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Mechelen is a Dutch-speaking city and municipality in the province of Antwerp, Flanders, Belgium. The municipality comprises the city of Mechelen proper, some quarters at its outskirts, the hamlets of Nekkerspoel adjacent to it and Battel which is a few kilometers away, as well as the villages of Walem, Heffen, Leest, Hombeek, and Muizen. The Dijle flows through the city, hence the term 'Dijlestad' - City by the Dijle. Mechelen lies on the major urban and industrial axis Brussels-Antwerp, about 25 kilometers from each city. Inhabitants find employment at Mechelen's southern industrial and northern office areas, as well as at offices or industry near the capital, or at industrial plants near Antwerp's seaport. Mechelen is one of Flanders' prominent art cities, along with Brussels, Antwerp, Bruges, Ghent, and Leuven.
The Sint-Romboutskathedraal (St. Rumbold's Cathedral) with its dominating tower is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Sint-Janskerk (Church of St. John the Evangelist) exhibits 'The Adoration of the Magi' and the Kerk van Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-over-de-Dijle (Church of Our Lady across the river Dijle) 'The Miraculous Draught of Fishes', paintings by Rubens; the domed baroque Basiliek van Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-van-Hanswijk (Basilica of Our Lady of Hanswyck) by native architect Lucas Faydherbe, of whom some sculptures can also be found in the cathedral. He was a pupil and leading assistant of Rubens. The baroque Begijnhofkerk (Church of the Beguines, dedicated to St. Alexis and St. Catherine) and the former Jesuit church Sint-Pieter en Pauluskerk (Saints Peter and Paul).
The Brusselpoort, last remaining of the city's twelve gates from 13th century. The Schepenhuis, the oldest stone-built city hall in Flanders and the historical seat of the 'Grote Raad' (Great Council or Supreme Court) of the 13th century. The gothic-renaissance Hof van Busleyden where Jeroen alias Hiëronymus van Busleyden received Erasmus, Thomas More, and later Pope Adrian VI. These three recently restored buildings together now house the City Museum.
The Palace of Margaret of York when widowed of Charles the Bold, now the City Theatre - the oldest renaissance building north of the Alps for centuries the Supreme though now a lower Court of Justice. In one of these palaces, Anne Boleyn was educated for some time as well. the Palace of the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic province Belgium is still in use for its original purpose by Cardinal Danneels. These palaces may not all be open to the public in general but do offer a good external view. Mechelsen Bruynen was allegedly the emperor Charles V's favourite beer. A version, Gouden Carolus beer, is still brewed in the city at Het Anker brewery.
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