One-week conference in Antwerp

I spent the first week of September in Belgium attending a week-long conference in Antwerp. I have previously been to Brussels and Bruges but Antwerp was new to me. Antwerp is s a Flemish port city on Belgium’s River Scheldt, with history dating to the Middle Ages. With a population of good 500,000, it is the most populous city proper in Belgium. Its metropolitan area houses around 1,200,000 people, which is second behind Brussels. Antwerp is about 40 km north from Brussels, and about 15 km from the Dutch border. Today, Antwerp is a major trade and cultural center, and is the world’s second most multi-cultural city (after Amsterdam) home to 170 nationalities. It is also known as the “diamond capital” of the world for its large diamond district. Antwerp’s Flemish Renaissance architecture is typified by the Grote Markt, a central square in the old town.

My room at Hotel Rubens had a super-comfy bed

Unfortunately I was not able to visit any of the museums or other cultural attractions as the conference days were long and both museums and shops typically close by 6 pm at the latest. I did, however, stroll around the city (especially around the Grote Markt area) and enjoyed the architecture. I also enjoyed some nice dinners and got to meet up with my niece who lives in Brussels one night. The city made enough of an impression that I want to return with hubby and have a chance to see more of the city, visit museum and shops, etc. Here are some pictures of the city and later I will make a food post.

Stadhuis (Town hall) of Antwerp at Grote Mark, erected between 1561 and 1565
Sint-Andrieskerk from the 16th century was located across the street from the conference site
The Stadsfeestzaal or Festival Hall built in 1908 has been converted into a shopping mall
Chocolate being made at The Chocolate Line
Edible souvenirs from The Chocolate Line
 
The Cathedral of Our Lady, the first stage of construction was ended in 1521
The Antwerp Central Station from 1905
Inside the Central Station

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