Old and new go hand in hand
The Hoogstraat is a very lively shopping street where you will not find any of the international brands, but only local shops, eat houses and bars. Jacques Jordaens, one of the great baroque painters of the city was born here in the house which now bears the number 13, right next to one of the entrances to the Vlaaikensgang, a relict of sixteenth century Antwerp.
One of the eldest buildings in the Hoogstraat is situated right next to St-Jansvliet. It is the Saint-Julian’s Hospital or guesthouse. Pilgrims on their way to Compostella could stay there overnight and in fact, they still can, although the guest house is now situated on St-Jansvliet and offers a bit more comfort than the old building. The old chapel of the guesthouse today houses the Black Panther, one of the most prestigious art galleries in town presenting a wide range of contemporary artists from home and abroad.
And while you’re at it, if you continue walking south, you enter the Kloosterstraat. Here, for something like half a mile, you will find a lot of antique and vintage shops, one next to the other, with of course a coffe house, restaurant or bar in between.