Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Antwerp: Groennplaats

The most popular square is probably the 'Groenplaats' (Green Square).
On warm afternoons the square can be really packed with people who enjoy a good beer (or something else) on the numerous terraces. The Groenplaats is dominated by Our Lady's Cathedral. In medieval times the cemetery of the cathedral was located here. Around the square are numerous restaurants and cafés where many famous artists spent their time. In the middle of the Groenplaats the statue of Rubens can be seen. It was made in 1843 by sculptor Geefs. Very beautiful is the facade of the 'Karbonkelhuis' at number 33. This former 'diamond house' is an example of the Renaissance style. The name of the house is derived from the Diamond Head decoration at the ground floor.

The right side of the square is dominated by the late 19th century imposing building of the Hilton Hotel. It used to be the 'Grand Bazar', one of the leading Belgian department stores. Behind the Hilton Hotel is now a pleasant and spacious covered shopping gallery.
Much like in most other cities in Belgium, the contrast in architectural styles is not absent at the Groenplaats.


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