Weird = good!

Hello my dear readers!

It’s time to tell you about some awesome things to do in Antwerp! I will start with my favorite finds, places I stumbled upon while just walking through the city without any specific idea what I am looking for. For me this is the magical part of a city trip, so today I will tell you about two of my treasured discoveries in Antwerp. An impressive contemporary art gallery (not suitable for people who don’t like weird and “dark” things that mess with your mind, ha!) and the freakiest bar I’ve ever been to (could be kind of controversial and create deliberations, but hey, that’s what people nowadays like, right?).

The Black Panther (De Zwarte Panter)

I had just finished an amazing dinner (at some “chicken all over the place” restaurant, but I will talk about that in another post. Basically 95% of the dishes main ingredient was chicken, another random place I discovered, but now back to Black Panther), basically turned into the first street that looked nice (Oh yeah! Saw a sushi bar “Unagi” there, of course I had to take a picture of the name for my sisters, for an amazing Ross reference from “Friends”), and noticed a small back yard that looked like there might be something interesting and just went inside. It felt a bit strange to step aside from the busy street in completely different atmosphere.

Inside of The Black Panther

I entered a well-maintained garden with some round, chubby sculptures and the gallery itself consisted of few, in size quite small, buildings with separate entrances. One of them looked like an old church with a huge and weird mural on the wall (Why weird? Well it was a messy room filled with crows — some of them dead — depicted in a painting…)

In another building, you could go into the basement and there were insanely creepy installations with dolls and then in complete contrast in the galleries on upper two floors where arranged bright and colourful paintings in more abstract style. Many of the art works kind of made you ask questions like — “But why????”, and some of them made you think — “Ok, this is cool”.

Oh! And I almost forgot to mention the old men who were working there, maybe just hanging out, not sure. All three of them bearded and probably in their late seventies, dressed well, one of them even smoking a pipe (they kind of looked like they have escaped from Hogwarts). Just chatting away about life and greeting people entering the garden. I think they helped with creating the right atmosphere.

So overall definitely an amusing but exciting experience (that’s what I usually get with contemporary and modern art and that’s what I love about it). I believe that the expositions eventually might change, but The Black Panther is a cool place to visit when walking around the streets of Antwerp. No matter if you spend there an hour or only 10 minutes, you will see some things that makes you ask questions and that’s good! Get that mind of yours wonder!

The Eleventh Commandment (Het Elfde Gebod)

It was already late in the evening (by the way, Antwerp is lovely in the night, all the small streets look amazing), but there was this urge of trying some local beers (and one does not fight with these kind of feelings, you got to do what you got to do!). This strange bar right next to a huge cathedral (Cathedral of Our Lady) caught my eye. It had a nice vibe so I figured that it will be the perfect place to try some local beers. When entering the bar, I realized that it is the weirdest bar I ever been to.

There were antique holy statues everywhere, hundreds of different size angels, saints and, as they claim on their home page, “deliciously sacrilegious visual jokes”. Apparently, the bar has a long history and the statues are in style with the cathedral across the street.

The place is quite spacious in two floors and with a nice terrace outside overlooking a quiet street and a nice view to the church. They do offer all the “must try” local beers (Oh, I love Belgium beers, so good!). I didn’t have a chance to try the foods they offer, but apparently per Tripadvisor.com references, food is not the reason why you should go there. Anyway, if you don’t mind controversial discussions with your friends it is an awesome bar to visit, definitely a MUST in Antwerp!

Het Elfde Gebod
Local beer in Antwerp

Hope you enjoyed this post and when in Antwerp, keep this in mind!

Talk to you soon,

Z.

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