Antwerp is an amazingly beautiful city. Due to its cultural and historical places of interest, Antwerp has always occupied a special place among cities and towns of Benelux. The centre of Antwerp is home to numerous great museums and architectural sights. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts is known as the most famous museum of Antwerp. The Antwerp Cathedral is often called the most magnificent and fascinating building of the city. The majority of places of interest are located in the central part of the city, and so it's easy to visit all of them by simply walking from one sight to another. Therefore, there’s nothing strange in the fact why Antwerp is so popular with tourists. More than that, if you get tired of walking, you can easily find a place for relaxation in one of numerous coffee terraces of Antwerp. Antwerp is attractive not only because of its historical places. The city’s harbour is another sight that appeals to all kinds of travellers. Antwerp also plays the leading role in the sphere of diamond processing and sale.
The Cathedral of Our Lady.
The spectacular tower of the Cathedral of Our Lady is also known as the highest cathedral tower in Benelux. It can be seen from many parts of the city. The tower is 123 meters tall and it is located right in the historical centre of the city. The first stone of this gothic cathedral was laid in the 14th century. However, it took two centuries to finish the work. The cathedral was built on the site of an ancient Romanesque church. Only in the 80s of the previous century, when archaeological excavations were started, the specialists could finally guess how the previous church looked like. Unfortunately, almost nothing has remained from the original interior. In the 16th century, during the period of iconoclasm, the Calvinists destroyed windows, pictures, relics, burial-vaults and dozens of altars. Only some frescos and the image of Madonna, which was made of marble in the 15th century, have remained from the original decoration. The interior of the cathedral was created from the very beginning, and this fact makes the cathedral so special. Here visitors will see the decorations of absolutely different styles, such as Gothic, Baroque, Rococo, Renascence and Neo-gothic. The cathedral is also the location of 4 paintings by a world-famous artist Peter Paul Rubens. These are 2 diptychs (The Descent from the Cross, 1612, and The Erection of the Cross, 1609-1610), The Ascension of Virgin (1626) and The Resurrection of Christ (1612). Beautiful stained-glass windows, the pictures on which depict various biblical plots, look as fabulous as altars. The main altar features one more masterpiece - The Death of Virgin by Abraham Matthyssens.
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