Antwerp – port and diamond city
Antwerp is the cultural and economic metropolis of Flanders in Belgium according to dentistrymyth. As in the entire Belgian region, Dutch is spoken here, but French and German are also used by large parts of the population. With around 450,000 residents, it is the largest city in Flanders and in terms of area even the largest city in Belgium. The huge port is of outstanding importance for urban development and the current cityscape. It has always enabled intensive maritime trade and brought great economic wealth to the city on the Scheldt. Today Antwerp has the third largest container port in Europe – after Rotterdam and Hamburg. The port creates an almost maritime atmosphere and has led to the cosmopolitan, multicultural charm of the city, which is also reflected in the international cuisine.
Antwerp has a lively cultural scene and has developed into an important European center for fashion design. The presentations by Antwerp fashion designers attract the international fashion world to the city year after year. Numerous cafés and restaurants and a lively nightlife reflect the lively atmosphere in the city. In addition to the virtues of modern Antwerp, the evidence of its past is also remarkable. Numerous historical buildings have been preserved in the historic old town. Architectural masterpieces from the “Golden Age” in the 16th century, when trade across the Scheldt “washed” wealth into the city, can be admired here. The historic district is easy to explore on foot and consists of around 20 percent pedestrian zones.
The city’s artistic heritage is another attraction. Baroque master painters such as Peter Paul Rubens and Anthonis van Dyck lived and worked here, and their paintings can be admired in the city’s museums and churches. Today Antwerp has a very special position commercially. The city is traditionally the world’s most important trading center for diamonds – around 60% of the diamond trade is handled here.
Information that applies to the entire country, e.g. currency, entry requirements, health issues, etc., can be found under Belgium.
|Name in the local language||Antwerp
|Name in German||Antwerp|
|Location||Antwerp is located in the Belgian region of Flanders, on the right bank of the Scheldt,
almost 90 km from the North Sea estuary.
|Landmark of the city||Tower of the Cathedral of Our Lady|
|Function of the city||Capital of the Belgian province of Antwerp.
Most important port city in Belgium
|Population||Approx. 450,000 (in the actual city)
Approx. 950,000 (in the agglomeration)
|Ethnicities||Flemings and Belgians|
|Languages||Dutch (in Flemish dialects), French, German and Yiddish|
|Religions||Va Roman Catholic Christianity
The city also has the largest Jewish community in Europe.
|National currency||Euro (1 € = 100 cents)|
|Rivers||The city lies on the right bank of the Scheldt.|
|Tourist center||Toerisme Antwerp
Grote Markt 13Toerisme Provincie Antwerpen (TPA)
Koningin Elisabethlei 16
|Telephone code with country code||0032 – (0) 3 – subscriber number|
|Time||CET or CEST (Central European Summer Time) in summer|
|Mains voltage, frequency||230 volts and 50 hertz|
|Belgium license plate||B.|
Antwerp: features and events
Antwerp is the world capital of the diamond trade. Around 60 percent of the global trade in these gemstones takes place here. An entire neighborhood is known as the Diamond District. Numerous jewelry stores are lined up here and there are also four diamond exchanges. This district in the immediate vicinity of the train station is also called the Jewish Quarter, which refers to the history of Antwerp’s diamond trade. Because this was founded by Jewish traders who had settled in the city after the expulsions from Spain and Portugal in the 16th and 17th centuries. Even today, a large part of Antwerp’s diamond trade is determined by Jewish traders.
However, Indian traders are also increasingly pushing their way into the business.
Many of the smaller diamonds are now cut in India, so that the number of local grinding shops has shrunk from around 30,000 in the early 1990s to around 3,000 in 2015.
Second World War
During the Second World War, Antwerp was occupied by German troops. Hundreds of Antwerp Jews were deported and murdered, but the majority managed to save themselves. On September 4, 1944, the city was liberated by British troops. The city made efforts in the post-war period to bring the displaced Jews back into the city. Thousands followed this initiative, so that today Antwerp has the largest Jewish-Orthodox community in Europe.
Celebrations and events
June – Sinksenfoor
Over five weeks, an area in the south of the city is transformed into a great amusement festival. It is located between “Vlaamse Kaai” and “Waalse Kaai”.
July / August – De zomer van Antwerpen
In the “Summer of Antwerp”, numerous cultural events take place in various places in the city. In addition to concerts and theater, dance and film screenings, a night of museums is organized.
August – Jazz Middelheim
2007 the 25th annual jazz festival takes place. International jazz musicians appear on various stages in “Den Brandt Park” for several days.
August – Navigaytion
This gay and lesbian festival has been held in Antwerp since 2003. In the marina there is a lot of dancing and partying for one night.