Mechelen, or in a traditional context Mechlin (French: Malines, German: Mecheln), is a city in Flanders, Antwerp province, located between the cities of Antwerp and Brussels. The river Dijle runs through its centre. Nowadays the municipality has well over 85,000 inhabitants, of whom the sobriquet is Maneblussers ("extinguishers of the moon").
Mechelen has a rich history, and during the early decades of the 16th century (under Charles V's guardian and governess Margaret of Austria) in its role as the capital of the Netherlands, the city dominated the entire Dutch-speaking area. It has the second largest number of protected buildings in Flanders.
Its Large Beguinage, St. Rumbold's Tower and the oldest wing of its City Hall are part of the UNESCO World Heritage, and its giants parade called Ommegang belongs to the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The Church of Our Lady across the River Dijle and St. John's Church each show a painting by Peter Paul Rubens.
- For a more comprehensive description, see Wikipedia
- UNESCO World Heritage List: Flemish Béguinages Unesco ID 855-003 Large Beguinage, since 1998
- UNESCO World Heritage List: Belfries of Belgium and France and Establishment of the World Heritage List and the List of World Heritage in Danger (2005) Unesco ID 943-016 St. Rumbold's Tower and ID 943-015 central front of City Hall (both as belfries), since 1999 [originally as Belfries of Flanders and Wallonia]
- Third Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity: Processional Giants and Dragons in Belgium and France, since 2005, and as Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity: Processional Giants and Dragons in Belgium and France inscribed in 2008