Mechelen has known a rich history and a short period in the 16th century (under Carl V and Margareth from Austria), the city was the capital of the Netherlands, dominating whole Flanders and Holland. Mechelen has the second largest number of protected buildings in Flanders.
Its [[begijnhof/Engels|beguinage]], [[Sint-Romboutskathedraal|St. Rumoldus cathedral]] and its Giant parade are part of UNESCO world heritage. In the [[Sint-Janskerk|St.
Ian church]] and [[Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk|Notre Dame church]] each, you can watch a painting from Pieter Paul Rubens.
The inhabitants's sobriquet is called the ''[[Maneblussers]]'' ("those who extinguish the moon").