For my birthday I had been given a copy of Bradshaw’s Handbook and found the descriptions of the towns quite delightful.  So with a book voucher I received for Christmas I treated myself to Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Guide.

I looked up Mechelen within it’s pages and found that in 1913 when the book was published the town was listed by it’s French name Malines.  This is what Bradshaw had to say about the town:

An old town on the River Dyle, with broad streets, in some respects picturesque but with dull and squalid quarters.

The guide then goes on to describe some notable architecture and art.

The 2013 edition of the Eyewitness Travel Guide to Belgium and Luxembourg describes Mechelen in a more favorable light:

Leveun and Mechelen are beautiful medieval towns, with outstanding architectural treasures. (p142)

The historic city of Mechelen, on the River Dijle has exceptional charm. (p157)

I found the city picturesque with exceptional charm, outstanding architectural treasures and artworks.  Currently several of the buildings are under renovation which means that some of the buildings are obscured by scaffolding.

It seems that Mechelen/Malines has changed little in character over the 100 years since Bradshaw shared his views on Malines.



12 Comments CherryPie on Apr 9th 2014

12 Responses to “Mechelen”

  1. Interesting!
    They don’t use stepped gables in Mechelen
    like those in Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, etc.

    • CherryPie says:

      There are stepped gabled buildings in Mechelen. Many buildings were destroyed in the war, so the architectural style is varied.

      I have some photos not yet posted that show some of the gabled buildings.

  2. Astrid says:

    It shows that you had a wonderful time in Mechelen. Wonderful pictures. Amazing what they wrote about the town. They did a great job renovating. In this way tourists will keep coming.

    • CherryPie says:

      We did have a wonderful time :-)

      The renovations are very much ongoing at the moment, giving us the urge to revisit in a few years time ;-)

  3. Steve Hayes says:

    So has the town changed, or tourist tastes?

    • CherryPie says:

      The town is actually a city and based on my experience in the city, tourists are rare. I should qualify that with, tourists from other countries are also rare!

      During my stay there were a lot of business men in the hotel I stayed in…

      The town/city seems to have been restored to keep its original charm.

  4. james higham says:

    Bradshaw – pure Holmes and Watson.

  5. ubermouth says:

    Were the buildings still squalid and dull though?

  6. J_on_tour says:

    Some impressive looking buildings.
    Continental Bradshaw … maybe you should get in there first with your own TV series … And I’ll compare you with how many times you say “My Bradshaw’s guide says … ” :-)