Photographer's Note

HET PALEIS OP DE MEIR ("The palace on the Meir" is one of Antwerp's hidden gems. It was built in the late 17th century on the Meir, now Antwerp's main shopping street.

Napoleon Bonaparte acquired it in 1811 and planned to make it his home in Antwerp, as he considered the city of the utmost importance in his plans to invade England.

After the little big man's defeat at Waterloo, one of Napoleon's nemises the Russian tsar Alexander spent some time here, then it became the Antwerp residence of Dutch ruler king Willem, during the brief period of the reunfied Netherlands (1815-1830).

After the founding of Belgium (1830) this city palace was owned by the Belgian royal family, which abandonned it in the 1960's.

From 1970 to 1990 it housed the (in)famous ICC, the "Internation Cultural Centre", which organized contemporary art events and happenings.

The place was mostly left abandonned afterwards, although from 1993 until 2004 there was a great cinema here in two rooms on the ground floor. They showed the most wonderful classic movies, me and my wife were regular visitor.

Now it is being owned by Herita, a Flemish heritage organisation, and most of the rooms have been restored. The rich and wealthy can rent them for parties and sometimes they are open for the general public too, like now until June 30.


THIS PICTURE shows the palace ballroom on the first floor. THe windows look out on the Meir, Antwerp's busiest shopping street. The vast majority of shoppers have no idea what gem lies hidden here.

worldcitizen, ChrisJ, jhm, COSTANTINO, PaulVDV has marked this note useful

Photo Information
  • Copyright: Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2914 W: 35 N: 6310] (32994)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2021-04-22
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2021-04-25 12:48
Viewed: 0
Points: 20
  • None
Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2914 W: 35 N: 6310] (32994)
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