Antwerp

Goodbye Summer.

As you probably have noticed, we were not very active this Summer. Blog-active that is. And it’s all because of one hot thing: SUMMER. As days get colder and leafs start to fall from the trees, it’s time to start a new season of articles from your dearest Marilyn & Josephine. But for now, I just leave you with some impressions of what went on these last few months!

Collages11Second hand market, dancing at Remembrance of the Liberation Day, Festival in the Park, Holland Sea Side, chilling at Bar Left.

Collages12View on the Galgeweel Lake on the Left Bank of Antwerp, homemade cake for SunCake Day @ Bar Left, jumping in the river in Holland, shooting at the poolside for BE-By Magali Pinchasi

Collages13Dad posing in front of some tall ship in the Antwerp harbor, and some nice Antwerp views.

Desktop9On the roof of the MAS Museum, sipping on milkshakes with friends, losing my clothes to boys at Bar Left, summer legs, some more shooting for Frederick Schnieders, flowertime at the market place.

I hope you all had a great summer as well. We are fully recharged and ready for autumn. Well… kinda. Time for sweater-weather! Here are some of my favorite tracks to make it easier to say goodbye to Summer 2013! ON TO THE NEXT ONE!

Cheers,

Josephine

Antwerp · Architecture · History

Antwerp from both sides.

They say “the river Scheldt (Dutch: Schelde) owes its existence to God, and Antwerp owes its existence to the river Scheldt”. Thanks to this river Antwerp is the 2nd largest harbour in Europe and the 4th in the world. Both the Right (the historical city) as the Left Bank of the Scheldt are unique places to visit. There’s the vivid historical city center, with tons of shops, restaurants and tourist attractions on one side, and there is nature and 20th century nostalgia on the other side. With its Casino’s, the restaurants and even a small beach the Left Bank was indeed a popular place for entertainment.  There’s not much left of those glory days now, but you can still feel the swing of the 60ies and the 70ies when you go for some delicious moules-frites (mussels with fries) on the terrace at Sint Anneke beach, while enjoying the view on the historical city across the river. The Sint-Anna pedestrian tunnel, build in 1932-1933, is a true beauty (if a tunnel can ever be called beautiful) which is definitely worth a visit. Let me just tell you with some pictures I took today what I can’t express with words:

(c) sien josephineAbove: The statue of Pieter Paul Rubens, Antwerp’s most famous painter, keeping an eye on the Groenplaats (historical city)

(c) sien josephine

Above: view on the guild halls on the Grote Markt (16th Century) (c) sien josephine

Above: detail of the wrought iron gates which used to indicate the line between the docks and the public street (late 19th century) (c) sien josephine

Above: easy Antwerp transportation: these city bikes take you everywhere as long as you dock them in another station within 30 minutes.(c) sien josephine

Above and under: enjoying a nice stroll on the boardwalk along the Scheldt between Antwerp’s North and South side

(c) sien josephine

(c) sien josephine

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Above: time for some nice Belgian fries, while enjoying the view on the Cathedral (under)(c) sien josephine

Under: view on the Left Bank from the boardwalk.(c) sien josephineUnder: the entrance of the Sint Anna pedestrian tunnel (build in 1933)   (c) sien josephine (c) sien josephine  Above &under: inside the pedestrian tunnel (the wooden escalators also date back to 1933)(c) sien josephine

Under: inside the pedestrian tunnel: 572 meters long and 31,57 meters underground.(c) sien josephine

Under: the Left Bank in the windows of the Sint Anna pedestrian tunnel exit

(c) sien josephine  (c) sien josephine

Above & under: view on historical Antwerp from the Left Bank(c) sien josephineUnder: Sint Anneke beach (by (c) Jens Mollenvanger)

(c) Jens Mollenvanger

All pictures are copyright protected 

(c) 2013 Sien Josephine

Antwerp · Architecture · Art · History

Architectural Antwerp, pt. 2: the boundary between city and port

Compared to it’s European neighbors, Belgium is a small country geographically. Historically however, Belgium is the center of the European Union. The same with Antwerp. Being an important harbor for centuries, Antwerp has always had an important place on the economical map. Antwerp is part of the world, and the world is part of Antwerp. A lot of international exchanges have taken place, and are still taking place (for example diamonds). Because of that, Antwerp represents a huge international diversity and connectivity. This is why so many people are drawn to this little city in this little country. Antwerp gives you both the feeling of comfort and being close to one and another. On the other hand it gives you an overwhelming feeling of non-stop movement, cultural diversity and international importance.

To capture this aspect and to make it more “touchable”, a museum called the MAS (Museum aan de Stroom, or Museum by the River) opened its doors in 2011. The MAS is a landmark on the boundary between the city and the port, and it does so by telling the story of people with diverse perspectives on the world who came from a multitude of backgrounds. The MAS tells the story about the past, present and future of Antwerp. Because diversity is not a static feature, but always in motion, a special building was needed. It’s a difficult mission to bring a building – which is itself static – to a new level. The design was inspired by a sixteenth-century storehouse. The galleries are stacked up like ‘boxes’ creating a spiral tower with large expanses of glass. As you go up on the escalators from the ground floor to +9, you have a constantly changing view of Antwerp. In my opinion, the special window panes resemble the flow of a river. But not only the building is an eye-catching element! The square in front of the MAS is a work of art by Antwerp’s most famous living artist: a 1,600-m² mosaic entitled ‘Dead Skull’ by Luc Tuymans, his first public work to be permanently on display. The MAS is an architectural beauty (even though the local opinion about the architecture is divided). I had my doubts about it too, but seeing it all come together: the light of sunset on the red stones, the calmth of the river and the rush of the harbor, it somehow seems to work out.

Read the article about the MAS in the New York Times here

All pictures are copyrighted Sien Josephine (c)

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