More info: The historic Grote Markt, or market square, has been Mechelen’s centrepiece for centuries. At one end is St. Rumbold’s Cathedral and at the other end, the Town Hall. St. Rumbold's Tower rises above the Cathedral to a height of 97mtrs. The tower once housed the world’s largest clock, even surpassing Big Ben’s. While the clock is no longer there, the Carillion still chimes every 15 minutes. Climbing the 500 steps to the top gives magnificent views over Mechelen.
The square is surrounded by 18th century Renaissance and 18th century Rococo buildings on all sides, many of them with typical step-gabled Belgian roofs. Every Saturday morning there is a traditional market with food products and handicrafts in the Grote Markt and in the surrounding streets.
Long renowned for lacemaking, Mechelen is also one of western Europe’s principal vegetable markets and has railway repair shops. Its industries include brewing, the manufacture of furniture and textiles, and various handicrafts, in particular tapestry making.