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The Hofkamer

The Hofkamer

The Hofkamer (The Courtly Ceremonial Chamber) is a stunning building in the garden of the historical site Den Wolsack (meaning bag of wool). The original heart of the structure goes back all the way to the 16th century and has since then been used for a variety of purposes. The task of renovating the Hofkamer was bestowed upon an anonymous architect by the merchant Adriaan Van den Bogaert and his wife Maria Anna Roggens in the year 1772. The façade was moved one metre to the front and was decorated with the newest designs. It became a sumptuous reception hall which displayed the wealth, luxury and status of the proprietors.

The crowning glory of the Hofkamer is undoubtedly the majestic ceiling painting Gods of the mountain Olympus. This canvas was painted by an anonymous artist in 1772. Its placement in the Hofkamer was commissioned by a merchant’s family. With its surface of 65 m2 it has been named the largest canvas ceiling painting in western Europe!

The first floor houses the renowned toilet of books. It was the most luxurious lavatory of its time. The room was moulded precisely after a real library, which is why the unrecognisable toilet bowl looks like a pile of books. Both of these highlights are unique heritage features in Belgium.

5 reasons why this is worth your visit

  • The Hofkamer is a surprising hidden gem of Belgian heritage
  • A serene location in the middle of the crowded city of Antwerp
  • A visit to a cultural heritage site guided by an informative leaflet
  • A scavenger hunt for families with children
  • Special measures make this trip accessible to people who have visual or hearing impairments