The major department stores and retail chains are housed in splendid historic mansions on the axis of the Central Station to the historic city centre. This traffic-free walking boulevard, the Meir, is therefore the most important commercial attraction of the city. The main eye-catcher with an historic room where the ornaments are covered with gold leaf, is the luxury shopping centre in the Stadsfeestzaal. After the great fire in 2000 the original event venue of 1908 now has a new use. A unique project combining living, shopping and leisure activities was developed. In the magnificent Royale Palace you can buy exclusive Belgian chocolates or take a break in the beautiful brasserie. A moment of relaxation in the house and garden pavilion of the Rubenshuis might be an even better idea. Continuing your walk to the Groenplaats, you cannot miss Antwerp’s first art deco skyscraper, the Boerentoren.