OUR GUIDED TOURS IN ANTWERP
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Antwerp is the center for diamonds and fashion in Belgium. It is the second city of the Kingdom, located 50km north from Brussels.
It is known worldwide for the cut of the diamond. Antwerpen, the city name which derives from handwerpen (literally: throwing hand) comes from the legend of Silvio Brabo, in which a Roman centurion called Antigon defeats a giant, cut off his hand and threw it in the river Scheldt.
Antwerp is located on the banks of the river Scheldt. It was a small frontier town of the German Empire. It begon to grow after the war of the eighty-five years, becoming the most important city of the Seventeen Provinces of the Netherlands, with a population of one hundred fifty thousand inhabitants during the end fifteenth century and the first half of the sixteenth century.
The city's history is marked by its location on the river Scheldt.
By becoming one of the major cities of Europe, in 1531, the first Antwerp Stock Exchange was founded, as we know it today, thanks to the trade routes to be born in India and America. Antwerp was a major cultural center, with a huge influence of important artists from northern Europe in the sixteenth century.
In the second half of the sixteenth century, Antwerp was the theater of war between the Protestants in Northern Europe and the Counter-Spanish and as a result the city was destroyed and ruined. During the seventeenth century, the city witnessed the success of one of the most important artists of the Baroque style of Peter Paul Rubens and some of his most illustrious Anton Van Dyck, David Teniers, among others.
In the eighteenth century, Napoleon Bonaparte saw in Antwerp the possibility to eliminate of one of its major enemy troops, the English. Bonaparte was installed in the city and would reopen and modernize the port.
With the independence of Belgium in 1830, the Dutch would bring a great prosperity to the Kingdom. King Leopold II, contributed greatly to the growth of the port, which is today one of the largest in Europe.
Today, Antwerp is a great city of fashion and economy in Belgium. Its rich history has been of great importance.