Die Kathedrale von Antwerpen – the cathedral in Antwerp
Many old brick buildings in Antwerp have survived time and the wars. But they do not shine like in the glory days of this port city.
This is not the cathedral: It is the central railway station. Belgium was not always a marginal region within the EU. For some decades, it was mingling among the colonial powers of the world.
Witness to the hidden sources of past wealth and affluence: The stately Congo Trading Post on the waterfront. There are no more commercial docks along the riverfront in the old city. The ship all land in modern docks in the industrial port north of the city.
The former glory still reflects in the puddles of the streets and lanes that leave a strong melancholic, if not depressing impression on the visitors.
The consequences of various crises are highly visible. Some of the prominent buildings are being restored and maintained with money from the European Union, while other, more humble ones are abandoned or have disappeared completely.
The grave of the unknown refugee. A unique monument to acknowledge the many refugees from all over the world that never make it to the Western world on their quest to escape social injustice and to seek a better life in the affluent parts of the world.
De Begijnhof in Antwerpen. This is a unique settlement within the city. It housed until 1986 a community of Beguines. Now it is a secular residential complex, maintaining the peace and quiet of its history.
Another view of the Béguinage in Antwerp. The small houses in this walled court were built to accommodate women who chose to live a religious life outside of a monastery with a strong communal sense.
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