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QoMEX 2011

Social functions

Wednesday, September 7th at 18h30 – Welcome Reception @ Town Hall

Mechelen Town Hall is actually two buildings: the cloth hall with its unfinished belfry (recognized by UNESCO) and the Palace of the Great Council. In fact, Mechelen has three town halls: there is the old Schepenhuis, the building known as Den Beyaert and the present-day Town Hall.

The Town Hall on the Grote Markt has a complex history. Building work on the belfry suddenly came to a standstill in the fourteenth-century. This had to do with the decline of the cloth trade which meant there were no longer sufficient funds to complete the build. For two hundred years the belfry was no more than a shell, until it was eventually provided with a temporary roof in the sixteenth century. In fact the roof was not that temporary because it is still there! UNESCO has declared the belfry a world heritage site.

To the right of the belfry is the oldest part of the Town Hall, a vestige of the earlier cloth hall. To the left is the Keldermans wing which was only completed in the twentieth century. As the name suggests, the wing was designed by leading architect Rombout Keldermans.

Thursday, September 8th at 17h30 – Nocturne Visit and Dinner @ Planckendael Zoo

The conference dinner will take place at Planckendael Zoo and include a nocturne visit. Though there are plenty of exotic animals to admire in its 40 hectares, Planckendael is much more than 'just' an animal park. Planckendael is synonymous with adventure! For example, you can follow a trail that leads across suspension bridges and through the treetops.

Planckendael is especially known for its breading program for storks. You will encounter these large birds everywhere in the park.