Antwerp is the capital of Antwerp province in the state of Flanders, Belgium. It is the most populous city in Belgium. Antwerp is on the River Scheldt, linked to the North Sea by the Westerschelde estuary. The Port of Antwerp is one of the biggest in the world, ranking second in Europe and within the top 20 globally.
The name Antwerpen has its own legend, which is still visible today. A fearsome giant called Druon Antigoon controlled a bend of the Scheldt, where he forced passing ship captains to pay a toll. Until one day, the Roman warrior Silvius Brabo killed the giant, chopped off his hand and threw it in the river. The place became known as hand werpen (hand throwing), which later became Antwerpen. Today, you can find little Antwerp hands all over the city: from De Koninck beer glasses, to chocolates and biscuits, to souvenir jewellery.
Antwerp is renowned for being the world's leading diamond city. You will find more diamonds in the Diamond Square Mile than anywhere in the rest of the world. And peppered all over the city there are dazzling shop windows full of attractive jewellery designs.
Due to its long and culturally rich history, Antwerp houses many interesting buildings from different historical periods. The Cathedral of Our Lady is the highest church spire in the Low Lands and is on the UNESCO World Heritage List, or the majestic Antwerp Central railway station is widely regarded as the finest example of railway architecture in Belgium.
Antwerp has a lot of fascinating museums. In addition to their top collections, they all have that little something extra: the Middelheim Museum is a park full of sculptures, in The Rubens House you walk through famous artist’s Pieter Paul Rubens’ house, Plantin-Moretus was the world’s first museum to feature on the World Heritage List, and so on.
Antwerp is also very well-known for its fashion. The fashion department of the Royal Academy is one of the world’s most influential. Great talents graduate from there, invariably starting their labels in the city. There even is a whole museum dedicated to it: the MoMu or ModeMuseum.
Belgium being the country of festivals, Antwerp hosts the Zomer van Antwerpen (Summer of Antwerp), a great festival that takes places during the whole summer in the whole city. A lot of cheap or free activities are being organized, such as dancing, theatre, performances, circus, movies in open air, and much more.
Everything in Antwerp is available within walking distance, or you can always hire an Antwerp City Bike to move around the city.
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