The heart of the Oude Stad is dominated by a huge fountain splashing water onto the paving stones. Atop the fountain stands the figure of the legendary Silvius Brabo, who has been poised to fling the hand of the giant Druon Antigon into the river Scheldt since the 19th century. Another famous monster slayer, St. George, is perched on top of a 16th-century guild house at Grote Markt 5, while the dragon appears to be falling off the pediment.
Stadhuis. The triangular
square is lined on two sides by guild houses and on the third by the Renaissance Stadhuis. Antwerp's town hall was built in the 1560s during the city's Golden Age, when Paris and Antwerp were the only European cities with more than 100,000 inhabitants. In its facade, the fanciful fretwork of the late-Gothic style has given way to the discipline and order of the Renaissance. The public rooms are suitably impressive, though the heavy hand of 19th-century restoration work is much in evidence. You can see the interior with a guided tour. City walks that include the Stadhuis take place (in English) on Sundays at 2 pm year-round and daily at 2 pm in July and August; tickets are €8 (€6 in advance) and can be purchased from the Tourist Office. Grote Markt, 2000. 03/232–0103. Tram 7, 10, or 11; bus 30 or 34.
Grote Markt, Antwerp, Belgium