In the morning light of Antwerp

朝行安特卫普

Yanni in the morning light

In the morning of September 10th, 2020, I was on my way back to France from Amsterdam. My planned trip was from Amsterdam to Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges, then Lille. In September, the weather in Low countries is usually rainy. I was really favored by the God that when I arrived at Antwerp, it was a sunny day with little breeze. I could bask in the warm morning sunlight freely when I just stepped out of the gate of station.

2020年9月10日早晨,我踏上从阿姆斯特丹返回法国的归途。 计划的旅行路线是从阿姆斯特丹到比利时的安特卫普、根特、布鲁日,最后是法国里尔。 九月初,低地国家的天气通常淫雨霏霏。可是我真的受上天眷顾,到达安特卫普之时,天气晴朗,风轻云淡。 刚迈出车站大门,就自在地沐浴在一抹温暖的晨光中。

Antwerpen Centraal station

Antwerp station was one of the most beautiful train stations in the world. I was stunned by its elegant designs when I got off the train. The architecture style of the station is eclecticism. It knits together the materials of the past (stone and marble) and the present(metal and glass). It was constructed in 1895. Its façade combines the neo-classical architectural elements characterized by the simple geometric forms and the Doric columns and the neo-renaissance architectural elements characterized by order and symmetry.

安特卫普车站被评为世界上最美丽的火车站之一。 刚下火车,它优雅的设计就令我感到震撼。 车站的建筑风格是折中风格。 它将代表过去的建筑材料(石头和大理石)和代表现代的建筑材料(金属和玻璃)结合在一起。 始建于1895年,它的立面结合了以简单几何形式和多立克柱为特征的新古典建筑元素和以秩序和对称为特征的新文艺复兴建筑元素。

The luxury design of the entrance hall of the station was really amazing. The staircase is decorated with marble balustrade like a Baroque palace. The big clock installed on the semi-circular glass panel is decorated with the gilded coat of arms of the city. There are many columns and arcades that makes me feel like that I was inside a renaissance building in Florence. The vast dome above the waiting room hall was designed by Louis Delacenserie and the vast (185 meters long and 44 meters high) iron and glass trainshed was designed by Clement van Bogaert. The principal designer Louis Delacenserie drew the inspiration from Lucerne Station in Switzerland. If I have a chance to visit Lucerne in the future, I will compare the difference and similarity of both stations firstly.

车站的入口大厅的豪华设计令人闻之瞠目。楼梯上装饰着大理石栏杆,宛如一座巴洛克式的宫殿。安装在半圆形玻璃面板上的大钟装饰着镀金的安特卫普城市徽章。众多柱子和拱廊仿佛将我置身于佛罗伦萨的一座文艺复兴时期的建筑中。 候车室大厅上方的巨大圆顶由 比利时建筑师Louis Delacenserie 设计,巨大的(185 米长和 44 米高)钢铁玻璃候车棚由 Clement van Bogaert 设计。 车站首席设计师 Louis Delacenserie 从瑞士的卢塞恩车站汲取灵感设计了本站。 愚以为若以后有机会去卢塞恩旅游,首先就会比较两个站的不同和相似处。

The most spectacular architecture of the hall is the 75-metre-high dome decorated with different types of marbles. The huge dome of the hall remind me of the Pantheon in Rome. At this moment, I felt like I was standing under the cupola of a cathedral.

大厅里最壮观的建筑就是75米高的圆顶,上面装饰着不同类型的大理石。 大厅的巨大圆顶不由得让人想起罗马的万神殿。 此刻我恍惚有种站在某个大教堂的圆顶下的错觉。

Antwerp Chinatown

Outside the train station, there is a district of China town. As a Chinese, I was excited to see this Chinese style golden Pagodepoort (which means pagoda gate or paifang) in the land out of China. The Chinese character on the gate means the Chinese market in Antwerp. Another traditional Chinese element is the pairs of stone lions at the gateway. Antwerp Chinatown’s archway was the second Chinatown archway in Europe.

车站外有一片唐人街区。 作为一个中国人,在海外看到这类中国风格的金色牌坊还是略感激动。 大门上的汉字安市华埠也许通安特卫普中国市场之意。 另一个中国传统元素就是门口的一对石狮子。安特卫普的拱门是欧洲的第二座唐人街拱门。

Statue of David Teniers

Antwerp is famous of Flemish arts. The most well-known local painters are David Teniers and Peter Paul Rubens. Their statues in the city square of Antwerp are worshipped by visitors all around the world. Near the train station, the first statue that was seen immediately was the statue of David Teniers. He was a Flemish Baroque painter, born in Antwerp in 1610. He is an innovators of painting and remembered as the leading Flemish genre painter of his day. From this statue, I was walking towards a notable pedestrian street called Meir with many shops and historical sites and started my trip in Antwerp.

安特卫普以佛拉芒艺术而闻名世界。 当地最著名的画家是大卫·特尼尔斯和彼得·保罗·鲁本斯。 他们的雕像自然在安特卫普的城市广场上接收各地游客的膜拜。 火车站附近,第一眼映入眼帘就是大卫·特尼尔斯的雕像。 他是一位佛拉芒巴洛克风格画家,1610 年出生于安特卫普。他是巴洛克绘画的创新者,被世人铭记为引领潮派的佛拉芒流派画家。 从这座雕像出发,我走向一条名为 Meir 的有众多商店和历史遗迹的著名步行街,开启了我的安市之旅。

Paleis op de Meir

The historical city center is just in the west of the train station so it was convenient to visit all the monuments within few hours. The first famous building on this street is called palace in Meir. It is a beautiful rococo palace with three wings around a small courtyard. This building traced back to 18th century is used for reception of important rulers such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Willem I of the Netherlands and it is also used as the Belgian Royal House. Nowadays after so many years, it becomes a museum but when I arrived the museum was closed temporarily.

历史悠久的老城区就坐落于火车站的西边,几个小时以内就可方便地参观所有的古迹。 这条街上第一座著名的建筑叫做梅厄宫(Paleis op de Meir)。 这是一座美丽的洛可可式宫殿,三翼环绕着一个小庭院。 这座建于 18 世纪的建筑曾用于接待拿破仑·波拿巴、荷兰威廉一世等重要统治者,它也被用作比利时王室驻地。 如今时过境迁,它已经摇身一变成为了博物馆,遗憾的是,在我造访之日博物馆暂时关闭了。

Rubenshuis

Another well-known building in the Meir street is this ordinary-looking residential house. When we talked about the painting of Belgium, the painters that we can first remember must be Rubens and Van Dyck. Peter Paul Rubens is definitely the forever pride of this city. His house Rubenshuis not fat away from the royal palace is well preserved. Rubens purchased the house in 1610 and renovated it on the basis of designs by himself. After the renovations, the house had the outlook of an Italian palace, which reflected the unique artistic ideals of Rubens.

Meir街上另一座著名的建筑就是这座平凡无奇的民居。 当我们谈到比利时的绘画,耳熟能详的画家一定是鲁本斯和范戴克。 彼得保罗鲁本斯绝对是这座城市永远的骄傲。 他曾经的居所,离王宫不远保存完好如初。 鲁本斯于 1610 年购买了这座宅院,并在自己设计的基础上对其进行了翻新。 整修后的房子呈现出意大利宫殿般的外观,体现了鲁本斯独特的艺术思路。

Rubens is regarded as the most influential artist of the Flemish Baroque tradition. His Baroque style painting emphasized on movement, color, and sensuality. He ran a big art workshop in Antwerp so he had very close relationship with this city. Most of his works are history painting which are conserved in the reception room of his house. This photo shows his self portrait. From these artworks, you could get the insights into his talent heart even after 400 years.

鲁本斯被认为是佛拉芒巴洛克艺术传统中最具影响力的艺术家。他的巴洛克风格绘画强调运动、色彩和感性。 这位德国画家曾在安特卫普开设了一家大型艺术工作室便和这座城市结下不解之缘。 其大部分作品都是历史画,保存在鲁本斯故居的客厅。 这张照片里展示的是他的自画像。即使400年后你也可以通过他的艺术作品洞察他天才的内心。

Through the entrance of the house, there is a Roman arch of triumph leading to a garden. This is the place where the artist, who acted as the official diplomatic role at the court of the Spanish Netherlands, grew his plants. Rubens designed everything of the house by himself based on Italian Renaissance palace architecture so we can find many elements of renaissance here. As an admirer of Renaissance building, I appreciated his design of Italian style which gave me a similar resonance.

穿过住所入口,一个通向花园的罗马凯旋门赫然出现。 这是这位在西班牙荷兰宫廷担任外交官时期种植花卉的地方。鲁本斯根据意大利文艺复兴时期的宫殿建筑自主设计了这座房子的一切,所以众多文艺复兴元素遍地可寻。 作为文艺复兴建筑的崇拜者,我由衷欣赏他的设计,这种意大利风也会引起我的共鸣。

Rubens created most of his works in this studio in the picture. There are many bas-reliefs and pillars on the façade of the studio. It looks like the palace in the street of Garibaldi in Genova. Outside the studio, it is the garden designed by Rubens based on his painting “Strolling in the Garden” . It’s an oasis of quiet in the bustling city. Rubens planted sunflowers, orange and fig trees in his garden. He could sit down at the window side and watch the shadows of garden in his spare time. After visiting this place, I think Rubens really had an admirable life. He could live in his own world leisurely and enjoyed the life in his own way. If you are interested in Flemish art or his life, Rubens house will definitely be a wonderful place to visit.

鲁本斯在照片中的这个工作室创作了他的大多数作品。 工作室的正立面装饰有许多浅浮雕和廊柱。它看起来就像热那亚加里波第大街上的一座宫殿。画室外,是鲁本斯根据他的画作《漫步花园》设计的小花园。 这里是繁华都市中的一片宁静绿洲。 鲁本斯在他的花园里种植了向日葵、橙树和无花果树,在闲暇之余坐对当窗木,看移三面阴。 参观完他的住所不由得一声感叹,鲁本斯的生活真的很令人羡慕。 他可以自在地活在自己的世界里,以自己的方式享受生活。 如果你对佛拉芒艺术或者这种生活感兴趣,鲁本斯故居绝对是一个值得游览的好地方。

Groenplaats

Rubens is so famous that his bronze statue is placed on the Groenplaats place since 1843. There are numerous bars, cafes and fast food restaurants around this historical square. It is recommended to have a cup of coffee here and stare at the high rising cathedral in the back of the square.

鲁本斯大名享誉世界,他的铜像自 1843 年起就被放置在格罗恩普拉茨广场上。这个历史悠久的广场周围有许多酒吧、咖啡馆和快餐店。推荐在这里喝杯咖啡,遥望广场后面高高耸立的大教堂。

It is weird that Rubens’ figure is depicted as one Roman cavalry instead of a painter. He hold a sword around his waist and wore his iconic wide-brimmed hat and kept a gesture of fighting. There are several Latin words CIVI OLIM SUO – S.P. Q.A. – SUMPTIB. PUBL. ET PRIV. – P. – MDCCCXXXX on the base of the statue. It reminds me of the statues of Roman Emperors.

尤为奇怪的是,鲁本斯的形象被描绘成一位罗马骑士而不是画家。 他戴着标志性的宽檐帽,腰间手握一把剑,保持着战斗姿势。几个拉丁字母 CIVI OLIM SUO – S.P. Q.A. MDCCCXXXX 刻在雕像的底座上,不由得让我想起了罗马皇帝的塑像。

The Cathedral of Our Lady 

In the photo above, it is the most famous church in Antwerp called The Cathedral of Our Lady. The church has a very tall bell tower, up to 123 meters. In Belgium, one of the special view points to be noticed by the travelers is the bell tower (belfry) in the city center. The belfry of this cathedral is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites however when I arrived, it was under restoration and forbidden to visitors.

在上面的照片中,它是安特卫普最著名的教堂,叫做圣母大教堂。 教堂有一座非常高的钟楼,高达123米。 在比利时,游客着重参观的景点就是老城区的钟楼(也叫做belfry)。 这座大教堂的钟楼同时也被列入联合国教科文组织世界遗产名录,但是我再一次乘兴而来,败兴而去,它这天正在修缮中,禁止游客参观。

It took totally 169 years to complete this church, from 1352 to 1521. It is really a miracle to build the highest building in the low countries at that time. It shows the ultimate gothic architecture art in the mean time. Also this church contains the superb Baroque art. Visitors could wander in this artistic mecca and focus on the magnificent large altar paintings by Rubens. On this photo, the painting in the choir above the main altar is called ‘The Assumption of the Virgin’. Rubens has a wonderful master of the colors in this painting.

这座教堂从1352年伊始到1521年,足足用了169年才建成完工。在中世纪就建造出了低地国家最高的建筑绝对是一个奇迹。它同时也展示了高超的哥特式建筑艺术并且包含了精湛的巴洛克绘画艺术。游客徜徉于这片艺术圣地专注欣赏鲁本斯宏伟的大型祭坛画。 这张照片上,主祭坛上方的合唱团中的这幅画被称为“圣母升天”。世人皆惊叹鲁本斯的妙手丹青尤其是其对色彩的把握更是如火纯青。

Don’t forget that this church has an awesome dome. In the palace or church in Europe, the paintings on their ceilings always impress me. In the tower of this church, there is a huge circular painting on the ceiling as well. This beautiful painting’s diameter of 5.8 meters is created by Cornelis Schut. Its name is also ‘The Assumption of the Virgin’. Antwerp Cathedral is dedicated to the mother of Christ – the Virgin Mary so many artworks in the church is related with her. This painting depicts the story of Mary ascending into heaven.

另外这座教堂还有一个令人赞叹的圆顶。在欧洲的宫殿或教堂里,他们天顶上的壁画总会留下深刻的印象。 在这座教堂的塔楼内,天顶上也绘制了一幅巨大的圆形画。 这幅美轮美奂的画作直径 5.8 米,由 Cornelis Schut 创作。 它的名字也是“圣母升天”。 安特卫普大教堂是用于祭拜基督之母——圣母玛利亚,教堂里的许多艺术品自然都与她息息相关。 这幅画描绘了圣母升天的宗教故事。

St. Charles Borromeo Church

Another stylish church in Antwerp is the St. Charles Borromeo Church. This church has a very beautiful façade of Baroque style. Rubens contributed a lot to the decoration and design of the church. It was built between 1615 and 1621 by the Jesuits. There are many small sculpture of Jesus and the saints in the niches on the façade. The emblem of the Jesuits ‘IHS’ etched on a crucifix was at a conspicuous position above the entrance. ‘IHS’ is called a ‘Christogram’ and is an ancient way of writing the word ‘Jesus Christ’. This emblem hold by angels was designed Rubens.

安特卫普另一座别具风格的教堂是圣查尔斯博罗梅奥教堂。 这座教堂拥有非常漂亮的巴洛克风格外观。 鲁本斯对教堂的装饰和设计贡献良多。 它由耶稣会士于 1615 年至 1621 年间建造。 正面的壁龛中有许多耶稣和圣徒的小雕塑。 耶稣受难像上雕刻的耶稣会会徽“IHS”位于入口上方的显眼位置。 “IHS”被称为“基督象征”,是一种古老的书写“耶稣基督”这个词的方式。 这个天使环抱的标志是由鲁本斯设计。

Rubens has designed the altar surrounded by black marble as well. There is a pulley system to hang religious paintings on the altar. The Antwerp Jesuits used this system to change paintings periodically. Nowadays the paintings will be changed on important days like Easter Monday and the Feast of the Assumption.

鲁本斯同时还设计了黑色大理石环绕的祭坛。有一个滑轮系统可以将宗教画挂在祭坛上。 安特卫普耶稣会士使用这个系统定期更换画作。 如今,这些画将在复活节星期一和圣母升天节等重要节日进行更换。

The Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library 

Behind the St. Charles Borromeo Church, there is a building with Dutch letters ‘stadsbibliotheek’. Many European languages are similar so I could roughly guess out the function of this building is city library. It is named after the Flemish writer Hendrik Conscience and the statue in this photo is him. Visitors could walk in freely and find out Antwerp’s history. Here there are more than 1 million collections of books about Dutch literature and the cultural history of Flanders.

在圣查尔斯博罗梅奥教堂后面,有一栋带有荷兰字母“stadsbibliotheek”的建筑。 众多欧洲语言都是如此相似,所以我可以大致猜出这座建筑的功能是城市图书馆。 它以佛兰德作家亨德里克命名,这张照片中的雕像就是此公。 游客可以自由进出了解安特卫普的历史。 这里有超过100万册关于荷兰文学和法兰德地区文化史的书籍。

The city center of Antwerp is steeped in history. In Belgium, another special viewpoint to be noticed by visitors is the triangle roof house in the grand squares. These old houses are the guild houses in medieval times. They are used by guilds for meetings historically. The Low Countries used to have guildhalls in every city, like Brussel, Antwerp, and Ghent.

安特卫普老城区历史悠久。 在比利时,另一个值得游客驻足回首的便是是大广场上的三角形顶房屋。 这些老房子属于中世纪的商贸公会。 历史上它们被公会用于会议。低地国家曾经在每个城市都设有公会大厅,比如布鲁塞尔、安特卫普和根特。

Grote Markt

If you want to look for the remnant of the sealed history, please move to the guild houses of Sint-Joris and de Valk that can be found in the Grote Market. It is a big square situated in the heart of the city quarter near the Scheldt river. It means Great Market Square. Historically many English merchants would come here and do business with merchants from the Hanseatic cities in north Germany. From the end of the fifteenth century, Antwerp overtook Bruges as the most prominent city of the Low Countries. This square is the most representative place of Antwerp. The city hall of Antwerp is located in this square.

若要追寻那段尘封的往事,请移步Grote Market广场上的Sint-Joris 和 de Valk 的公会之家。 这里是一个宽阔的大广场,位于斯海尔德河附近的老城区。Grote Market意思是大市场。 历史上,许多英国商人来这里与德国北部汉萨同盟城市的商人做生意。 从十五世纪末开始,安特卫普取代布鲁日成为低地国家最出名的城市。 这个广场也是安特卫普最具代表性的地方。 安特卫普市政厅就坐落在这个广场上。

Brabo Fountain

In the center of square, there is a bronze statue of a man throwing a huge severed hand. The statue was designed by the Belgian sculptor Jef Lambeaux and inaugurated in 1887. This statue is tribute to the great soldier Silvius Brabo. According to legend, there was a giant who built a fortress along the Scheldt River. The giant forced passing boats to pay a toll, If the travelers refused, the giant would cut off one of their hands and tossed it into the river. When Brabo arrived, he dueled with the giant bravely and chopped off the giant’s hand, which he threw into the river just like the giant once did. The name of the city ‘Antwerpen’ in Flemish also means ‘hand throwing’.

广场中央,有一尊男子投掷巨大断手的铜像。 该雕像由比利时雕塑家 Jef Lambeaux 设计,于 1887 年落成。这座雕像纪念伟大的士兵布拉博 。相传,有一位巨人在斯海尔德河沿岸建造了一座堡垒。 巨人强迫过往的船只支付过路费,如果旅行者拒绝,巨人就会砍掉他们的一只手,然后把它扔进河里。 当布拉博路过时,他勇敢地与巨人决斗并斩断了巨人的手,就像它一样,将手扔进了河里。“安特卫普”这个名称在佛拉芒语中也有“投掷手臂”的意思。

Het Steen

When tourists continue walking towards west, there is a castle standing at the riverside of Scheldt. It was built between 1200 and 1225, which was Antwerp’s oldest building. At that period, Antwerp belongs to county of Flanders, which was subordinate to the king of France. The name Het Steen in Dutch stands for ‘The Rock’. In history, Het Steen became the museum of archeology and maritime history as well. At the entrance, there is a bas-relief of Semini, above the archway. Semini is the Scandinavian God of youth and fertility. In medieval time, people have realized the importance of fertility. More population means stronger strength for one country.

当游客继续一路向西,有一座城堡矗立在斯海尔德河畔。 它建于 1200 年至 1225 年之间,是安特卫普最古老的建筑。 曾几何时,安特卫普属于法兰德斯郡,隶属于法兰西国王。 它的名字Het Steen 在荷兰语中代表“岩石”。 在历史上,Het Steen 城堡也成为了考古和海洋历史博物馆。 在入口处,拱门上方是塞米尼的浅浮雕。 塞米尼是斯堪的纳维亚神话里的青春和生育之神。在中世纪,人们已经意识到生育的重要性。人口越多,国家实力越强。

Museum aan de Stroom

The museum of archeology and maritime history was moved to this building in the recent years. The Museum aan de Stroom was open in 2011. It was obvious a modern building which looked totally different compared to the old buildings in the city center. This postmodern Art Deco building was made of Indian red sandstone and curved glass panel. It collects mostly the maritime documents of international trade and shipping, art and culture work of the port of Antwerp.

近年来,考古和海洋历史博物馆搬到了途中这座建筑。 Museum aan de Stroom 博物馆于 2011 年开放。很明显,与市中心的古老建筑相比,这是一座完全迥异的现代风格的建筑。 这座后现代装饰艺术风格的建筑由印度红砂岩和弧形玻璃面板制成。 它主要收集了安特卫普港的国际贸易和航运、艺术和文化的海事文件。

When I arrived at the port of Antwerp, I was far away from the historical city center and there is nothing more special to mention. Antwerp is linked to the North Sea through the River Scheldt so it is one of the most important port in the world, second largest port in Europe. It is a quite influential city and is famous of diamond industry as well. For tourists who are interested in diamond, they can visit the diamond district in Antwerp.

到达安特卫普港时,距离历史悠久的老城区已经相距甚远,没有什么特别的景点值得一提的。 安特卫普通过斯海尔德河与北海相连,因此它是世界上最重要的港口之一,也是欧洲第二大港口。 它是一个颇具影响力的城市,钻石业独步天下。 如果对钻石感兴趣的游客可以去安特卫普的钻石区游览片刻。

However for me I just enjoyed a pleasant half day in the city area which was good enough. If people asked me about this city, I would tell them excitedly that in one summer morning, I have visited the house where Rubens had lived and walked through the alleys with many towers and the medieval court yards. Of course, no matter what happens, travel in a good mood is always the most important because the golden year does not come again and it is difficult to return to the morning of yesterday.

然而对我而言,我只是在老城区度过了悠然自得的半天,这已经足够了。 如果有人向我提及这座城市,我会兴奋地讲述,在一个美好的夏日清晨,我徘徊于鲁本斯的住处,穿行于塔楼遍布的深院小巷。 当然,无论发生什么,带着好心情去旅行永远是最重要的。毕竟盛年不重来,一日难再晨。

[ The end ]

【完】

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s