Please find driving directions and map below the main text
We shall be in the centre of Antwerp all day: first at the Vleeshuis Museum, then, after lunch at the Italian restaurant ‘Gusto Italiano’, we move on to the Wolsack in the Oude Beurs.
Het Vleeshuis (Butchers’ Hall)) owes its name to its original purpose as the guildhall for the butchers of the city. The current building dates from the beginning of the 16th century, when it replaced one built in 1250 (itself a replacement for an even older version).
In 1913 the ‘Vleeshuis’ became a museum for all the archeological finds from Antwerp.
From 2006 it has become more specialized, looking back on more than 600 years of music and dance in the city. Music during Mass, or to dance to at a wedding. Marching music to keep the troops in line, or the carillon that divides the day into blocks of time as it chimes upon the hour. Music was – and still is – played by musicians for numerous reasons. It always played a crucial role in society and in the city.
Museum Vleeshuis approaches music from a broad perspective. Not only is the music important, but above all, the story behind.
The Wolsack (named for the most important trading commodity in the Middle Ages, just like the Woolsack, the seat of the Lord Chancellor in the British House of Lords) is currently the headquarters of Herita, the Flemish heritage organization.
It has recently been renovated and we are privileged to be among the first visitors, as it is not yet open to the public.
The 18th century Hofkamer, or garden room, contains a magnificent ceiling painting on canvas, thought to be the largest in Europe. It was not possible to renovate the first floor, so a new mural and ceiling decoration were commissioned from Koen van den Broek.
Lunch 12:30 at Gusto Italiano, Lange Koepoortstraat 18, 2 courses with one drink. For vegetarian meals please indicate at registration.
By car: From Brussels, about 1 hour . There are several car parks in the area, the closest is the (covered) Grote Markt parking, entrance on the Ernst Van Dijkkaai 3 opposite Het Steen (castle) on the river, or the (open air) Parking Scheldekaaien, Jordaenskaai 27, on the other side of the road. Note that Antwerp operates a low-emission zone, so check at https://lez.antwerpen.be/?Taal=EN that your car is allowed to enter the centre. There are also road closures due to works at the Opera square. By train: To Antwerp Centraal. Trams from here to the Groenplaats are to be found in the metro station Astrid – tram 3 or 5 – and metro Diamant – tram 9 or 15. Both these stations are under the train station, a short walk underground.