Handelsbeurs Antwerpen was the world’s first dedicated stock exchange. It was constructed in the 1520s and served as a model for similar buildings in London, Amsterdam, and other European cities. After a turbulent history, with many ups and downs, it was recently converted into an extraordinary congress and events venue.
Everything about Handelsbeurs Antwerpen (Antwerp Stock exchange) is geared towards quality. There’s the sumptuous neogothic building, of course, and its impressive 19th-century iron-and-glass canopy. There’s the original decoration, including hand-painted maps of the world, on which you can trace your voyage to Antwerp. But there’s also the best available meeting infrastructure, high-class catering and a staff that will meet all of your demands. On the ground floor you’ll find restaurant Fiera, where you can have an exquisite lunch or dinner in a cosmopolitan decor, or enjoy a cup of coffee on the terrace. And if you want to stay the night, you can do so in the adjacent five-star hotel Sapphire House Antwerp, Autograph Collection by Marriott. It’s a special place, located in a 16th century building that breathes the Golden Age of Antwerp. And it has two restaurants on offer that are managed by Michelin-starred chefs: PLANTn and WILDn!
In the Middle Ages, the port of Antwerp became a crucial link in world trade. The city was home to thousands of merchants from all over Europe. In the course of the 15th century, they began to buy and sell not just goods, but shares of a ship’s cargo. Soon the wooden buildings where the transactions took place became too cramped, and the city decided to build a new, dedicated stock exchange just outside the gates – the first of its kind in the entire world. The history of this Handelsbeurs is closely entwined with the fate of Antwerp. It saw glory days, when commerce thrived, but also periods of decline, when the river Scheldt was closed down due to war or politics. In its long history, it burnt down twice. The current incarnation, inspired by the 16th-century original, is a neogothic gem dating from 1877. It served its original purpose until 1997, after which its activities were taken over by the Brussels stock exchange.
In 2019, after a thorough, respectful restauration, Handelsbeurs Antwerpen began a new and very successful life as a congress and events venue. It is no longer a building where stocks change hand, but a place where you can debate, deliberate and exchange ideas. Become part of its rich history and book your next meeting or congress in Handelsbeurs Antwerpen!