The Vleeshuis ( Butchers Hall ) opened his doors in 1504 and was one of the dominating buildings of the city in the 16th century.It was home of the butchers guild who held their meetings there and people could buy meat on the groundfloor. From the 1800 's it was a warehouse for grains and wine. In that time the building housed also some arts. Painters had studios there and also musicians. There were performances from music, theatre and even opera ( didn't knew that ).
Now it is the museum for musical instruments especially harpsichords. It was in the 17th century that the rich and famous like Rubens and Plantin made Antwerp famous . and it was tradition to have music in their houses. The harpsichord was a very popular instrument and their was a famous harpsichord builder family in the city,the Ruckers-Couchet family.
When I was a young boy, yes once I was, the museum was much bigger than these days. And housed more than only musicinstruments. Today you can visit 2 floors the groundfloor and the basement. The collection now is named " The sound of the city ". It also shows you bell making, the museum has a nice collection of the foundry family Sergeys.
Today I have heard you can book private tours ,so you can visit all 5 floors and they are working to open one floor more. Nice fact is there are still concerts being held and musicians worldwide come her to play on the old harpsichords.The museum is quite dark so it was a good opportunity to try out the low light performance of my new XT30.
A costume from the opera Signoor in China
So here ends part one , the groundfloor. This was a selection from what is there. Part two will take us to the basement and shows you another aspect of music in the city.
All photos inside are taken with Fuji XT30 and the wonderfull XF35mm f1.4 lens. Sadly could not use a tripod.