It was our last full day in Antwerp and the forecast was for thunderstorms. But the sky was clear when we left the hotel, so we decided against bringing our umbrellas. Perhaps not the brightest idea?
Our primary objective for the day was the Plantin-Moretus Museum about the first printing press in Antwerp and one of the most important printing houses during the enlightenment. The museum was also the first museum to be on the UNESCO World Heritage List. So this is another UNESCO site added that we have visited. The half hour walk to the museum gave me the chance to photograph more of the fascinating architecture that is everywhere in Antwerp.
One thing I did notice was a “fish” theme in the sculptures. I first noticed a fountain with a sea eagle catching a fish.
This was echoed in the sculptures on the buildings around the square.
The clouds were looking more threatening as we walked, and shortly after we entered the museum the rain started, and then the thunder. We always tend to take our time in museums, but today we were especially diligent, reading every single description as we listened to the rain and thunder. But seriously, it was fascinating walking through the old printing presses, the creaking of the floor boards almost as loud as the thunder outside. Five hundred years ago this was the cutting edge of the information technology revolution, which is exactly where I’ve spent my career. And it did indeed revolutionize society and break religion’s strangle hold on progress … at least for a while. Here are a few pictures from the courtyard.
By the time we finished our museum tour the storm had mostly passed, but we decided to have lunch at a nearby bistro just in case. And then Jan went back to the hotel and I headed off for a tour of the local Antwerp brewery – De Koninck. Unfortunately the bar was closed for a special event so I couldn’t have a proper “Monday Beer Club” meeting on a Thursday, but I did manage to sample an interesting beer that had been recommended.
Very tasty, and the name reminds me of Brew Revolution. Maybe next trip I’ll do a proper tasting…