Capital of the province of the same name, Antwerp is worth a trip! Strolling and sauntering around are on the agenda, but also, in addition, discovering and being surprised! Welcoming, lively and cosmopolitan, the flamboyant city of diamonds is nowadays one of the meccas of fashion and remains a very important international goods trading port.
The history of this city has been determined by its location on the banks of the Scheldt river. When, in the 15th century, the port of Bruges became silted up, it was Antwerp which positioned itself ahead in the trafficking of goods and created the first stock exchange in 1531. On another, more artistic note, the city took advantage of the presence of artists such as Rubens, Van Dyck or Jordaens in order to establish itself as a capital of figurative art until the middle of the 17th century. During this same period, several printers and craftsmen who manufactured the famous harpischords of Antwerp contributed to the influence of this city. The growth of Antwerp resumed with the colonisation of the Congo in the 19th century. The raw materials imported from Africa cracked the whip on the port trafficking and revived the whole city. Today, Antwerp distinguishes itself by the beauty of the site, the exceptional buildings such as the Town Hall, the fortified Steen Castle, the spectacular central train station, the masters’ houses around the Grote Markt (main square) and the beautiful, richly decorated churches. But the city has also always been a turning plate of international trade and its port is of major importance for Antwerp and its inhabitants who demonstrate, day after day, an exceptional energy in maintaining this dominant position. The numerous cafés, restaurants and taverns welcome a dynamic and young clientele. Invigorating and open, the city invites you to go window shopping, to experience its nightlife and to discover the Dutch language!