FIVE UN­DER­RATED ART CITIES

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - GERMANY -

Brus­sels

Weighed down by its im­age as a nugget of drab bu­reau­cracy, Brus­sels (visit. brus­sels) is a guardian of Flem­ish paint­ing – and the arc of ge­nius it drew be­tween the 15th and 17th cen­turies. The Royal Mu­se­ums of Fine Arts of Bel­gium (fin­earts-mu­seum.be) com­prise six in­sti­tu­tions, such as the Musée Old­mas­ters, where Rubens and Bruegel the El­der wait.

Genoa

Italy’s sixth­largest city (vis­itgenoa.it) was a key player in the Re­nais­sance, even if starry Florence still takes much of the credit. It un­der­lines this point in its el­e­gant palaces, and the paint­ings in them. The Palazzo Du­cale (palaz­zo­d­u­cale. gen­ova.it) is a grand show­case for tour­ing ex­hi­bi­tions; the Palazzo Rosso (mu­sei­digen­ova. it) of­fers Van Dyck and Dürer.

Za­greb

Croatia’s cap­i­tal (in­foza­greb.hr) is over­shad­owed by Split and Dubrovnik, but shines in its many gal­leries. Its Moderna Ga­ler­ija (mod­er­na­ga­ler­ija.hr) holds sculp­tures by Croa­t­ian artists of the 19th and 20th cen­turies; its su­perb Mu­seum of Con­tem­po­rary Art (msu.hr) takes a path into the 21st via works by the likes of Julije Knifer and Toso Dabac.

Cologne

Like Mu­nich, Cologne (koel­n­touris­mus. de) has one eye on Italy; it was Ro­man in ori­gin (founded in 50AD). Its Mu­seum Lud­wig (mu­seum- lud­wig.de), hid­den in the enor­mous shadow of its cathe­dral (the Dom) is a joy – in love with the 20th cen­tury through a col­lec­tion that flicks from Dali, Warhol and Pi­casso to Ger­man provo­ca­teur Martin Kip­pen­berger.

Palma

So much more than the bars and booze of Ma­galuf a taxi ride to the south-west, the cap­i­tal of Ma­jorca (seemal­lorca. com/palma) gleams as a Balearic en­clave of food and cul­ture. Its so­phis­ti­ca­tion is en­shrined in Es Balu­ard (es­balu­ard.org), a 16th-cen­tury fortress re­born as a ker­nel of art, where swirling mar­vels by Joan Miró and Miquel Barceló grace the walls.

Es Balu­ard, above; Palazzo Du­cale, be­low left; and Mu­seum Lud­wig, be­low

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