Castle Middelheim and its open air museum

The oldest mention of a place called Middelheim in Antwerp dates back to 1342. From the sixteenth century, many Antwerp families had their summer residence there. The small castle was converted into a Louis XVI-style building in the 18th century, probably to plans made by Parisian architect H. Guimard and has since then not undergone any significant changes.

Picture by Harry Fabel

In 1910, the city council of Antwerp bought the entire domain and opened it as a public park. Later parts of the site were made available for the establishment of the Middelheim Hospital, the University of Antwerp, and the Pastoral and a Theological Center. In 1950 an international exhibition was held in the Middelheim Park of 20 ha. On Mayor Lode Craeybeckx's proposal, the city council decided to set up a permanent open-air museum for sculptures.

Picture by Harry Fabel

Now the castle park has an extensive collection of sculptures with a beautiful overview of modern sculpture. It houses sculptors like Jean Arp, Emile-Antoine Bourdelle, Alexander Calder, Pablo Gargallo, Barbara Hepworth, Floris and Oscar Jespers, Aristide Maillol, Giacomo Manzu, Henry Moore, Louise Nevelson, Reinhoud, Auguste Rodin, Jesus Rafael Soto, Rik Wouters, Ossip Zadkine.

Picture by Harry Fabel

The museum is open daily, except on Mondays. Inside the castle, there is a tourist office and a grand café.

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