I was here seven years ago. This time, I had a couple of hours of sunny midday downtime while I was waiting for my hotel room, so I walked around and took pictures.
Antwerp’s cathedral is justly famous but my favorite spot is the train station, a massive old piece of architectural confectionery that has been mated not ungracefully to a fair-sized mall. Inside it’s dramatically vertical, with trains on every level from where you walk in to down at least four levels.
Also it has that arching Euro-train-station iron-and-glass roof.
Antwerp is a an unremarkable North-European mid-size city, busy and well-organized and functional. Walking around its streets, there was little to pull my camera out of my pocket.
There’s a gate-to-Chinatown, but not much of a Chinatown behind it.
I wouldn’t put the cathedral in the first rank, but I find that almost any big old European church rewards a visit. The best thing about it is its neighborhood, jam-packed with places to eat, a remarkable variety of ethnic cuisines; I can’t think of anything notable they missed. There seems an affinity between religion and pizzerias.
Antwerp is Rubens’ home-town, and the cathedral seems proud of its Rubenses and other paintings of the period. Unfortunately, this being a church, there’s not much on display that you’d call Rubensesque, so what’s the point? OK, I admit to not really getting the old Dutch Masters.
This particular piece of religious decoration was illuminated by stained-glass light and very pretty, I thought.
But as in any cathedral, the main attraction is the light and space.
Some of the pictures in this piece are taken with a big Pentax K-5 wearing an expensive prime lens; others, including two of the last four, with a phone. You can tell by the filenames, but care to guess before you look?