Mechelen (or Mechlin in English) is a small, historic city that lies between Antwerp and Brussels. It is one of the centers of Flemish art and culture. The "Maneblussers," as the people of this city are called, share a common interest with the rest of the Flanders -- the love for beer.
Mechelen has some eye-catching buildings, but there are some spots that you simply cannot miss when you visit. One of these places is the Grote Markt, over which lies the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the half-finished tower of St. Rumbold’s Cathedral. At more than five hundred feet, the tower was meant to be the tallest tower in the world, but lack of funds halted its completion. Mechelen is home to the palaces of the two Margarets -- Margaret of York and Margaret of Austria. The Palace of Margaret of Austria is the oldest Renaissance building north of the Alps. In the Sint-Janskerk and the Kerk van Onze-Lieve-Vrouw over-de-Dijle, paintings of Rubens can be seen.
If you want to relax after exploring these historic sites, Mechelen offers you that as well. You can go to the Toy Museum and bring out your inner child -- this place allows you to play with the toys. Also near Mechelen is the Planckendael Animal Park -- not the traditional zoo with animals locked up in cages, instead the animals have more space to roam among the greenery of the park. Expect to spend an entire day in this wonderful park!
Your Mechelen hostel is easy to reach by train or car from Antwerp or Brussels. The city can easily be explored on foot or by bicycle.
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