Now the leaves are falling and nature prepares for winter a lot of gardens close their doors. Middelheim museum park is open all year though and offers much more than the 27 hectares of beautiful parkland, forest and grassland. In fact it’s one of the oldest and biggest sculpture parks in the world, showing a beautiful collection from 1900 to the present. More than 215 artworks from major artists are on display in the park and the collection grows every year. Every year they also organise interesting temporary exhibitions.
The history of this place goes back to the middle ages, and in the 16th century many wealthy Antwerp families had an estate here. The castle, that now hosts the museum café and bookshop ,dates from that period and was renovated in the 18th century in the Louis XVI style that you can admire now. In 1910 the city became owner of the grounds and they turned it in a public park. In 1950 an international sculpture exhibition took place in the park for the first time. The major of Antwerp, Lode Craeybeckx than suggested to turn the park in the museum it has become today. Later architect Braem designed an exhibition pavilion for the museum to display more fragile works. From 2000 on the park expanded its grounds and in 2012 got a big renovation.
It really is one of my favorite museum parks and always guarantees a great stroll. As a kid I was a real fan of the icebear sculpture of François Pompon in the park (still am a big fan of it) It would take me too far to describe all the works, so I just invite you to go and have a look yourself. A funny fact : When you walk in the more grassy part of the park, near the hospital, you might hear a zooming sound that comes from some concrete chimney-like structures. These are not artworks, but are connected to the large eight lane motorway tunnel under your feet. If you are looking for a great day out, the Middelheim museum is a great place and it’s free entrance on top of it all. Art and nature are really equals here, so take your time.
Visitors can see the works of such major artists as Auguste Rodin, Rik Wouters, Henry Moore, Juan Muñoz, Carl Andre, Panamarenko, Franz West, Erwin Wurm and many others
Opening Hours :
- October to March: from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- April: from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.
- May: from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.
- June and July: from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m.
- August: from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.
- September: from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.