Museum Butchers’ Hall preserves and displays many musical instruments, including the historic collections of instruments of the Antwerp Zoo, the Flemish Opera and – above all – the Royal Conservatory of Antwerp. Museum Butchers’ Hall houses the second largest collection of Antwerp harpsichords in the world. Antwerp was the European capital of harpsichord building in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Ruckers-Couchet families were world leaders. They gave the city the same high-quality reputation as Christopher Plantin or Pieter Paul Rubens.
Unlike the MIM in Brussels, Museum Butchers’ Hall is not a traditional musical instrument museum. Above all, the museum tells the story of the people behind the music: builders, musicians, composers, patrons, benefactors, printers, enthusiasts, collectors and listeners. The presentation is thematic and shows the objects in their context.
During the tour at Museum Butchers’ Hall you will visit the workshops of a bellfounder and of a brass instrument maker. You will learn everything there is to know about bells and carillons. You will discover 11 Flemish masterpieces, for example the storm bell Orida from 1316. In the basement of Museum Butchers’ Hall there is also a folk dance bar that contains forgotten music machines, including a kalliope and an orchestrion. A real dance organ reminds one of the world-famous Decap organs. The guide will also invite you to listen to the music of yesteryear. In short, after a guided tour of the Museum Butchers’ Hall, you’ll walk out whistling and dancing.
- This guided tour is suitable for groups of adults
- Maximum 15 persons per group
- Duration: 90 minutes