Weekend Findings: Underrated City of Mechelen

Sundays are for afternoon road trips! At least for us. We like to sleep a bit longer without any heavy thoughts about oversleeping the day. Then we love to have good home-made breakfast while watching TV series1. And later on, if the weather is nice, we are used to going on a small afternoon trip. This is why our Sundays are wonderful!

At one of those wonderful Sundays, after pancakes, Friends, and coffee, we decide to visit something interesting in Central Belgium. A few days earlier our eyes caught an intriguing Instagram picture with this amazing central city square. We Googled a bit, and that city turned out to be just 50 kilometers away. So guess what! That’s how Instagram showed us the way to the beautiful city of Mechelen.

Things you should know about Mechelen

Awesome city signs!
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Mechelen is the city that illustrates ‘you have to dig deeper‘ sayings. You have to dig deeper than TOP-10-things-to-see-in-Belgium lists wants you to do! Why? Because hidden in the middle of Brussels-Antwerp road, Mechelen has the most charming main city square in Belgium. Well, at least among those that we managed to discover so far. 

In addition to this, Mechelen holds world’s first international Carillon school. It means that people come to this city to listen and to learn the art of playing church bells. In Mechelen they are located on the top of spectacular Cathedral Tower, and believe me, we haven’t heard anything similar to the bells of Mechelen! We weren’t familiar with this fact while we were there, but we noticed their unique sound  instantly. The music of those bells are so dramatic that, while playing, it manage to overtake all the city.

For whom the bells tolls?
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What is more, as one of our friends on Instagram informed us, Cathedral Tower is unique for one more reason. If the sky is clear enough three cities could be seen from the Tower of Mechelen Cathedral: Brugge, Antwerp and Brussels. Isn’t that amazing? They are probably the most famous cities in Belgium and they all are visible from this one particular Tower.  

Things we loved about Mechelen

Firstly, I fell in love with Mechelen Grote Markt square.  As I travel, I love to search for charming details, like cute windows, doors or facades, interesting road signs or decorations. Mechelen Grote Markt gave me all of those things: spectacular colorful facades, decorated city signs, charming windows and doors, detailed buildings. But what was even more wonderful, that all of those details formed one simply amazing picture. That’s why for me Mechelen main square is one of the richest and the most charming Grote Markt squares in Belgium.

Secondly, it’s those bells! Their music fills all the city with majestic and a bit dramatic atmosphere. You can’t ignore them – you feel them all around you. Actually, at first we started to discuss how can people live around them, because, for example, they could make afternoon nap just impossible.  But as that music inviting to enter the church grew stronger, our discussion turned more to the talks of two charmed people: music of those bells are a true masterpiece!

I’m in love with Mechelen Grote Markt!
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Finally, taking into consideration that for a short period of time in the 16th century Mechelen used to be a central city of the Netherlands, modern city is still full of that authentic and rich Medieval spirit. From the first glance we understood that we entered city that should be highly respected, and we weren’t wrong. Each facade in Mechelen shouts about his rich and glorious days, long traditions, authentic beliefs. 

All in all, Dear Reader, Mechelen was a wonderful discovery for our lazy Sunday. Two hours is more than enough to see city’s beauties, and to enjoy a glass of tasty Mechelen beer in one of the most charming central squares in Belgium. 

Anyway, what do you think about Mechelen? Have you heard of it before? Or have you even visited it? I am waiting for your thoughts in the comments!

Yours, L. 

  1. For example, Friends.