus Museum UNESCO World heritage sites in Antwerp Belgium

Plantin Moretus Museum UNESCO World heritage sites in Antwerp Belgium

ANTWERP BELFRY & STADHUIS (one of the 55 belfries of France and Belgium): 
I've already told you about belfries earlier here. This Belfry stands atop the Cathedral of Our Lady. This belfry along with the city (Stadhuis) forms the UNESCO site in Antwerp in this category. This is in fact the tallest of Belfries in Flanders at 123m. Unfortunately, both of these are currently under renovation and will not be ready for visits till the year 2020!
The church by itself is a visual treat though. In permanent display, are the paintings Elevation to the cross and Descent from the Cross by Peter Paul Rubens! This city is the hometown (where he grew up & had a studio) of Rubens, has so much more of and about Rubens than elsewhere! Yes, it is the same Rubens who painted the ceiling of Banqueting House in London and the student of Otto van Veen who painted Leuven Town Hall. Luckily for me, when I visited, the moving exhibition of 'Reunion. From Quinten Metsijs to Peter Paul Rubens' was happening there and I got to see several more altarpieces and paintings by the Flemish grandmasters.
A church has been here since 11th C CE, and Romanesque architecture was built by 12th C CE. From 1352-1521 the current Gothic architecture was built along with the Belfry. Few potions of the current building have traces of paintings from the 15th C CE. Till the end of 18th C CE, burials were allowed inside the church, so several tombs were found in excavations, some of which are in the crypt today.

Where is Antwerp Belfry (Cathedral of Our Lady) (on Google Maps)Cathedral of Our Lady & Belfry
How to reach  Antwerp Belfry (Cathedral of Our Lady)1.7km (25 mins walk) from Antwerp Central Railway station. Take Antwerp DeLijn Metro Route 11 till Antwerpen Melkmaarkt and then walk 350m (4 mins). Cathedral of Our Lady is just 350m (4 mins walk) from Plantin Moretus Museum.
Antwerp Belfry (Cathedral of Our Lady) Tickets:  €8 (free with Antwerp City Card)
Antwerp Belfry (Cathedral of Our Lady) Opening Hours: Mon-Fri: 10:00AM - 5:00PM; Sat: 10:00AM - 3:00PM; Sun: 1:00PM - 5:00PM

Where is Stadhuis van Antwerpen (Antwerp City Hall) (on Google Maps)Stadhuis van Antwerpen
How to reach Stadhuis van Antwerpen (Antwerp City Hall)1.7km (25 mins walk) from Antwerp Central Railway station. Take Antwerp DeLijn Metro Route 11 till Antwerpen Melkmaarkt and then walk 400m (5 mins). Stadhuis van Antwerpen (Antwerp Cityhall) is located in the Grote Markt which is 180m (2 mins walk) from Cathedral of Our Lady.
 Stadhuis van Antwerpen (Antwerp City Hall) Tickets:  Not accessible to the public for visiting
Stadhuis van Antwerpen (Antwerp City Hall) Opening Hours: Not accessible to the public for visiting

Sites to see in Antwerp Belfry

Sites to see in Antwerp Belfry

Sites to see in Antwerp Belfry

Sites to see in Antwerp Belfry

Sites to see in Antwerp Belfry

Sites to see in Antwerp Belfry

MAISON GUITTE
 (one of 17 sites in 7 countries): 
This is listed under UNESCO as The Architectural Work of Le Corbusier, an Outstanding Contribution to the Modern Movement. However, sadly, this is a private residence like Stoclet Palace and cannot be accessed. Here are more details on the architecture of this house on the official website of Fondation Le Corbusier.

Where is Maison Guitte (on Google Maps)Maison Guiette 
How to reach Maison GuitteIt is close to Middleheim. From Antwerp Centraal take Antwerp DeLijn Tram Route 17 till Wilrijk Eglantierlaan and walk 200m (2 mins).
Maison Guitte Tickets:  Not accessible to the public
Maison Guitte Opening Hours: Not accessible to the public 


........DRUMROLL.......

.....and..... with that.......
We've checked all 13 in the UNESCO listing under Belgium (of course, we haven't seen all sites in the shared location ones like 53 belfries, but we've seen at least one in those listings)! Update 2021: 2 more sites have been added now to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Belgium list making it 15 - Spa and Wortel. Yet to visit Wortel. So far 14/15 are done! Update 2022: Visited 15/15 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Belgium!!!! Yippeee

This also marks 50 UNESCO World Heritage sites by us across India & Europe. Yippee!!!!

HOW TO REACH ANTWERP
From Brussels: 50km (regular Intercity trains are available from Brussels Nord/Central/Zuid and travel time is about 1 hr)
Nearest Airport: Antwerp (TUI, Fly Be); Brussels (all major airlines)
Nearest Railway Station: Antwerp Centraal, Antwerp Berchem

TRANSPORT WITHIN ANTWERP
Pre-metro, Trams and Buses are the Public Transport options within Antwerp and they are all operated by DeLijn. If you already have a DeLijn 10 Journey Ticket or DeLijn 1 Day Ticket you can easily use it here. If you are purchasing the Antwerp City Card to visit the various places of interest in Antwerp, you can use the same on public transport as well. This card is valid for 24/48/72 hrs and is active from the first scan in the first place of interest. 

Unusual things to do in Antwerp Maison Guitte

UNESCO Antwerp Pinterest UNESCO Antwerp Pinterest

P.S: I was given Antwerp City Card by Visit Antwerp to experience the city for review purposes, however, the opinions are my own and this post does not advertise the product/service.

Bhushavali

An ardent traveler by passion. Being an ex - Art History Teacher, my area of interest especially lies in Nature and Heritage. Visited 85 UNESCO World Heritage sites as of June 2022. I've been listed among the Top 7 Women Travel Bloggers of India, Top 50 in UK. I have been interviewed in a couple of TV Shows, Radio Channels and Events as well. Read more about me and read the testimonials of different brands

16 comments:

  1. Jane Dempster-SmithJanuary 18, 2019 at 2:32 AM

    Interesting article on the printing and publishing house. Thank you for listing the UNESCO sites - I enjoy visiting as many as I can when I travel. We have still to visit Antwerp and will bookmark this article for our visit.

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  2. The Plantin Moretus Museum looks fascinating, I love looking through old maps as well, always so interesting. The Belfry looks very beautiful as well, such incredible architecture.

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  3. What a fascinating city! Most towns don't have even a single UNESCO heritage site but Antwerp has three of them (and completely deservingly btw). I would love to visit Antwerp someday

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  4. The Plantin Moretus Museum seems to be very interesting and exactly my kind of museum. And its even in the list of UNESCO which makes it even more interesting. But also the Belfry and the church itself must be amazing places to see. I would love to see the paintings by Rubens there with y own eyes. All in all very beautiful and interesting spots!

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  5. 50 UNESCO sites - that's quite an impressive number. Would love to get there one day. These 3 in Antwerp look interesting. But the museum is the most intriguing for me. Honestly, I had no idea there was a museum on UNESCO's list. I am glad I found out. Gives me more reason to visit it soon.

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  6. Brought back the memories of my visit to this beautiful city. I didn't enter any of these places but have seen them from outside. Didn't know there were UNESCO sites. I would have guessed that the train station or Jewish quarter would be one given all the history.

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  7. I really want to visit Belgium soon. As being such a small country, it has so much to offer and there is so much to see. Not to mention the CHOCOLATE!!! Ha ha. However, I did not know that there is this many UNESCO sites in Belgium. Thanks for teaching me that. I especially love to visit churches, so I think I would really enjoy seeing belfry. This just made me excited to get there soon.

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  8. I didn't know there were so many UNESCO sites in Belgium, and Antwerp has three of them! Wow! Plantin Moretus Museum and the frescos of Ruben at the Belfry Cathedral look so interesting. I wish Maison Guiette is was a private property and you could see it from inside. But still. Oh and 50 UNESCO site till date sounds incredible!

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  9. I have to admit that I only learned about UNESCO sites in the last couple of years. I know, where have I been living? I visited my first site just a few weeks ago in San Antonio, Texas. I'm so impressed that you've visited 50! These all sound amazing but the museum is what I would really enjoy.

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  10. Interesting places. Nice to know about these.

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  11. Wow for there to be 3 UNESCO sites on this small town is astounding and well deserved. The museums hold so much history

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  12. How unique that a museum was designated as a UNESCO site! What rich history in such a small piece of geography! Thanks for sharing :)

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  13. Recently I have finished my Middle Eastern trip. In Israel and Egypt I have learnt little bit about ancient languages such as Aramaic and Old Syriac.
    Now reading in your post that in the 16th century in Antwerp Plantin published even bibles in ancient languages gave me a new perspective of the Plantin-Moretus Museum and Antwerp.

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  14. I haven't visited any UNESCO site and I would be happy to add this to my bucket list and finally visit it.

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  15. Did not know that this is the only museum in the UNESCO list..what a wow trivia to know and visit. I have a thing for UNESCO sites and Museum and glad to know this museum through this post of yours. Well, I think that place is Mahabalipuram falling between MAdras and Pondy, illa?

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  16. I have never been to Antwerp but I see that this is a very nice place. I would like to visit Plantin Moretus Museum because it looks very interesting.

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