Antwerp City Hall

Grote Markt 1, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Antwerp City Hall

Antwerp City Hall

Visit in August 2022

Photography visit

Antwerp City Hall was visited to take outdoor photos in August 2022.

Antwerp City Hall

Concise history:

Antwerp City Hall is strictly speaking a bit of an oddity on this website. It is part of the group inscription “belfries in Belgium and France” because over the centuries it has been inextricably linked to one of the towers of the Cathedral of Our Lady. Funded from City Hall, the city’s municipal clock has hung in the cathedral’s north tower since 1459.


The present city hall was built to replace the old alderman’s house that dated from the first quarter of the 15th century. The first plans for the town hall were presented in 1541 by the architect Domien de Waghemakere. However, following an attack from the north by Maarten van Rossum, priority was given to building a new city wall. In 1560, a new plan emerged under the direction of Cornelis Floris de Vriendt. Construction took from 1561 to 1564, and the building was festively dedicated in 1565.

Disaster in 1576

For a long time, Antwerpers cannot enjoy their new city hall. In 1576, it was looted and set on fire by soldiers of the Spanish king. These had not received any pay for months and decided to plunder the richest city in the region. Only the walls remained standing, with the interior and roof being engulfed by the flames. Repair work began two years later.

Brabo makes way for Maria

The centerpiece of the facade accommodates three statues, and today a statue of Mary stands there in the center flanked by Lady Justice and Lady Prudentia. The statue of Mary has only been there since 1587. It was placed by Jesuits at the time to replace a statue of Silvius Brabo, who, according to legend, was the founder of the city of Antwerp and the Duchy of Brabant. His statue symbolized the city’s self-government. Brabo now has a prominent spot atop the fountain in front of City Hall.


City Hall has had only three major restorations. The first took place from 1853 to 1869 and involved replacing the exterior facade with most of the marble gone. Only in the interior arches can marble from the 16th century be found. Restoration of the interior was carried out from 1860 to 1898. The last restoration took place from 2018 to 2020 and this was budgeted at 35.5 million Euros. Quite a sum when you consider that it was erected for 150,000 guilders.

Still in use as town hall

City Hall is still in use as a town hall, and therefore not fully open to visitors. Only a few times a year, on special occasions, City Hall opens its doors completely, and its splendor can be admired by the “mere mortal” as well.

Sources: Wikipedia | ‘Flemish Belfries, World Heritage’ Michiel Heirman, Davidsfonds Leuven, 2003 | ‘Singing Towers’ Andreas Dill & Luc Rombouts, Davidsfonds Leuven, 2017 | Website: Flanders Immovable Heritage



Building Material:

Style period:



15th century


sandstone, marble

gothic, renaissance


to be seen by appointment

Opening hours City Hall

Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday closed



City Hall:

+32 3 221 13 33


Accommodation options in Antwerp

Part of our pre-fun consists of booking accommodation. For us, combining a visit to a belfry with an overnight stay near it completes the experience and gives us more time to gather information.

Temple Plywood & Duplex

Tempel Triplex & Duplex Apartments offers accommodation 200 m from the center of Antwerp, with free Wi-Fi and a kitchen with a microwave, a refrigerator and an oven….

Cathedral Logies Three Kings

This B&B is located in a 16th-century building, right next to the Cathedral of Our Lady, in the historic center of Antwerp. The lodging is equipped with…

Gulde Schoen The Suite Hotel

Located in Antwerp, 400 meters from Groenplaats Antwerp, this hotel offers accommodation with a restaurant, private parking, a bar, a garden, a 24-hour front desk, room service…

Food and drink

During our visit to Antwerp, we will visit several classrooms to have something to eat, drink and, most importantly, taste the atmosphere. After all, not only information hunger needs to be satisfied. Do you have an absolute tip where a visit to Antwerp should be culinary or can you tip the ultimate pub? Then send a message to:

Cafe den Engel

1. Cafe den Engel

The history of café “Den Engel” dates back to the 14th century. In that century, the property was already known as “Den Engel. A nice place to do an early cappuccino. In the town hall opposite, there are many weddings this sunny Saturday. Also on Den Engel’s terrace where, in addition to coffee, champagne flows profusely. Top tent, next time we will definitely come here again.

Website Cafe den Engel

The three most recent posts

On this page we have collected all the relevant information for visiting this belfry. To keep this up to date, we are constantly on our way to one of the 56 belfries on the Unesco World Heritage List. Below are the latest additions.

Visit Belfry of Dendermonde 2023

Visit Belfry of Dendermonde 2023

Visit Belfry of Dendermonde 2023 Rein had managed to get in touch with Patrick Segers, the head of the Tourism Department in Dendermonde, and make an appointment to tour the Belfry. Not only was Patrick waiting for us in front of the Belfry and City Hall but he turned...