Hi, my name is Frederik and I am the owner of Rombachs Glass. I was born in Belgium, and raised in Benoni, Johannesburg until the age of 14 . From there, my parents and I moved to the Netherlands where I learned to speak Dutch. At aged 17 I decided to continue traveling the world and spent time living and working in San Diego, and later on in Puebla, Mexico. Leaving the warm Southern Hemisphere I spent time living and working in Bergen, Norway. About 6 years ago I moved to Antwerp and decided to settle down here (…for a while at least).
Rombachs glass studio is the first public glass studio in Belgium that works solely with waste glass. We host demonstrations where we make sculptures out of waste glass such as boxing gloves, scorpions and all kinds of other weird stuff! We also host team-building events for large and small companies looking to have some fun together and make a communal object out of glass. If you feel like do something fun after work then you can also check out the workshops that we do in the evenings!
We are also setting up an exciting new experiment where we help people learn Flemish through glassblowing. If you are interested in this trimester program then please get in touch for more information!
But that’s not all we do: we also make company gifts. If you and your company are looking for a lasting memento, and want something truly unique then we will be able to help!
So, from sculptures to events, and a mix of products in between, that’s pretty much what we do -and we do it all with waste glass!
Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions, ideas or projects you would like to pass on.
Last but not least, on Sunday 14th of July we will be hosting our monthly Second Sunday, from 2pm – 5pm. We ask a 5€ contribution which is also your raffle ticket! At the end of the demo we will raffle off the pieces we made to a few lucky winners!
Yasssss …. it’s a long weekend and the weather is going to be toasty. We will respond to this winning combination in the traditional Antwerpian fashion by sloping around in the sunshine, eating and drinking. What luck! For this weekend seems to hold many opportunities to do just that. Just watch out for a wee bit of drizzle or thunder on Sunday, but nonetheless temperatures are set to be high …
A fun event which is fairly new to the Antwerp Summer scene is Vakantie op T’ Zuid
which describes itself as a holiday market. This event is very much focused on food or drink and it is fairly easy to tailor your consumption to your budget, as the food ranges from small snacks and sweets to larger meals. It has a truly international feel with stands from all over the world, as well as some performances (we saw some Indonesian dancing last year). It takes place down on the Vlaamse Kaai, so there is also a handy playground for kids, as well as a play area for the event itself. Starts Thursday at midday and continues until Sunday.
Mercado on Groenplaats is also having a food festival that takes place over the whole weekend (25th -28th May) offering -in addition to their usual stands – outdoor stands, street musicians and magicians, and kids’ entertainment.
Update: No picnic today apologies for the error!
Critical Mass takes place as usual for the last Friday of the month, meeting at 6pm -also on Theaterplein. Bring your bike for the musical edition of this monthly communal bike ride
Aper’eau is back for the summer -their kick-off event takes place on Groenplaats from 5pm. Outdoor drinks and cocktails in the sun in Antwerp’s most famous square. Sounds like a good way to start the weekend…
Middelheim -Antwerp’s free sculpture museum is a beautiful place to visit, but even more so when the weather is good. So this weekend should be a good time to take advantage of the opening event of the Richard Deacon exhibition, complete with a free guided tour.
Snitt are holding a second hand market at a fun location today: at Stack (formerly Convoi) the container village down by Waagnatie. It’s free and you can bring your own secondhand items to donate to local initiative ‘de Collectie’.
Lambermontmartre is another regular presence on the Antwerp summer scene. It’s not only a chance to browse or buy lots of art works by local and amateur artists, and to support their work, but there is always a band and some good, cheap food and drinks. The area has some lovely cafés (Finjan’s is a favourite of mine for great Falafel and middle-Eastern food) and there is usually a table where kids can paint a canvas of their own for a small price.
Ascension is the reason for the long weekend. If you would like to enjoy some choral music, head to the Begijnhofkerk at 3pm, where for 5 euros you can hear the Cathedral Singers of Oxford with special music for Ascensiontide.
Reserve by calling 03 232 01 03
Buurtpleintjes is an initiative from Stad Antwerpen offering free sporting activities on local squares around the city. Last year my son really enjoyed a series of free basketball lessons on Sint Andriesplaats as part of this initiative. Start by checking here to see what’s on offer near you.
Next week Wednesday is the last Wednesday of the month so Antwerp City museums are free (Plantin Moretus, Rockox, Mayer van den Bergh, The MAS and The Red Star Line Museum).
During summer Antwerp offers two open-air swimming pools which are now open! It is free to swim at Boekenberg, but there is a small entrance charge at the Linkeroever pool (it is also recommended that you have a 1 euro coin with you to use the lockers; and your A-kaart, if you have one).
Runners again -here’s a run with a difference: Silver Run takes you up and down towerblocks, on the 11th June, for which you can register now. It does cost to take part, unless you live in social housing, in which case it is free.
I’m proud to share my first guest blog post on Nessascityblog! If you missed it, have a read of Dolrish’s personal story of coming to live and work in Antwerp, all the way from the Philippines. And if you’d like to contribute and tell your story, please get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget to find and follow Nessascityblog on …
Here’s the GOOGLE MAP with the locations from this post…
This weekend it’s Antwerp’s annual “Semini viering” [Semini Celebration] from 10am on Grote Markt. There will be local song and dance, followed by a procession which will arrive at Sint Andriesplaats at 1.30. This is a very local festivity, dating back a long time in reverence of Semini, a fertility figure who can be spotted (sadly, minus his original phallus) in the stonework above the entrance to Het Steen. You can read his story here.
Also from 10am, there is a big second hand market on St Jansplein, where there is presently also a fun fair until 9th April.
Holi will be celebrated at Cargo bar in Park Spoor Noord from 2pm until 9.30pm. This is a free event which is nice, as although Holi has been celebrated before in Antwerp, I have only ever seen paying events. There will be music and dance performances throughout the afternoon. Holi is a Hindu celebration of spring and of colours, which is observed in India and Nepal. Don’t wear your best clothes if you plan on attending as you could end up covered in an assortment of coloured powder which is traditionally thrown around at this occasion.
If you aren’t partied out by Holi, head to London Calling at Bar Venetie for Let’s Make Antwerp Rock ‘n’ Roll Again at 8pm. Expect to dance into the wee hours to your favourite Indie and Britpop tracks.
Jeugdboekenmaand (Youth Book Month) finishes today. Permeke Library will be running a varied program to mark the conclusion of the book month, from 10am, for kids, young people and their parents. This is free and there is no need for prior registration.
Another family-friendly event is taking place over near Middelheim. It’s a chance to try out less well known sports which take place in Antwerp but with which you might not be familiar. It’s free and takes place between 1 and 5pm. There will be drinks and snacks afterwards. Come along if you would like to try your hand at cricket, frisbee, baseball, ice-hockey or cheerleading.
If you are in that part of town and the weather is good -as it is rumoured it will be – take the chance to visit Middelheim Museum Park if you do not already know it (or even if you do). It’s a unique outdoor sculpture park; a beautiful green space incorporating some really special pieces of art. Great to take kids and a picnic. It’s free and open until 5pm.
The weather is going to be pretty decent this weekend. Maybe cloudy at times, but also a good chance of sunny periods. No rain forecast. Scorching top temps of 14 degrees!
On the Grote Markt, MUHKA will be holding Acid Brass, presented by Jeremy Deller and the Festival Brass Band, 1.30- 3pm. In the event of bad weather this will be held on Theater Plein. It’s bass band music with a difference -I saw this once in Glasgow, many moons ago, and it was thoroughly entertaining to hear tracks like ‘What Time is Love?’ and ‘Voodoo Ray’ rendered by a full-on brass band. This is part of a MUHKA Exhibition on rave culture.
UEFA: The Belgium -Ireland game is going to be the big match of the day. I have mentioned already some venues which are showing the games on big screens (Plein Publiek, Cargo, Dageraadplaats and Chatleroi). This one will also be showing on Groenplaats -kick-off is at 3pm. Alternatively it’s sure to be very lively in the Irish bars in town (An Sibhin, Kelly’s and The Irish Times) for this one …
The International Day of Yoga(copyright image courtesy of AWDC) in Antwerp is a wee bit further out than most events I include but I am putting it in because it is a must for those who practice yoga. It’s a big event and it is totally free. Don’t forget to register if you would like to attend. The event is suitable for those aged 12+. The host of the event (Reetu Mehta) will also be teaching ‘Mudras’ this year (hand gestures, used in conjunction with breathing techniques and chanting).
Goegekregen fleamarket from 10am -6pm on the Kattendijkdok and Swan Market will be on Grote Markt again from midday until 6pm. Right near central station there is a second hand clothing sale on Van Leriusstraat starting at 10am.
It’s the third Sunday of the month, so there is the book and magazine fair in front of Permeke Library on De Coninckplein from 10am -4pm. Meanwhile, inside the library itself between 11-12 in the auditorium there is a read-aloud for kids aged 4-8, with a dinosaur theme.
Here is a unique type of tour of Middelheim Sculpture Museum: this tour is specifically designed for those with mild to moderate dementia (and their caregivers). It is free and you do not need to reserve. It is in Dutch. If you think you know someone who might benefit from this, do watch the film on the page, which is subtitled in English, and explains the purpose and style of the tour.
The weather is predicted to be mild/ warm, with light showers on Friday and Saturday. Sunday looks like being cloudy, but dry. (image: Pixabay)
Here’s the Google map showing all the locations for the events mentioned here.
Zomer van Antwerpen has officially started (even if the weather isn’t quite on board …yet) On this page you can find two .pdfs with info in English about events.
It’s the last chance to get to Sinksenfoor (funfair) at Spoor Oost this weekend.
Here’s a complete guide to all the big- screen venues for watching UEFA in and around Antwerp.
A shout out to the Antwerp International School whose school year finishes this week. Lots of love -and safe travels -to staff and students who will be heading to family and friends around the world over summer. And a special mention to wish all the best for those students who will receive IB and IGCSE exam results soon … especially the students from IB English B 😉
(image from Pixabay)
Check out Nessascityblog Instagram page with pictures from last weekend of Parkbrug, Markt van Morgen, football watching UEFA at Grand Bazar, views from The Antwerp Wheel, and Flying Pig on Steenplein. And of course the blog can also be found on Twitter and Pinterest.
Antwerp Art Weekend takes place over all three days. This features special exhibits in numerous galleries, some of which are very well-known in Antwerp, such as MAS and The Red Star line, but crucially, this provides the opportunity to check out the smaller galleries around the city. If you are not sure where to start, check out the routes and tours page of the website, or simply look at what’s on offer and devise your own route. The best way to enjoy Antwerp Art weekend and to get from one gallery to another is by bike. More info (also featured here) on the hyperlink and on Facebook.
Or begin your arty weekend with a Nocturne at Life Is Art Gallery and the Imposter exhibition by Sacha Eckes, from 1pm -10pm.
Art weekend info
12:00 – 18:00 hrs * All exhibitions are open *
18:00 – 22:00 hrs * All galleries and art spaces are open for a city-wide Antwerp Art Weekend Night
22:00 – 24:00 hrs * Inauguration permanent neon installation by Pascal Petrus on De Studio’s facade + after drink
Did you know that Antwerp has an annual carnival? It’s called Borgerrio and takes place this Saturday. A lot of the activities and stall will be on the Turnhoutsebaan, but you can check the full programme here. It all kicks off at 2.30 with the Carnival Parade.
Not far away, there’s another party going on in the form of the Damse Feesten, just beyond Park Spoor Noord. This one seems to have a Mexican feel, with music and events occurring around the Twee Netenstraat from midday, and also on the Lange Lobroekstraat.
There will be a big open-air second-hand market on Sint Jansplein from 8.30am -4pm.
If you are in need of some nail glamour, head to the Lak Store between 12 and 6 to get your nails painted for free.
Art weekend info:
12:00 – 18:00 hrs * All exhibitions are open *
14:30 – 23:00 hrs * Opening Peter Rogiers @ Middelheim
21:00 – 06:00 hrs * Nacht van de Beeldende Kunst @ DE Studio
Swan Market is back in Antwerp -this time on the Grote Markt between 12 and 6pm.
And for something else a bit different, you could cross the river to Linkeroever for this Kite Flying Event between 1pm and 6pm. As well as kite-related events and activities, there will be music, market stalls and other children’s activities.
Or go for a run through Middelheim Museum (open air sculpture park). This is a beautiful park and sculpture museum that is well worth knowing about for summer days outside.
Please note, this is the information I have about weekend events at the moment. If any are cancelled or rescheduled due to the recent raising of the security threat level, I will update the post as soon as I can and will Tweet additional info. Please comment here, or mention @nessascityblog in your own Tweet if you get information yourself, so that I can RT you, and edit this post. Thank you.
Tonight (Thursday) there will be a requiem mass at MAS and a chance to sign a book of condolence from 7.30pm
A Silent Vigil is planned for Friday, at 6pm on Grote Markt.
Brussels Airport remains closed at least for today and tomorrow. For train information about the Brussels area you can check here.
Here are the weekend’s events, as usual, which as far as I presently know, are still on course to take place over the Easter weekend.
Assemble on Theaterplein with your bike at 6pm for the Easter edition of Critical Mass. After which you could cycle on to Park Spoor Noord where the Cargo Summer Bar is opening for 2016 from 7pm, with music, drinks and food. Unfortunately, the big-screen showing of the football match which was due to take place at Cargo have been cancelled in the light of the attacks in Brussels, as Belgium will not be playing against Portugal on Tuesday.
There’s a new bar and bookshop opening on Grote Markt. Come and check out Kobalt from 7pm.
Head to the Spoor Oost Opening Party which kicks off at 11am and promises food, drinks, kids entertainment, playground, sport, fleamarket, BBQ and graffiti art space. Park Spoor Oost is going to serve as an huge public space and events venue for the Borgerhout/ Schijnpoort area of the city. Festivities will go on all day, and on into the night with an after-party starting at 9pm in Bahnhof (event venue/ bar).
For a traditional Antwerp experience, take part in the Semini Celebrations starting at 10am on Grote Markt, with traditional music and dance.
Who is is Semini? From Wikipedia: “At the entrance to Het Steen is a bas-relief of Semini, above the archway, around 2nd century. Semini is the Scandinavian God of youth and fertility (with symbolic phallus). A historical plaque near Het Steen explains that women of the town appealed to Semini when they desired children; the god was reviled by later religious clergy. Inhabitants of Antwerp previously referred to themselves as “children of Semini”. An organization concerned with the historic preservation of Het Steen and Semini, Antwerp Komitee Semini in Ere (AKSIE), formed in 1986, holds annual celebrations at Het Steen as cultural events.”
By “reviled by later religious clergy” what is actually meant is that the Jesuits chopped his phallus off. Prior to that, fragments of it had been supposedly chipped away by the women of Antwerp who believed they would help them conceive. Unlucky, Semini. He is a well known figure here and the people of Antwerp once referred to themselves as “Semini’s Children”.
Nonetheless, it’s still a special day to get married, if you are an Antwerp couple, and after the celebrations on Grote Markt, the procession will make its way to Sint Andriesplaats (coStA) arriving at around 1pm, for free musical performances and folk singers.
Not far away at the St Anna Tunnel -AKA Voetgangers (pedestrians) Tunnel- there will be a free urban dance event, The Antwerp Battle taking place just in front of the tunnel entrance, where there is a basketball court (St Jansplein). There’s a vintage/ antique market here each Sunday, but also one today.. If you have never been in the tunnel, it is really worth seeing. You can cross to Linkeroever, under the Schelde, by foot or by bike. The Antwerp Battle is one a a number of different dance events happening as part of Dans Promenade ,all of which are free.
Near Astridplein there is a free art market at the Afrikaans Cultureel Centrum, from midday.
If you are feeling sporty or need to run off an excess of chocolate, then head for Rivierenhof at 11am (meet at the lake in the centre of the estate) where you can join runners training for the Antwerp 10 miles & Marathon taking place this year on the 17th April.
It’s the last chance to see Le Bruit des Choses exhibition Middelheim Museum. Middelheim is free.
Note that most shops in Antwerp will be closed on Easter Monday.
I suggest eating some chocolate.
Tip for Wednesday: On the last Wednesday of the month, the permanent collections of the following museums are FREE. It’s worth noting that this Wednesday (30th) is a school holiday and taking the kids at this time will save you quite a bit. It’s useful to know that The Red Star Line museum is often particularly busy though, so have a Plan B if that is is full of visitors taking advantage of the free entrance.
Temperatures for the Easter weekend look fairly fresh and mild, but there is a distinct chance of rain on both Good Friday and Easter Day. Saturday and Monday are likely to be dry.
The attacks in Brussels at the start of this week cast a shadow over Easter for everyone living in Belgium. Perhaps you have changed your travel plans as a result. I know we are all thinking of those who lost their lives and were injured in the explosions. Let’s stay calm and not lead lives driven by fear. Wishing you a peaceful and happy Easter. X
For kids, coming to the end of their autumn holiday, The wonderful Red Star Line Museum is holding an evening event which begins at 18h and costs 5 euros. The children complete the tour as émigrés, and will be taken on their journey by the captain of the Red Star Line.
Also on Friday:
English speaking theatre group BATS are holding an opening evening. This may interest you if you would like to know more about getting involved, or about upcoming productions. Additionally, there will be Indian music to enjoy. I can guarantee that you will be warmly welcomed at their theatre on Paardemarkt (Belfry Little Theatre, Paardenmarkt 111, 2000 Antwerpen, Ticket 12 euros on the door; 8 euros for students)
This week’s fleamarket will be on St Jans Plein. Hopefully the weather will be as sunny as dry as last weekend!
On both Saturday and Sunday (and on Wednesday 11th), Antwerp’s Ecohuis will be holding open days with tours and information about environmentally friendly living. The Ecohuis is a good place to visit with kids, and it also has a nice café on the ground floor.
On both Saturday and Sunday, amateur photography club, fotoklub72 will be holding their annual and free exhibition of their work.
For foodies and kids, there is an Oriental buffet & kids’ corner at Umami. It’s not cheap at 35 euros per adult (15 per child) but it does include activities for the children, such as face-painting and learning to make sushi.
Don’t forget that Wednesday 11th of November is a public holiday (“Wapenstilstand”) and there will be a large Flea market on Theaterplein, and an afternoon/ evening SKRÄP market at Antwerp Cruise Terminal, including food, drinks and musical performances, from 1pm -10pm.
Film lovers might be interested in taking the opportunity to discover Filmhuis Klappei. It’s a very small film theatre, not too far from de Coninckplein On the 24th, film fans can catch three classic American noir movies for a very low price. Klappei also has a nice bar and is perfect if you want to get away from the multiplexes.
There is a new sculpture exhibition opening at Middelheim Museum. It’s really worth discovering this place which is a lovely place to visit whenever the weather is dry. There are some big names in sculpture as permanent exhibits here, and lots of space for kids to run free.
Shoppers with excess money burning a hole in their pocket might want to check out stores participating in Belmodo Fashion Days on both Saturday and Sunday.
If you have kids (or a sweet tooth) you may need to be quick if you want to book The Pancake Boat . This is a tour along the harbour, while simultaneously eating pancakes. The boat is packing up for the season, so this will be the last weekend (until next spring) that you can take a trip. It’s reasonably priced, and the serving of pancakes is friendly and efficient, so you aren’t waiting for long. The trip is about the right length, so smaller kids do not get bored
Espectro is an evening of arts and music, right in the centre of town on Sunday evening (Rooseveltplaats is where all the busses go to/ from). If you register on their site in advance you will get a free drink on arrival, and it is only 4 euros to get in.
Fleamarket at the Eco -café which is easy to find from Central Station. Cross Astridplein next to the station, turning right as you face Aquatopia and the Radisson. It’s about 10-15 minutes’ walk on your left. As well as the café, you can visit the Eco Huis, which is a resource and exhibition space devoted to eco -friendly living.
If you like knitting and want to chill out in a café with other knitters and improve your skills then The Sunday Sock Club starting at 10am will interest you. 8 euros.
For something a bit more active there is a Dance festival starting at 2pm at the Arenberg Theatre (right near Theatreplein) and costing 10 euros -various different types of dance will be featured. Price includes coffee & cake.
Thursday 29th October
OK, not strictly the weekend, but put the date in your diary ahead of time if you want to go to An Sibhin’s Quiz Night It’s my favourite Irish Bar (always friendly, unpretentious, welcoming of kids during the day, great sandwiches, soups, home-made cake) and can be found on Nationalestraat, not far from Groenplaats, and just past the fashion museum. Why is the quiz not on Hallowe’en itself? Hmmmm …..my guess is that the pub is going to be showing the Rugby World Cup Final that night. Thursday’s quiz will be in English and you need to be in a team of max. 5 people. Send a PM via the Facebook page to register.