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Plantin-Moretus Museum

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Antwerp is a municipality in Belgium. Its importance is noted both economically and culturally. Though not too large it is a place worth visiting. The fresh air and beatific scenery provide the perfect break from the toil of daily life.

Plantin Moretus is a museum dedicated to Christoffel Plantijn and Jan Moretus, the most famous printers of the world. Its name is derived from the name of these two personalities.

It is basically a printing press and publishing house, dating back to as far as the Renaissance, which has been converted into a museum.  Its display of typographical material is simply amazing and will not fail to interest those attracted by history and its charms. Its library is also quite large and worth a visit if you like books and the feel of ancient literature.

The atmosphere is baroque with the smell of ink still lingering in the air and the sound of platen, the thick slabs used to press the paper still echoes. The experience of this museum is much more than just virtual pleasure and can’t be expressed in mere words. It requires a visit!

In 2002 the museum was nominated as UNESCO World Heritage Site and today it is included in the World Heritage List.

The Grote Markt or the Market Square in Antwerp

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The largest city and the capital of the province of Flanders, also known as the diamond capital of the world, Antwerp is both a city and a municipality with a population of over 475,000 called “Sinjoren” (derived from the Spanish word “senor” which means mister).

The market square of Antwerp, surrounded by the typical medieval guild houses, is the historical center of town. The city hall is designed in special architectural style with a combination between Gothic and early Renaissance. This style is almost exclusively found in this region of Europe. The area is still the heart of the old city. In the background the tower of Our Lady’s Cathedral completes the magnificent view.

The houses of the Guilds are unfortunately not the original ones. A large part of the Grote Markt burned down in 1576. Most of the houses were rebuilt afterwards by Hans Vredeman, the town architect, in Flemish Renaissance style. In the 19th century the houses were again renovated.

The house which ranks the first in beauty is the house number 7 which happened to be the house of the guild of Archers and is crowned by the statue of St. George. House number 25, a reconstruction of a house that used to stand at the ‘Meir’, stands on the spot where an Inn used to stand. This Inn was mentioned in the medieval play of  ‘Marieken van Nieumwhegen’.

The Grote Markt or the Market Square in Antwerp

The Rubens House Museum of Antwerp

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Antwerp-Rubens House Museum stands at a place which happened to be the residence of Rubens for a major period of his lifetime. Most of his paintings (around 25000) were created by him and his students (with the likes of Anthony Van Dyck and Jacob Jordeans) here only.

The museum not only houses some of the greatest works of Rubens but also gives us an insight of the lifestyle of high class society in the 17th century. You can also admire the office of the master himself as well as the atelier where the actual work was performed.

The house has been designed in Baroque style. In 1930, the Government of Antwerp purchased this house and renovated it and opened it for the public as a museum. The museum is open every day (except Mondays), from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on certain public holidays: 1st & 2nd January, Ascension Day, 1st & 2nd November, 25th & 26th December.

The museum has an entrance fees but the ticket to the Rubens Museum gives the visitors free access to the Museum Mayer van den Bergh. The visitors also get a free access to this museum on each last Wednesday of every month.

Rubens House Museum of Antwerp

The Fashion Museum of Antwerp

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The city of Antwerp is a celebration of life for the locals because of its unique blend of sophisticated metro culture along with the serenity offered by the waters of the river Scheldt. The tourists are drawn to this city for its vibrant nightlife, world class shopping, exotic musical flair as well as its remarkable architecture. Apart from all these Antwerp is dotted with Diamonds, Excellent dining venues, superb museums and galleries, antiques, fashion, shops, Parks and Gardens.

Among the various places to visit in Antwerp, the fashion museum of the city is worth a mention. The interior of this new and trendy fashion museum housing contemporary fashion and historical collections is very organic with lots of wood and light.

The MOMU holds changing exhibitions usually creations of temporary fashion designers, especially those who took courses in the Royal Academy of Art in Antwerp. The exhibitions are very dynamic, creative and intuitive using various media.

A small gallery on the first floor houses the work of 3rd year students of the Antwerp-fashion Academy (Royal Academy of Art and FFI / Flanders Fashion Institute) with focus on topics like textile raw material and fibers, textile techniques, textile industry, textile print and dye, lace, embroidery and other fancywork, historic costumes and fashion.

The museum is open fromTuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 6 PM but the tickets are sold only until 5.15 PM.

Parks And Gardens In Antwerp

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Antwerp is a green city abounding in plenty of parks and gardens which act as a solace from the throbbing city life, a place to cherish for nature lovers and a recreational spot for children. When in Antwerp, you can visit these parks and gardens which happens to be the pride of the city:

Stadspark (City Park)
Rubenslei 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
This is a triangular park is situated between Rubenslei, Van Eycklei and Quinten Matsijslei. It may be noted here that all these avenues are named after the famous artists and take pride in featuring some of the best hotels of Antwerp. This park is laid out in English style and there are numerous walking trails, secluded seating and large lawned areas. The city park also features a playground, a large WWI monument, a number of statues and even a WWII bunker. There are varied species of plant life to be found here from yew trees, American linden and cypresses to a Japanese walnut tree.

Botanical Garden – Plantentuin
Leopoldstraat 24, Antwerp 2000
The Botanical Garden is open daily and the entry is free of cost. The 2 000 noteworthy plants of this garden have their origin in the herb garden belonging to the medieval St. Elisabethgasthuis, which is still a hospital today. The garden hosts an interesting selection of botanical specimens, all of which are clearly labelled and categorised for those interest in botany.

King Albertpark,
between Koningin Elisabethlei and Prins Albertlei
2018 Antwerpen
The place is just next to a busy tram/bus stop and is easily accessible as such. It is a favorite spot for children who crowd here to race around picking up fallen chestnuts.

Middelheim Park
The Middelheim park was earlier a private property which was bought by the city in 1910 and was opened to the general public. The park has an open air sculpture museum with a collection of more than 300 works of art. In 1950, an international open air sculpture exhibition was held in the park.

Provincial Groendomein Riverenhof
Turnhoutsebaan 232, 2100 Deurne
This happens to be the biggest park of Antwerp and the place takes pride in its wide display of seasonal flowers, such as azaleas, camellias and roses, along with a well-equipped playground for children and various outdoor concerts, which are performed at a large amphitheatre.

Antwerp Six, the group of famous fashion designers from Antwerp

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The Antwerp Six is direct reference to a group of significant avant garde fashion designers who graduated from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in period occurring between 1980-1981. At the Academy they learn tips and tricks of fashion designing from Linda Loppa. The fashion collective Antwerp shows a relatively different radical vision for fashion as happened at the time during the 1980s that firmed Antwerp as a notable location and recognized spot for fashion designing. The group started or came into limelight in 1988 as it rented a truck and set out for the London fashion fair with their collections. The group is consisted of the following fashion designers:

• Walter Van Beirendonck: He is a noted Belgian fashion designer born in year 1957. He graduated in 1980 from the Royal Arts Academy in Antwerp. Along with Dirk Van Saene, Dries van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Marina Yee (and Dirk Bikkembergs (graduated in 1982). He became the part of the Antwerp Six. Since 1983, he brings out his own collections of goods and he was rather inspired by the visual arts, literature, nature and ethnic influences. His remarkable color combinations and a strong graphic influence are features of his collections.

Ann Demeulemeester: Ann Demeulemeester is a fashion designer whose eponymous label ‘Ann Demeulemeester’ is generally is being impressed upon as the annual Paris Fashion Week. She too without any exception learnt fashion design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp as lying from period between from 1978 to 1981. Therefore, she is also kwon as a member of the ‘Antwerp Six’. She worked with the artist Jim Dine, and has also been associated with Patti Smith. At present she is working on a clothing line as inspire by Jackson Pollock.

Dries van Noten: Dries Van Noten is a Belgian fashion designer and an eponymous fashion brand. In 2005, by the New York Times he was lauded as “one of fashion’s most cerebral designers”. His sort of fashion styling is known as to be the “eccentric”, and fell out of favor as on the long period of minimalistic fashion trend of the early 1990s, that revived as during the mid 2000s. He won the International Award of the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2008.

Dirk Bikkembergs: Dirk Bikkembergs was born in Cologne, Germany. He along with other Belgian designers like Ann Demeulemeester, Dries van Noten, Dirk van Saene, Walter van Beirendonck and Marina Yee was graduated in 1996. In 1996, the Bikkembergs label was came into force as a label considered as to and for the needs of the wider and elaborate market.

Other two famous fashion designers from the group was the Marina Yee and Dirk Van Saene.

Crowne Plaza Antwerp, 4 star hotel in Antwerp

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Crowne Plaza Antwerp, 4 star hotel in Antwerp

Crowne Plaza Antwerp, 4 star hotel in Antwerp

•    Overview of the Hotel: The hotel is located close to the beltway and has location about half a mile away from Antwerp Expo Tram Stop. It has a free Wi-Fi, 24 hour reception and provides an international shuttle upon request.  The hotel is located about 10 minute drives away from the Antwerpen International Airport. Antwerpen-South Train Station is about a 5-minute car ride away from there. The hotel also has ANNA, a Living & Bar concept which provides a Flemish cuisine and regional specialties from Antwerp. Guests can enjoy lunch, drinks or dinner in a modern setting. The hotel has about 264 rooms and it is the chain of the Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts.

•    Amenities at the Hotel:
For amenities and services in the hotel  it provides the general facilities like as restaurant, bar, 24-hour front desk, newspapers,        non-smoking rooms, rooms/facilities for disabled guests, elevator,       express check-in/check-out, safe, heating, baggage storage, all public and private spaces non-smoking, air conditioning, restaurant. For services it include as the room service, meeting/banquet facilities, airport shuttle, business center, dry cleaning, vip room facilities, breakfast in the room, ironing service, honeymoon suite, currency exchange, souvenirs/gift shop,  bicycle rental, shoe shine, packed lunches, fax/photocopying, suit press and        vending machine (drinks).

•    Hotel Rules: With respect to general hotel policies for Crowne Plaza Antwerp there prevails the same hotel policy at the common areas in the hotel. The check in time into the hotel is 14:00 hours and the checkout time is until 13:00 hours. Cancellation and prepayment policies vary in the hotel according to the room type.  Pets only are allowed on request with certain charges applied there. Hotel accept cards like as American Express, Visa, Euro/Mastercard and Diners Club
•    Hotel Room Types and Rates:

Standard Double Room: € 199 (Per Night)

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The construction and expansion of Antwerpen-Centraal railway station

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Antwerpen-Centraal is the main railway station in the Belgian city of Antwerp. The station is controlled by the national railway company SNCB. The construction of the station building started from and occurred between the years 1895 and 1905 as a shifting activity of the original terminus of the Brussels-Mechelen-Antwerp Railway. The stone made terminus buildings along with the waiting room hall were designed by Louis Delacenserie and the vast (185 metres long and 44 metres high) iron and glass trainshed dome was fabricated by Clement van Bogaert. The viaduct into the station is another noticeable structure as made by the local architect Jan Van Asperen.

The station is presently has prestige of the best railway architecture of Europe. After the construction of the station it run successfully for many decades and was attributed and assigned for the Expansion of the high speed trains. The construction work for the high speed trains began in 1998. This full fledged construction was apart from accommodating it for high speed trains was also aimed for the converting the terminus into a full fledged station. There a new tunnel was excavated between Berchem station in the south of the city and Antwerpen-Dam station in the north, and was passing beneath the Central station, having two platforms at its two underground levels. This allows Thalys, HSL 4 and HSL-Zuid high-speed trains to travel through Antwerp Central without any requirement to move around. After the completion of the project, the train started running from the 25 March 2007.

For operational convenience after the high speed running the station was further expanded and was divided into the four levels. At its first level there is located the original station and about six terminating tracks as kept in the two groups and let to have a view of the lower levels. The next level that is the level 0 is there for the house ticketing facilities as well as commercial space. And the level 2 is underground with four tracks and there on two tracks goes underground into the city. For its architectural value the station is too famous in the popular culture as well. There a Flash mob sort event was too organized at the station about in early 2009 and it further developed into a viral video and themed the song Do-Re-Mi from the Rodgers Hammerstein musical The station also shown in Agatha_Christie’s_Poirot episode.

Banks, 4 star hotel in Antwerp

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Banks, 4 star hotel in Antwerp

Banks, 4 star hotel in Antwerp

•    Overview of the Hotel: At the hotel you can have the trendy Antwerp accommodation services as around the shopping area and the popular Zuid district. The hotel also provides sitting area with a fireplace.  As close to the hotel is situated a good number of designer shops. The promenade along the Scheldt and the many tourist attractions of Antwerp are also just a short walk away. The hotel has total 70 rooms.

•    Amenities at the Hotel: With respect to the amenities in the hotel it includes as Bar grounds, terrace, non-smoking rooms, elevator, express check-in/check-out, soundproofed rooms, heating, design hotel, baggage storage, gay friendly, allergy-free room available, all public and Private spaces non-smoking, air conditioning. In services it includes as bicycle rental and fax/photocopying.

•    Hotel Rules: For the general policies for Banks they remain uniform at the common areas of the hotel. The check in time into the hotel is 15:00 – 20:00 hours and the check out time is 07:00 – 12:00 hours. The cancellation and prepayment policies in the hotel vary according to the room type. The pets are allowed in the hotel on certain applicable charges. It accepts cards like as Visa, Euro/Mastercard, ATM card, Maestro and Bancontact.

•    Hotel Room Types and Rates:

Standard Double Room: € 127.50 (Per Night)
Superior Double Room: € 137.50 (Per Night)
Top Floor Room:  € 122.50 (Per Night)
Banks Junior Suite: € 147.50 (Per Night)
Superior Double Room + 1 extra night!: € 240 (Per Night)

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Royal Academy of Fine Arts (Antwerp)

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The Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp is one of the oldest Art Academy of its sort in Europe, the academy was constituted in 1663 by David Teniers the Younger, painter to the Archduke Leopold Wilhelm and Don Juan of Austria. Teniers was master of the Guild of St Luke that imbibed the arts and some handicraft and requisitioned the Philip IV of Spain, then master of the Spanish Netherlands, to provide a grant royal charter to found a fine arts academy in Antwerp.

The Royal Academy then after was developed into an internationally recognized and reputed institute of Fine Arts, Architecture and Design. Since the nineteenth century the academy is a favorite institute of young artists from outside including the Irish, German, Dutch and Polish artists going for a much classified and a solid classical training at on their way to Antwerp. Under the supervision of Gustave Wappers (1803-1874) and his registrar Hendrik Conscience the academy developed and restructured at its best level. The academy’s best art collection there was shown at its own gallery space.  By 1890 this gallery developed into the Royal Museum of Fine Arts and placed at its current location in Antwerp.

In 1880, a talented young artist Henry Van de Velde was enrolled into at the Antwerp Academy. There he became one of the pioneering 20th century architects and designers. In 1885 and 1886 Vincent Van Gogh too spent some of his time at the Antwerp academy, before he departed to the France. In 1885, King Leopold II constituted the National Higher Institute for Fine Arts Antwerp (Nationaal Hoger Instituut voor Schone Kunsten) as an extraordinary post graduate program, as inspired by the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris.

In due course in 20th century in 1946, the Architecture program developed into an independent institute, The National Higher Institute of Architecture. In 1963 in the institute the course of the Fashion Design started. The course was slightly successful from the very start. And was amazingly successful in early eighties with the “The Antwerp Six” along with Dirk Bikkembergs, Walter Van Beirendonck, Marina Yee, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene and Ann Demeulemeester and was much talked about in Media. The fashion program at the institute attracted as much as talents from all around the globe. It has about 130 students at its list as is the largest program in the visual arts and design department.

Nowadays, The Academy provides three distinctive programs like as Visual Arts and Design, Conservation studies and a one year dedicated teachers training. About 540 students there work in the four main buildings situated in the center of the city, Mutsaardstraat, Silversmithing, Jewelry, Theatre Costume Design and Fine Arts, Nationale Strata and Keizerstraat.