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Weekend in Antwerp

Once home to Rubens, now home to the world’s highest concentration of diamond dealers, Belgium’s second city and biggest port is a hive of architectural and cultural contrasts.
The cathedral-like Antwerpen-Centraal railway station

Friday

OLD ANTWERP 1

Despite severe WWII bombing, Antwerp retains an intriguing medieval core. At its heart is a classic Grote Markt (Market Sq) featuring the Baroque Brabo Fountain, photogenic guildhalls and an impressive Italo-Flemish Renaissance-style town hall from 1565. Nearby, the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal is Belgium’s finest Gothic cathedral, with four early Rubens canvases inside.

DE GROOTE WITTE AREND 2

This place combines the joys of a good beer bar with the satisfaction of well-cooked, sensibly priced Flemish home cuisine, notably stoemp (potato hash), stoofvlees/carbonade (beef, beer and onion stew) and rabbit in rich Westmalle beer sauce. De Groote retains the stone arcade of a former convent building (degrootewittearend.be; Reyndersstraat 18; 11.30am– midnight; mains from £13).

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - December 2016
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