The former butchers’ guild council chamber is among the magnificent rooms of the late Gothic Butcher’s Hall (Vleeshuis). The spectacular brick structure, constructed in 1501-04, was purposefully placed next to the Scheldt to allow the blood of killed animals to drain into the river.
The Vleeshuis is currently a museum of applied art and archaeology containing collections of weapons and armor, coinage, ceramics, furniture, sculpture, and work in wood and stone from the prehistoric, Egyptian, Roman, and Merovingian periods.
One of its most cherished items is the Averbode Retable, a 16th-century representation of Saul’s conversion made from Antwerp tiles by Pieter Coecke van Aelst.
A great collection of musical instruments, including the magnificent harpsichord from the studio of instrument-makers Ruckers, can be found inside the Vleeshuis.