Mechelen was a quirky little town. Beautiful and bustling with an undercurrent of rich history. During the thirteenth century Mechelen entered a brief Golden Age when the capital of Belgium was moved to this Flanders stronghold. But by 1530 the capital relocated again - this time to Brussels.Mechelen boasts a handful of medieval churches, a stunning Grote Markt (city square), and a perplexing Stadhuis (city hall). These photos are of that Stadhuis. In 1526 Margaret of Austria had the left-hand side of this original building demolished and replaced by an ornate facade. The plan was to rebuild the rest of the building in stages, but after her death the work was abandoned leaving a lopsided work in progress. Doesn't it look funny?!?!The inside was equally contrasting! You think they would have evened it out in time, but perhaps the dual nature is now part of the charm.I really liked this church with the sunburst up top and against the blue sky.Here is another shot of that crazy city hall. The ornate, decorative side of course.This is St. Romboutskathedraal (the main cathedral in town). There was a fantastic Flemish wedding in action with bride and groom departing to thrown birdseed when we first passed. So we came back later to check it out. I was glad we didn't miss it...Mechelen must also be a shopping mecca because it seemed everyone was out buying. I did a double take on these cute little girl shoes for Connor. Then I looked more closely at the price tag - ummm, 85 euros. I am not kidding. That is $120. I think not. But fun to look at nonetheless. We really liked Mechelen. The Saturday afternoon energy was contagious. It was a great day trip from Brussels. We stayed only for the post nap afternoon time and felt like we had enough time to wander and get a feel for the town. I wouldn't mind going again though.
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