Image by Adam Friedberg Getty Images

The 1611 building was built as home and studio by celebrated painter Pieter Paul Rubens. Rescued from ruins in 1937, and extensively and sensitively restored, the building is a delightfully indulgent one, with baroque portico, rear facade and exquisite formal garden. The furniture all dates from Rubens’ era, although it's not part of the original decor. Fourteen Rubens canvases are displayed, along with some wonderful period ephemera, such as the metal frame of a ruff collar and a linen press.

Rubens highlights include intimate portraits of patron Nicolaas Rockox and fellow painter Anthony Van Dyck, along with a large-scale canvas of Eve glancing lustfully at Adam's fig-leaf.