Antwerp is the real urban deal, a refreshingly down-to-earth yet vivacious cosmopolitan habitat blessed with magnificent architecture - most of which date from the 16th (the golden era of Antwerp) and the 17th century - fashionable shop fronts, beer-washed pubs, dazzling monuments, jazzed-up clubs, inspired artworks and restaurant tables piled with plates of superb Belgian and multicultural food. It is the second largest harbor of Europe (after Rotterdam).
Antwerp, Rubens’ art room and contemporary culture experience
Antwerp can rightfully pride itself on its rich , historic past with world famous artists such as Rubens, Van Dyck, Jordaens and Brueghel. Through the centuries the city has managed to develop a rich and unique, valuable cultural heritage. The city’s museums and historic churches are treasuries in which many of these riches are preserved and on diplay. Take time to stop and admire the cityscapes, the protected monuments and the various statues as well as the Madonnas and other saints that grace Antwerp’s streets.
Antwerp, diamond centre of the world
Antwerp World Diamond Centre is not just a slogan. “Antwerp quality” and “Antwerp cut” are international trade terms synonymous with perfect processing and flawless beauty. Antwerp has a long and magnificent tradition as a diamond city. Since the 15th Century the city has played an important role in the diamond trade and industry. After the port, the diamond industry is the second pillar of commercial activities. Some 1,500 diamond companies are concentrated in the city centre. In less than one square kilometre, nearby Central Station, more than half of all cut diamonds pass through a network of diamond cutting shops, diamond bourses and selling centres. Of the 25 diamond exchanges worldwide, 4 operate in Antwerp. Elegant showrooms offer the visitor fascinating tours and the opportunity to visit interesting exhibitions.
Antwerp, maritime metropolis
Antwerp owes its very existence and its prosperity to the River Scheldt. Over the centuries the city and the port have expanded into a maritime metropolis. The Port of Antwerp is the second largest port in Europe, is one of the ten largest ports worldwide and also the most productive. A dense network of rivers and canals, road and railways ensures an easy connection to the European hinterland.
Antwerp, city of fashion makers
As a fashion city Antwerp owes its reputation to the pioneers of the fashion movement, the so-called 'Antwerp Six': Walter Van Beirendonck, Ann Demeulemeester, Dries Van Noten, Dirk Van Saene, Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee travelled to London and Paris together in the Eighties as well as Martin Margiela (the seventh). Together they conquered the fashion world with their very distinct vision of fashion. In the wake of this inspirational movement a new generation of designers entered the field in the Nineties. Many famous designers who have studied in Antwerp still have an atelier, showroom or store in Antwerp.