*St. Rumbold’s Cathedral (Sint-Romboutskathedraal, map). The largest of the 8 churches in Mechelen, with a high tower. Notable works of art include the carved wood pulpit from 1723, painted triptychs dating to the late 15th and early 16th centuries, and an image of “Our Lady of Miracles” which has been in the cathedral since the early 16th century. The cathedral is part of a multi-site UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Palace of Margaret of York (map) when widowed of Charles the Bold, now the City Theatre; the oldest renaissance building north of the Alps, Palace of Margaret of Austria while as regent of the Netherlands still raising the later Charles Quint, then for centuries the Supreme though now a lower Court of Justice; in one of these palaces, Anne Boleyn was educated for some time as well.
Market Square (Grote Markt, map). The cathedral cutting across one end and the City Hall (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) at the opposite end, with restaurants and cafes lining the sides between the two.
Palace of Margaret of Austria (Palais de Marguarette d’Autriche, map). An unassuming set of buildings on Keizerstraat that was effectively the seat of government during Mechelen’s time as capital of the Netherlands. Today it houses government offices, but the interior courtyard is worth a brief visit to admire the tranquil and well-organized gardens.
Palace of Busleyden (Hof van Busleyden, map). Hieronymus of Busleyden afforded himself this eponymous Court in a rich renaissance style, making it one of the most beautiful buildings in Mechelen.
St. Jean Church (Sint-Janskerk, map). One of the 8 historic churches in Mechelen, with a notable Reubens painting/triptych “Adoration of the Magi”. The painting of the crucifixion by Wauters is also very impressive.