OPEN MONUMENTS DAY 11 SEPTEMBER 2022 IN ANTWERP ‘SUSTAINABILITY’ | 35+ buildings open their doors and themed city walks and bike rides are laid out

Two weeks after the Antwerp Culture Weekend, on Sunday 11 September, Open Monuments Day will take place with the theme ‘sustainability’. More than 35 buildings in Antwerp open their doors, and there are also four themed city walks and a bike ride in the city. All locations are free to visit. 

Advance reservation is recommended for a number of activities.

The more than 35 locations, walks and bike rides not only give a unique look behind the scenes. They were all selected within the theme of sustainability.

The recent restoration of the town hall and the Harmonie hall show a more classical vision of sustainability and historic preservation, among other things by focusing on energetic standards. 

But there are also plenty of examples that show a less obvious link. Sustainability also has a community-building impact: people come together in buildings such as Huis Sant’Egidio and De Roma, and it also influences the image and the heritage experience, as can be seen at Godshuis Van der Biest

“Protected parks, such as the Stadspark, are the ‘green lung’ par excellence in the middle of a paved city.” At least according to the City of Antwerp‘s press release. 

Stadspark by night.

Other locations have added value because of the social role they play in achieving a sustainable society, such as quality education for girls and boys; accessible district houses as a symbol of a peaceful and inclusive society; and poverty organizations.

Mayor Bart De Wever (N-VA): “Antwerp is a historic city, of which numerous buildings are silent witnesses. A great deal of heritage is being fully restored and maximum efforts are made to make it more sustainable. A theme that is not automatically linked to immovable heritage, and is therefore perfectly placed to surprise visitors. Take a look at the town hall that reopened its doors in June. Visit the communal garden project in Godshuis Van der Biest, the transformation of the former Antwerp South freight station heading into Bank Van Breda, or one of the many other sustainable restoration and redevelopment projects!”

Program

Well-known classics and gems to be discovered open their doors, from the historic city center to the various districts.

Anyone who has always wanted to view a working windmill from the inside should head to Lillo, Berendrecht or Linkeroever. The millers tell enthusiastically about how the mill works.

Classics

To rediscover classics, the restored town hall and Het Steen, but also the Vleeshuis, Maagdenhuis and the Bourla Theatre are perfect. If you want to be surprised, you can also pass by the House of Sant’Egidio in Kammenstraat.

Flag of Brabant flying over Het Steen.
  • If you want to explore the untrodden paths, you can visit the student quarters to discover De Grote Robijn, the monastery of the Grauwzusters and the Van der Biest Godshuis.
  • There is a lot to do at Het Eilandje in the FelixArchief, Technicum De Londenstraat, the Droogdokkensite and the Antwerpse Brouw Compagnie. Need a break for the kids? Have them attend a workshop at Stormkop.
  • On the other side of the center there is Nieuw Zuid where the buildings of Bank Van Breda can be admired, combined with 475 years of Leikwartier, where visitors discover a special part of the city.
  • In Borgerhout, the district office, BorGerHub and De Roma are opening their doors.
  • Outside the Ring you can visit the Flemish Tram and Autobus Museum, the Arena district of Braem, rectory Sint-Fredegandus and the Royal Athenaeum Deurne.

For those who want a little more, the program also offers a series of extras:

  • Parks are also recognized as historic landscapes. There are guided walks in the Stadspark and Brialmont Park.
  • Those who opt for a day trip to Lillo-Fort, travel in virtual reality through 17th-century Lillo and that of the future, are taken by guides to the unknown stories of the polder village and can visit a gunpowder warehouse that has been renamed a theatre. The Poldermuseum is also opening its doors.
  • Professor Piet Lombaerde will give a lecture in Zandvliet about the construction, operation and history of the 400-year-old ‘Fortress city Zandvliet‘. Visitors can also take a guided tour through the fortress, where they learn all kinds of interesting facts. Finally, there is the possibility to visit an exhibition with reproductions of old maps and found objects in Leisure Center De Schelde.
  • There are also options for music lovers, such as the organ walk in Wilrijk, with a visit to three locations where you listen to heritage stories along the way.
  • If you want, you can get to know Petroleum-Zuid by bike with a guide.

Practical

The Antwerp program can be found from in the digital brochure at www.openmonumentendagantwerpen.be. If you want to be sure of a place, you can book in advance.

All locations are explained about their rich past, with a lot of images and sustainability facts. A handy map is included to quickly find the locations that are close to each other.

The brochure also contains reservation links and practical information.

Marathon

The marathon will also take place in Antwerp on Sunday 11 September. All locations of Open Monuments Day are easily accessible on foot, by bicycle or public transport. The city advises visitors to check the route planner on www.slimnaarantwerpen.be before departure.

Art and museums in Antwerp

On the look of Antwerp

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