Antwerp’s museum with a view


Antwerp has many great museums, but for one with a superb view and everything those coming on a family break could want, the Museum aan de Stroom (Maas) is definitely the place to come. This striking post-modern building is located in the heart of the city’s docks and has a mission to tell not just the rich history of the city of Antwerp, but also to focus on its present and forward to the future.

It does so by looking at the world through a range of perspectives and cultures, understanding where this international trading port, one of the biggest in the world, stands in the global scheme of things. Maas is the biggest museum in the city and entry is free, except for the galleries. However, these are well worth seeing as they house The Collection Paul and Dora Janssen-Arts, one of the world’s best collections of pre-Columbian art. Overall, the museum emphasises four themes. The first is about displays of power and prestige, the second the Metropolis and how buildings and events shape a city. The third is the world port and the way cultures and lives intermingle, while the fourth is ‘life and death’, a reflective display considering deeper questions about why we are here and what it all means.

The museum has a strong appeal to the young as it houses lots of interactive displays to keep the kids entertained and amused, educating them in a fun way. Indeed, with both permanent and temporary exhibitions, the museum square, a boulevard, pavilion, shop and cafe, Maas is designed to offer a range of different stimulating environments to gaze, wander, relax and interact.

Apart from all that, however, the fact that the building stands 60 m tall offers perhaps its most compelling feature – the top floor atrium with a panoramic 360 degree view of the city. Having seen the displays, read about the history and considered the cultural richness of a port where Belgium has been meeting the world for centuries, what better than to see it all stretched out below for real.

Locations & Attractions

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