Northeast Belgium

By the late 18th century, medieval city walls had become redundant and Mechelen's were torn down to create the space where the R12 inner ring road now lies. Just one of the 12 13th-century gates was spared and this now sits as a rather grand double-spired monument at the south end of Hoogstraat.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northeast Belgium attractions

1. OLV-over-de-Dijle

0.24 MILES

This breathtakingly huge Brabantine Gothic church has suffered numerous reconstructions, notably after bombing during WWII. Nonetheless it retains a very…

2. Schepenhuis

0.46 MILES

The Schepenhuis is a small castle fantasy dating back to 1288. It became the council parliament for the Burgundian Netherlands from 1473.

3. OLV-Hanswijkbasiliek


This dome-crowned three-wing basilica has an unusual circular interior, a superb Paradise Lost pulpit and brilliant 1690 carved confessionals. An…

4. Stadhuis

0.52 MILES

Balancing the massive bulk of St-Romboutskathedraal across Mechelen's splendid Grote Markt is the contrastingly poetic stadhuis in all its devil-may-care…

5. St-Romboutskathedraal

0.52 MILES

This soaring, Gothic-vaulted cathedral features a 1723 monumental pulpit, a 1630 Van Dyck crucifixion scene in the south transept, and dozens more fine…

6. Op-Sinjoorke Statue

0.56 MILES

Landing on his back with limbs akimbo, the giant yellow character that you see in the grassy contoured space north of St-Romboutskathedraal is Op…

7. Het Zotte Kunstkabinet

0.59 MILES

This eccentric little shop-museum is great if you can catch it open, and has some fun with the 'crazy' hell scenes and frolicking odd folk of 16th-century…

8. St-Janskerk

0.67 MILES

Built in white sandstone, the 15th-century Gothic church of the 'two Johns' (Baptist and Evangelist) looks fairly unremarkable from the outside. However,…