Interior of the Carolus Borromeus Church in Antwerp

Antwerp is the only city in the world to be so permeated in every respect by Peter Paul Rubens and his baroque legacy. There are a lot of opportunities to experience Rubens and baroque in many intense and unique ways.

Statue of Rubens - ©JanPollers

Antwerp's cultural identity

Rubens’ house - today one of the city’s major museums - is a baroque classic, and there are still many stylish churches in the city from this era. Many of Antwerp’s great contemporary artists continue to be inspired by Rubens’ extravagant baroque tradition, creating an authentic and distinctive joie de vivre in the city. The word Baroque is derived from the Portuguese word ‘barocco’ meaning, ‘irregular pearl or stone’. This is perhaps the perfect metaphor for Antwerp as it evokes something mysterious, multifaceted and difficult to pin down, while remaining classic and contemporary at the same time.

An Antwerp state of mind

The tradition for new and eccentric architecture continues and baroquelike buildings are being added to Antwerp’s skyline all the time, including Richard Rogers’ Court House and Zaha Hadid’s Port House.

Rubens inspires

In 2018, the city of Antwerp payed tribute to Peter Paul Rubens and his baroque, cultural legacy. Rubens is often identified with the Baroque and is an icon for Antwerp. Even today Rubens is an important source of inspiration for contemporary artists.

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