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Beautiful day or night (Scroll)

GROTE MARKT .......... The main market square in Antwerp is beautiful any time of year, day or night. But, it looks like a fairy tale setting when the Christmas lights go up. And, along with the lights comes the Christmas market.

Beautiful guild houses line the square, but they aren't as quite old as they appear. Unfortunately, the original buildings were destroyed by a fire in 1576. The replacement buildings were created in Flemish Renaissance. And again, in the 1800s, they were revamped. Original or not, the city planners knew what they were doing and it is a stunning stroll.

And, just in case you never heard of the Flemish Renaissance, it was part of the Northern Renaissance in the low countries in the 16th century. Trade with Italy, by way of Bruges and Ghent (or Gent if you live in Belgium), influenced cultural changes in the region. Prior to the 1500s, the Italian Renaissance didn't extend north of the Alps.

Antwerp's Cathedral of Our Lady
The Grote Markt connects by way of a winding path past the cathedral to the Groenplaat. This second marketplace used to be the city's main cemetary until Austrian Emperor Joseph II abolished cemeteries inside the city walls. Around either market are little shops with Belgian beers and a lot of Belgians on bicycles. The sign on the bicycle loosly translates as "another less car on the road". It's a good way to travel if you've sampled too many brews.
Copyright 2015 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.