A wonderful oasis of calm in vibrant Antwerp is Hendrik Conscience Square. A haven where the city embraces and protects you from the hubbub of the metropolis. The beautiful Hendrik Conscience Square features some of the best examples of baroque architecture anywhere in Europe. On one side of the square you can’t help but be impressed by the incredible detail of the triumphant baroque façade of St Carolus Borromeus Church which blends harmoniously with the dignified classical face of the Municipal Library. The library (Erfgoedbibliotheek Hendrik Conscience in Dutch) is guarded by the nineteenth century Flemish writer who gave the square his name.
St. Carolus Borromeus Church was built by the Jesuits between 1615 and 1621 and is based on their first church, Il Gesu in Rome. The opulent decoration has given the church the nickname “the marble temple”. Although the lightning strike nearly 300 years ago caused extensive damage, and destroyed many works by Rubens, the apse of the main alter and Mary chapel survived which provide you an idea of the original splendour. The church also features a small but very interesting lace museum.
Hendrick Conscience Square is just a 15 minute walk from the Astoria Hotel Antwerp.