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Walloon Region
Type of Location
About Location

Mechelen is a historically important city located on the river Dyle in the center of Flanders, one of the three regions in Belgium. It lies about halfway between Antwerp and Brussels and has approximately 80,000 inhabitants.Though now in the shadow of Brussels, Mechelen is a historically important city in its own right. From 1506 to 1530 it was the capital of the Netherlands under Margaret of Austria. In 1559 it became an archbishopric, a sign of great importance. It was famous for its wood carvings, some of which can still be seen in the churches of the city, and for lace and tapestry manufacture.

How to Reach

By train

Mechelen is easily reached by train. From Brussels and Antwerp it takes about 25 minutes.

By bus
You can also reach by taking a bus from Antwerp.
Antwerp has Eurolines (at Rooseveltplaats) and Ecolines (at Berchem station square)offices with buses coming from all over Europe.
Mechelen lies at the E19-highway.
Just outside the main train station you'll find a bus station with connections to many places in the vicinity.

Key places to visit
St. Rumbold's Cathedral, Brusselpoort, Plantin Moretus Museum, Rubenshuis, Middelheim Park, Palace of Justice, Cathedral of Our Lady


Places to Visit

St. Rumbold's Cathedral

St. Rumbold's Cathedral (or Sint-Romboutskathedraal, in Dutch) is the Belgian metropolitan archiepiscopal cathedral in Mechelen, dedicated to an assumedly Irish or Scottish Christian missionary and martyr who had founded an abbey nearby. His remains are rumoured to be buried inside the cathedral. State-of-the-art examination of the relics honoured as Saint Rumbold's and kept in a shrine in the retro-choir, showed a life span of about 40 years and a death date between 580 and 655, while tradition had claimed 775 AD


The Brusselpoort is the sole remaining city gate of the original twelve gates of the city of Mechelen, Belgium.
This imposing structure dates from the 13th century. Because of her exceptional height, towering above the other gates, she was also called the 'Overste poort' (superior gate).
In the 16th century, the towers were lowered and the roof construction was altered to her present configuration.

Plantin Moretus Museum

The home of 16th century bookbinder and printer Christoffel Plantin. Regarded as one of the finest museums dedicated to printing in the world. Its extensive collections of important books and printing presses along with its role in spearheading the technology of printing have seen it added to the UNESCO World Heritage List.


The house of painter Peter Paul Rubens is now a museum of his life and artwork. Entrance fee: €6, Students under 26 €1, other students free. Free audio guide (recommended). Bring light earphones to plug in to the audio guide.

Middelheim Park

The center of Antwerp is not very big, and once you cross the ring road, you will mainly see suburbs. There are some nice parks outside the ring road The Middelheim Park is one of them. It houses a permanent open-air exhibition of modern sculpture, including work by famous artists such as Rodin, Hans Arp, Henry Moore, and many others.

Palace of Justice

There are actually two of these. The old one is a 19th century red brick building on the Britselei. The new one is a dominant, modern, white building in the south of Antwerp (Bolivarplaats). You can hardly miss it once you're there. The architect of this building was Richard Rogers, who also built the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Millennium Dome in London

Cathedral of Our Lady

One of the most impressive and largest Gothic cathedrals in Northern Europe, built in 1351 it stands over 400 ft tall. It also houses some of Rubens' most famous paintings.

Right Time to Visit

September - April


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