Voor God en Geld. Gouden tijd van de Zuidelijke Nederlanden
[The birth of capitalism. The golden age of Flanders]
Seriously deserves a visit, if only (but obviously not only) for the cartographic exhibits: Ptolemy's atlas from 1486, the world map from La Mer des Histoires, Visscher's Leo Belgicus and Leo Hollandicus, a Plancius globe from 1590 and Vrients' panorama of Antwerp from 1610, to name but a few highlights.
Today’s world is the product of the late Middle Ages. In what is now called ‘Flanders’, a new man now enters the stage. A practical man, an enterprising man. A critical man, who is no longer satisfied with what the church and nobility wants him to believe. This enterprising man wants to see and believe things for himself. He wants to discover a world, create, produce and innovate. In order to become rich.
But where there’s money, sin is never far away. Greed, gluttony, lust and laziness stand between the enterprising man and his place in heaven. Yet, in a world where everything is for sale, one can also invest in the hereafter. The enterprising man exchanges gold for indulgences and relics, venerates images — and falls down. Yet the Eighty Years’ War was no more than a temporary obstacle, because the spirit of enterprise lives on triumphantly up until the present day.