An art and war tour. ANTWERP was the home of the greatest Flemish Baroque master, Rubens, a genius of the Counter Reformation – a painter, businessman and diplomat. Rubens’ glories are still to be found in the churches they were painted for. Among the sites we will see are: Rubens’ house (today one of the city’s major museums), the Cathedral of Our Lady (with four masterpieces by Rubens), Museum Plantin-Moretus, Saint James’ church (where Rubens was buried), churches of St Charles Borromeo and St Paul, Snijders & Rockox House, Royal Museum of Fine Arts.
In Autumn 1944 the Allied armies were still being supplied direct from the Normandy beaches, hundreds of miles from the front. The port of Antwerp had to be taken, but to make it operational, Walcheren Island and the Scheldt Estuary had to be captured or secured as well, because they guarded the approaches. We look at some of the Netherlands’ best museums and battlefield sites. Including – Westkapelle Flushing Commando Memorial, the battles of Operation Switchback & Walcheren Island; the Zeeland Liberation Museum, WW2 War Museum at Ossendrecht (a great collection), the Panther tank in Breda, the Wings of Liberation Museum (which looks at the air war and has a superb collection of aircraft and tanks). We end at the Bergen op Zoom War Cemetery where the dead from the fighting here are buried.