Antwerp Central Station. Credit: Visit Antwerp. © Dave Van Laer
Diamonds and Antwerp have been intimately linked for 570 years. Nearly every diamond in the world passes through our city at least once during its journey from rough to polished, and especially since 1456, when Flemish polisher Lodewyk van Bercken invented the scaif—a wheel that symmetrically polishes facets at angles that best reflect the light.
Natural Color Diamonds
Try to arrive at Antwerp by train, because you won’t want to miss one the world’s most beautiful train stations. Langerman Diamonds
is a short walk from the station, and it’d be our pleasure to welcome you by appointment
in our office and introduce you to an array of diamonds in the most magnificent colors. From there, discover the architectural gems of the old city—the famous Groenplaats and the Cathedral of Our Lady, the largest gothic cathedral in the Benelux and a UNESCO World Heritage Site—as you walk to the DIVA museum, the biggest diamond museum in the world. But Antwerp is not only the city of diamonds: it abounds with other colored and hidden gems.
Discover the many shades and intensities of daylight as it reflects off the 2,000 triangular glass panels on the Antwerp Port House, a stunning architectural landmark on the banks of the second-largest port in Europe. Dubbed the “diamond ship” for its shape and reflective walls, the new headquarters of the Antwerp Port Authority appears to float above the old, restored building below it. The structure was one of famed architect Zaha Hadid’s final projects in her legacy of eye catching buildings around the world. Its faceted glass panels don’t all lie in the same plane but are rotated slightly with respect to one another to reflect light from all angles—a tribute to Antwerp’s diamond industry.
Port House of Antwerp. Credit Instagram ZHA_news. ©Lebak photography
Hadid knew that fashion designers are the other famous, colorful legends of Antwerp
. Alison Rose, the British ambassador to Belgium, said during the Port House’s opening ceremony, “Hadid loved Antwerp and she loved its designers, whose clothes she often wore.” Antwerp has been one of the world’s top ten fashion capitals since 1986, when the “Antwerp Six”—Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs, Dirk Van Saene, and Marina Yee—brought Belgian fashion to global fame and trailblazed the way for junior designers like Raf Simons, Haider Ackerman, Kris Van Assche, and Demna Gvasalia. At Langerman Diamonds, we share their passion for professionalism, craftsmanship, and attention to detail.
Credit: Visit Antwerp. ©Zeb-Daemen
“Even those who don’t enjoy clothes shopping might have a change of heart here, where one-off boutiques such as glove purveyor Huis A. Boon line cobblestoned streets and where grand designer stores—including those of local fashion stars Dries Van Noten and Ann Demeulemeester—display a refreshing lack of attitude.”
National Geographic: Intelligent Travel
Do you love blue
, and beige
, especially in soft, pastel tones? Don’t miss these dominant colors of the Art Nouveau style, and enjoy a walk in Antwerp’s Art Nouveau “Golden Triangle.” Built mostly between 1890 and 1906, the legendary quarter is defined by three streets (Cogels Osylei, Waterloo straat and Transvaal straat) and is one of the most important preserved Art Nouveau quarters in the world.
House of the Battle of Waterloo.Credit De Standaard. ©Wim Hendrix
Walk Along the River
If you or your travel partner are in the mood for a pop of green, Camilla—our Sales Manager—advises you to visit St. Anna’s Tunnel, a 572-meter, tiled Art Deco tunnel under the Scheldt River. She loves the beautiful reddish-brown color of the 1930s wooden escalators, which will take you to a promenade on the other side of The Scheldt for a view of the of the city’s skyline.
Museum with a View
If you’re looking for authenticity and warmth, the brick color
of the new 5700m2 MAS museum
will make your day. As you rise through the building looking at the stunning art pieces, the view outside becomes increasingly spectacular. On the tenth floor at the top, you’ll enjoy a 360-degree panorama of the city. Our golden tip is to visit the museum just before sunset and book a table at the rooftop, two Michelin star restaurant, ‘t Zilte, to enjoy a celestial dinner.
MAS Museum. Credit: Visit Antwerp. ©Sarah Blee -Neutelings Riedijk Architecten
Do you feel the need for a more varied and bright palette of colors? Include some fine art museums in your trip. Antwerp has been home to numerous Belgian painters, such as Antoon van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens, and Peter Paul Rubens, and several of the city’s museums showcase their work. Or, discover an extraordinary private art collection at the Mayer van den Bergh Museum
where Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s famous Dulle Griet (also known as “Mad Meg”) is housed. Previously known as a dark landscape with a deep-red sky and touches of brown, the painting is even more stunning since its restoration to its splendid original colors. The museum’s collection also includes the Fouquet’s famous, enigmatic Madonna with its play of red and blue tones.
Mayer van den Bergh Museum. Credit: Visit Antwerp. ©Jan Crab
For a darker blue, explore the lively nightlife of Antwerp. Café d’Anvers, set in a 16th-century church, is among the finest nightclubs, according to local night birds and our Damien, our IT & Social Media Manager. Another place where good times are rolling is the De Kat, one of Antwerp’s older bars where you can taste the “bolleke,” a local beer with a golden color. The Jane, The August and De Plek are truly gorgeous places to dine or stay—all three are beautifully restored chapels or convents melding classic and modern architecture styles together. And when it comes to outdoor live music, Antwerp is the place to be with Sfinks, Jazz Middelheim, and Tomorrowland.
For further planning, please plan your visit here
Credit Pictures: Visit Antwerp, De Standaard.