The complete cityguide of Mechelen



10.9 km
24 m

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Description by the author

The route starts at the Keerdok car park, but those arriving by public transport can be picked up at the herb garden. Free parking is available on the edge of the centre, in the Moroccan district and around the Frans Broersstraat.

The old Ouwen Dok swimming pool immediately catches the eye. We cross the ring road and end up at the Groot Begijnhof . We pass the Begijnhofkerk and the Sint-Katelijnekerk. We walk through the old monastery of the Celle brothers , today De Noker , to the Kazerne Dossin memorial. Through the Predikheren and the Duivelsvlietje (or Hellevlietje) we pass the old Tongerlo hut ( now Royal Tapestry Maker De Wit) in the quiet garden of the Archbishop's Palace, in front of the old brewery "De Posthoorn".

Leaving the quiet garden, we walk right past the Sint-Truiden hut, look at the green water and go through the Klapgat to Sint-Janskerk, one of the richest communities in Mechelen. We go to the Hof van Busleyden, a former Renaissance castle that now houses a museum. We reach the cattle market with the church of St. Peter and Paul, the statue of Vaddrik and a little further the Hof van Kamerijk, the Hof van Savoye and the little Emperor Charles V on a rocking horse, all of which refer to the time of Margarete from Austria . . There is also part of the city's first hospital, the OLV Gasthuis.

Through the Rik Wouterstuin and the Befferstraat we go to the big market, where we first meet the town hall with the sheet hall il' Opsinjoorke . We walk left past the statue of Margaret of Austria at the Schuhmarkt and past the Schepenshuis to the Ijzerenleen , the Champs Elysees of Mechelen. We pass the Sinte-Mettetuin at the Sint-Michielsabdij Refuge House in Antwerp. Around the corner is the Onze Lieve Vrouw van Leliëndaalkerk with the Lourdes Grotto.

We continue through the Botermarkt to the Oude Vleeshalle , today a culinary temple of the flavors of the world. After the Leermarkt we reach the botanical garden with the statue of the plant guru Rembert Dodoens. Between the ponds we reach the pavilions of the Pitzemburg Commandery , today a winter garden. We walk across the Dijle through Vijfhoek and turn left towards Hanswijk to the Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van Hanswijk basilica , which Pope John Paul II visited in 1985.

We go back and through the Onze-Lieve-Vrouwestraat we go to the Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-over-de-Dijlekerk , where the painting The Miraculous Catch of Fish by Rubens hangs. Directly in front is the Popular Library. A little further is Casa Refugi de Grimbergen, but we continue straight ahead because we really want to experience the Dijlepad on the water. After a few hundred meters on the Dijlepad, just after Het huis de Salmon, turn left towards Korenmarkt. The former Lakenhuis is also located here. We pass the whole Ursuline Convent up to the ring road where the Brussels Gate is in the middle .

We return and touch the Ganzendries and continue towards the Karmelitergarten , where we briefly enter the cave. After the hotel church we return to the Dijle at the Kraanbrug , where the charming houses Sint-Jozef - De Duiveltjes - Het Paradijs are located. We continue to follow the Dijle, past a beautiful group of Beethoven sculptures to the Lamot brewery. Here we cross the Lamotbrug to the cozy Vismarkt and turn left. We hike to the Melaan, one of the largest rivers, which flows into the Dyle at Villershof . We continue along the Melaan to the Minderbroedersgang, which we turn right.

We pass the Godshuis de Cellekens and now reach the cultural center where the Minderbroederskerk and the Holy Geestkapelle stand in the shadow of the Sint-Romboutstoren . It's time to climb the tower and enjoy a panoramic view . There is a Peasants' War memorial in the old cemetery. We walk around the cathedral and across a small square to the Palau Arquebispal. We return to the starting point past the Groot Begijnhof and Brouwerij het Anker .

Source: Willem Vandenameele

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