Wander the rhododendron-lined paths of Middelheim Park to see sculptural art that spans more than 100 years. Compare the sculptural works of past masters such as Rodin and Henry Moore with a newer breed of contemporary artists. This 67-acre (27-hectare) space contains over 200 statues and sculptures.
The park first hosted a sculpture exhibition in 1950. It was such a success that the city council decided to make it a permanent feature, and a number of additions have been added over the years.
Head straight to the Middelheim-Hoog section of the park. This is the largest open area and the section where most of the works are held. Browse famous historical works such as the Monument to Balzac by Rodin, and Henry Moore’s King and Queen. Exceptional contemporary pieces include the giant sphere of Yayoi by the American artist Cory McCorkle, and the strikingly unusual shape of the boat in Erwin Wurm’s Misconcievable. Much of the contemporary art is found in the smaller Middelheim Laag section of the park.
Pick up an audio guide from the entrance to learn about the sculptures in detail.
If the weather is unkind you can still enjoy several sculptures under the cover of the Braem Pavilion, in the Middelheim Haag section. Nearby is Castle Middelheim, a 15th-century farmhouse that was converted into a Louis XVI-style castle. Head here if you need to refuel, as the building also contains the park’s restaurant and a visitor centre.
During the summer the park swings to the sounds of the Middelheim Jazz Festival. There are also two temporary exhibitions held here each year. Check the park’s website for details.
Middelheim Park is located just south of Antwerp city centre. Get there by tram or pay to park. The sculpture garden is open all year, with longer hours during the summer. Entry is free.