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This article is about the Flemish city. Antwerp_sentence_0

For the province, see Antwerp (province). Antwerp_sentence_1

For other uses, see Antwerp (disambiguation). Antwerp_sentence_2

"Anvers" redirects here. Antwerp_sentence_3

For the station on Paris Métro Line 2, see Anvers (Paris Métro). Antwerp_sentence_4

For the island off the Antarctic coast, see Anvers Island. Antwerp_sentence_5




CountryAntwerp_header_cell_0_1_0 BelgiumAntwerp_cell_0_1_1
CommunityAntwerp_header_cell_0_2_0 Flemish CommunityAntwerp_cell_0_2_1
RegionAntwerp_header_cell_0_3_0 Flemish RegionAntwerp_cell_0_3_1
ProvinceAntwerp_header_cell_0_4_0 AntwerpAntwerp_cell_0_4_1
ArrondissementAntwerp_header_cell_0_5_0 AntwerpAntwerp_cell_0_5_1
Mayor (list)Antwerp_header_cell_0_7_0 Bart De Wever (N-VA)Antwerp_cell_0_7_1
Governing party/iesAntwerp_header_cell_0_8_0 Antwerp_cell_0_8_1
TotalAntwerp_header_cell_0_10_0 204.51 km (78.96 sq mi)Antwerp_cell_0_10_1
Population (2018-01-01)Antwerp_header_cell_0_11_0
TotalAntwerp_header_cell_0_12_0 523,248Antwerp_cell_0_12_1
DensityAntwerp_header_cell_0_13_0 2,600/km (6,600/sq mi)Antwerp_cell_0_13_1
Demonym(s)Antwerp_header_cell_0_14_0 Antwerpenaar (m) Antwerpse (f) (Dutch)Antwerp_cell_0_14_1
Postal codesAntwerp_header_cell_0_15_0 2000–2660Antwerp_cell_0_15_1
Area codesAntwerp_header_cell_0_16_0 03Antwerp_cell_0_16_1
WebsiteAntwerp_header_cell_0_17_0 Antwerp_cell_0_17_1

Antwerp (/ˈæntwɜːrp/ (listen); Dutch: Antwerpen [ˈɑntʋɛrpə(n) (listen); French: Anvers [ɑ̃vɛʁs (listen)) is a city in Belgium and the capital of Antwerp province in the Flemish Region. Antwerp_sentence_6

With a population of 520,504, it is the most populous city proper in Belgium, and with a metropolitan population of around 1,200,000 people, it is the second-largest metropolitan region after Brussels. Antwerp_sentence_7

Antwerp is on the River Scheldt, linked to the North Sea by the river's Westerschelde estuary. Antwerp_sentence_8

It is about 40 kilometres (25 mi) north of Brussels, and about 15 kilometres (9 mi) south of the Dutch border. Antwerp_sentence_9

The Port of Antwerp is one of the biggest in the world, ranking second in Europe and within the top 20 globally. Antwerp_sentence_10

The city is also known for its diamond industry and trade. Antwerp_sentence_11

In 2020, the Globalization and World Cities Research Network rated Antwerp as a Gamma + level Global City. Antwerp_sentence_12

Both economically and culturally, Antwerp is and has long been an important city in the Low Countries, especially before and during the Spanish Fury (1576) and throughout and after the subsequent Dutch Revolt. Antwerp_sentence_13

The Bourse of Antwerp, originally built in 1531 and re-built in 1872, was the world's first purpose-built commodity exchange. Antwerp_sentence_14

It was founded before stocks and shares existed, so was not strictly a stock exchange. Antwerp_sentence_15

The inhabitants of Antwerp are nicknamed Sinjoren (Dutch pronunciation: [sɪɲˈjoːrə(n)), after the Spanish honorific señor or French seigneur, "lord", referring to the Spanish noblemen who ruled the city in the 17th century. Antwerp_sentence_16

The city hosted the 1920 Summer Olympics. Antwerp_sentence_17

History Antwerp_section_0

See also: Timeline of Antwerp Antwerp_sentence_18

Origin of the name Antwerp_section_1

Early recorded versions of the name include Ando Verpia on Roman coins found in the city centre, Germanic Andhunerbo from around the time Austrasia became a separate kingdom (that is, about 567 CE), and (possibly originally Celtic) Andoverpis in Dado's Life of St. Antwerp_sentence_19 Eligius (Vita Eligii) from about 700 CE. Antwerp_sentence_20

The form Antverpia is New Latin. Antwerp_sentence_21

A Germanic (Frankish or Frisian) origin could contain prefix anda ("against") and a noun derived from the verb werpen ("to throw") and denote, for example: land thrown up at the riverbank; an alluvial deposit; a mound (like a terp) thrown up (as a defence) against (something or someone); or a wharf. Antwerp_sentence_22

If Andoverpis is Celtic in origin, it could mean "those who live on both banks". Antwerp_sentence_23

There is a folklore tradition that the name Antwerpen is from Dutch handwerpen ("hand-throwing"). Antwerp_sentence_24

A giant called Antigoon is said to have lived near the Scheldt river. Antwerp_sentence_25

He extracted a toll from passing boatmen, severed the hand of anyone who did not pay, and threw it in the river. Antwerp_sentence_26

Eventually the giant was killed by a young hero named Silvius Brabo, who cut off the giant's own hand and flung it into the river. Antwerp_sentence_27

This is unlikely to be the true origin, but it is celebrated by a statue (illustrated further below) in the city's main market square, the Grote Markt. Antwerp_sentence_28

Pre-1500 Antwerp_section_2

Historical Antwerp allegedly had its origins in a Gallo-Roman vicus. Antwerp_sentence_29

Excavations carried out in the oldest section near the Scheldt, 1952–1961 (ref. Antwerp_sentence_30

Princeton), produced pottery shards and fragments of glass from mid-2nd century to the end of the 3rd century. Antwerp_sentence_31

The earliest mention of Antwerp dates from the 4th century. Antwerp_sentence_32

In the 4th century, Antwerp was first named, having been settled by the Germanic Franks. Antwerp_sentence_33

The Merovingian Antwerp was evangelized by Saint Amand in the 7th century. Antwerp_sentence_34

At the end of the 10th century, the Scheldt became the boundary of the Holy Roman Empire. Antwerp_sentence_35

Antwerp became a margraviate in 980, by the German emperor Otto II, a border province facing the County of Flanders. Antwerp_sentence_36

In the 11th century, the best-known leader of the First Crusade (1096–1099), Godfrey of Bouillon, was originally Margrave of Antwerp, from 1076 until his death in 1100, though he was later also Duke of Lower Lorraine (1087–1100) and Defender of the Holy Sepulchre (1099–1100). Antwerp_sentence_37

In the 12th century, Norbert of Xanten established a community of his Premonstratensian canons at St. Antwerp_sentence_38 Michael's Abbey at Caloes. Antwerp_sentence_39

Antwerp was also the headquarters of Edward III during his early negotiations with Jacob van Artevelde, and his son Lionel, the Duke of Clarence, was born there in 1338. Antwerp_sentence_40

16th century Antwerp_section_3

After the silting-up of the Zwin and the consequent decline of Bruges, the city of Antwerp, then part of the Duchy of Brabant, grew in importance. Antwerp_sentence_41

At the end of the 15th century the foreign trading houses were transferred from Bruges to Antwerp, and the building assigned to the association of English merchants active in the city is specifically mentioned in 1510. Antwerp_sentence_42

Antwerp became the sugar capital of Europe, importing the raw commodity from Portuguese and Spanish plantations on both sides of the Atlantic, where it was grown by a mixture of free and forced labour, increasingly enslaved Africans as the century progressed. Antwerp_sentence_43

The city attracted Italian and German sugar refiners by 1550, and shipped their refined product to Germany, especially Cologne. Antwerp_sentence_44

Moneylenders and financiers developed a large business lending money all over Europe including the English government in 1544–1574. Antwerp_sentence_45

London bankers were too small to operate on that scale, and Antwerp had a highly efficient bourse that itself attracted rich bankers from around Europe. Antwerp_sentence_46

After the 1570s, the city's banking business declined: England ended its borrowing in Antwerp in 1574. Antwerp_sentence_47

Fernand Braudel states that Antwerp became "the centre of the entire international economy, something Bruges had never been even at its height." Antwerp_sentence_48

Antwerp was the richest city in Europe at this time. Antwerp_sentence_49

Antwerp's Golden Age is tightly linked to the "Age of Exploration". Antwerp_sentence_50

During the first half of the 16th century Antwerp grew to become the second-largest European city north of the Alps. Antwerp_sentence_51

Many foreign merchants were resident in the city. Antwerp_sentence_52

Francesco Guicciardini, the Florentine envoy, stated that hundreds of ships would pass in a day, and 2,000 carts entered the city each week. Antwerp_sentence_53

Portuguese ships laden with pepper and cinnamon would unload their cargo. Antwerp_sentence_54

According to Luc-Normand Tellier "It is estimated that the port of Antwerp was earning the Spanish crown seven times more revenues than the Spanish colonization of the Americas". Antwerp_sentence_55

Without a long-distance merchant fleet, and governed by an oligarchy of banker-aristocrats forbidden to engage in trade, the economy of Antwerp was foreigner-controlled, which made the city very cosmopolitan, with merchants and traders from Venetian Republic, Republic of Genoa, Republic of Ragusa, Spain and Portugal. Antwerp_sentence_56

Antwerp had a policy of toleration, which attracted a large crypto-Jewish community composed of migrants from Spain and Portugal. Antwerp_sentence_57

By 1504, the Portuguese had established Antwerp as one of their main shipping bases, bringing in spices from Asia and trading them for textiles and metal goods. Antwerp_sentence_58

The city's trade expanded to include cloth from England, Italy and Germany, wines from Germany, France and Spain, salt from France, and wheat from the Baltic. Antwerp_sentence_59

The city's skilled workers processed soap, fish, sugar, and especially cloth. Antwerp_sentence_60

Banks helped finance the trade, the merchants, and the manufacturers. Antwerp_sentence_61

The city was a cosmopolitan center; its bourse opened in 1531, "To the merchants of all nations." Antwerp_sentence_62

Antwerp experienced three booms during its golden age: the first based on the pepper market, a second launched by American silver coming from Seville (ending with the bankruptcy of Spain in 1557), and a third boom, after the stabilising Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis in 1559, based on the textiles industry. Antwerp_sentence_63

At the beginning of the 16th century Antwerp accounted for 40% of world trade. Antwerp_sentence_64

The boom-and-bust cycles and inflationary cost-of-living squeezed less-skilled workers. Antwerp_sentence_65

In the century after 1541, the city's economy and population declined dramatically The Portuguese merchants left in 1549, and there was much less trade in English cloth. Antwerp_sentence_66

Numerous financial bankruptcies began around 1557. Antwerp_sentence_67

Amsterdam replaced Antwerp as the major trading center for the region. Antwerp_sentence_68

Reformation era Antwerp_section_4

The religious revolution of the Reformation erupted in violent riots in August 1566, as in other parts of the Low Countries. Antwerp_sentence_69

The regent Margaret, Duchess of Parma, was swept aside when Philip II sent the Duke of Alba at the head of an army the following summer. Antwerp_sentence_70

When the Eighty Years' War broke out in 1568, commercial trading between Antwerp and the Spanish port of Bilbao collapsed and became impossible. Antwerp_sentence_71

On 4 November 1576, Spanish soldiers sacked the city during the so-called Spanish Fury: 7,000 citizens were massacred, 800 houses were burnt down, and over £2 million sterling of damage was done. Antwerp_sentence_72

Dutch revolt Antwerp_section_5

Subsequently, the city joined the Union of Utrecht in 1579 and became the capital of the Dutch Revolt. Antwerp_sentence_73

In 1585, Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza, captured it after a long siege and as part of the terms of surrender its Protestant citizens were given two years to settle their affairs before quitting the city. Antwerp_sentence_74

Most went to the United Provinces in the north, starting the Dutch Golden Age. Antwerp_sentence_75

Antwerp's banking was controlled for a generation by Genoa, and Amsterdam became the new trading centre. Antwerp_sentence_76

17th–19th centuries Antwerp_section_6

The recognition of the independence of the United Provinces by the Treaty of Münster in 1648 stipulated that the Scheldt should be closed to navigation, which destroyed Antwerp's trading activities. Antwerp_sentence_77

This impediment remained in force until 1863, although the provisions were relaxed during French rule from 1795 to 1814, and also during the time Belgium formed part of the Kingdom of the United Netherlands (1815 to 1830). Antwerp_sentence_78

Antwerp had reached the lowest point in its fortunes in 1800, and its population had sunk to under 40,000, when Napoleon, realizing its strategic importance, assigned funds to enlarge the harbour by constructing a new dock (still named the Bonaparte Dock) and an access- lock and mole and deepening the Scheldt to allow for larger ships to approach Antwerp. Antwerp_sentence_79

Napoleon hoped that by making Antwerp's harbour the finest in Europe he would be able to counter the Port of London and hamper British growth. Antwerp_sentence_80

However, he was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo before he could see the plan through. Antwerp_sentence_81

In 1830, the city was captured by the Belgian insurgents, but the citadel continued to be held by a Dutch garrison under General David Hendrik Chassé. Antwerp_sentence_82

For a time Chassé subjected the town to periodic bombardment which inflicted much damage, and at the end of 1832 the citadel itself was besieged by the French Northern Army commanded by Marechal Gerard. Antwerp_sentence_83

During this attack the town was further damaged. Antwerp_sentence_84

In December 1832, after a gallant defence, Chassé made an honourable surrender, ending the Siege of Antwerp (1832). Antwerp_sentence_85

Later that century, a double ring of Brialmont Fortresses was constructed some 10 km (6 mi) from the city centre, as Antwerp was considered vital for the survival of the young Belgian state. Antwerp_sentence_86

And in 1894 Antwerp presented itself to the world via a World's Fair attended by 3 million. Antwerp_sentence_87

20th century Antwerp_section_7

Antwerp was the first city to host the World Gymnastics Championships, in 1903. Antwerp_sentence_88

During World War I, the city became the fallback point of the Belgian Army after the defeat at Liège. Antwerp_sentence_89

The Siege of Antwerp lasted for 11 days, but the city was taken after heavy fighting by the German Army, and the Belgians were forced to retreat westwards. Antwerp_sentence_90

Antwerp remained under German occupation until the Armistice. Antwerp_sentence_91

Antwerp hosted the 1920 Summer Olympics. Antwerp_sentence_92

During World War II, the city was an important strategic target because of its port. Antwerp_sentence_93

It was occupied by Germany in May 1940 and liberated by the British 11th Armoured Division on 4 September 1944. Antwerp_sentence_94

After this, the Germans attempted to destroy the Port of Antwerp, which was used by the Allies to bring new material ashore. Antwerp_sentence_95

Thousands of Rheinbote, V-1 and V-2 missiles were fired (more V-2s than used on all other targets during the entire war combined), causing severe damage to the city but failed to destroy the port due to poor accuracy. Antwerp_sentence_96

After the war, Antwerp, which had already had a sizeable Jewish population before the war, once again became a major European centre of Haredi (and particularly Hasidic) Orthodox Judaism. Antwerp_sentence_97

A Ten-Year Plan for the port of Antwerp (1956–1965) expanded and modernized the port's infrastructure with national funding to build a set of canal docks. Antwerp_sentence_98

The broader aim was to facilitate the growth of the north-eastern Antwerp metropolitan region, which attracted new industry based on a flexible and strategic implementation of the project as a co-production between various authorities and private parties. Antwerp_sentence_99

The plan succeeded in extending the linear layout along the Scheldt river by connecting new satellite communities to the main strip. Antwerp_sentence_100

Starting in the 1990s, Antwerp rebranded itself as a world-class fashion centre. Antwerp_sentence_101

Emphasizing the avant-garde, it tried to compete with London, Milan, New York and Paris. Antwerp_sentence_102

It emerged from organized tourism and mega-cultural events. Antwerp_sentence_103

Municipality Antwerp_section_8

Main article: Districts of Antwerp Antwerp_sentence_104

The municipality comprises the city of Antwerp proper and several towns. Antwerp_sentence_105

It is divided into nine entities (districts): Antwerp_sentence_106


  1. AntwerpAntwerp_item_0_0
  2. BerchemAntwerp_item_0_1
  3. Berendrecht-Zandvliet-LilloAntwerp_item_0_2
  4. BorgerhoutAntwerp_item_0_3
  5. DeurneAntwerp_item_0_4
  6. EkerenAntwerp_item_0_5
  7. HobokenAntwerp_item_0_6
  8. MerksemAntwerp_item_0_7
  9. WilrijkAntwerp_item_0_8

In 1958, in preparation of the 10-year development plan for the Port of Antwerp, the municipalities of Berendrecht-Zandvliet-Lillo were integrated into the city territory and lost their administrative independence. Antwerp_sentence_107

During the 1983 merger of municipalities, conducted by the Belgian government as an administrative simplification, the municipalities of Berchem, Borgerhout, Deurne, Ekeren, Hoboken, Merksem and Wilrijk were merged into the city. Antwerp_sentence_108

At that time the city was also divided into the districts mentioned above. Antwerp_sentence_109

Simultaneously, districts received an appointed district council; later district councils became elected bodies. Antwerp_sentence_110

Buildings and landmarks Antwerp_section_9

In the 16th century, Antwerp was noted for the wealth of its citizens ("Antwerpia nummis"). Antwerp_sentence_111

The houses of these wealthy merchants and manufacturers have been preserved throughout the city. Antwerp_sentence_112

However, fire has destroyed several old buildings, such as the house of the Hanseatic League on the northern quays, in 1891. Antwerp_sentence_113

During World War II, the city also suffered considerable damage from V-bombs, and in recent years, other noteworthy buildings have been demolished for new developments. Antwerp_sentence_114


Fortifications Antwerp_section_10

Main article: Fortifications of Antwerp Antwerp_sentence_115

Although Antwerp was formerly a fortified city, hardly anything remains of the former enceinte, only some remains of the city wall can be seen near the Vleeshuis museum at the corner of Bloedberg and Burchtgracht. Antwerp_sentence_116

A replica of a castle named Steen has been partly rebuilt near the Scheldt-quais in the 19th century. Antwerp_sentence_117

Antwerp's development as a fortified city is documented between the 10th and the 20th century. Antwerp_sentence_118

The fortifications were developed in different phases: Antwerp_sentence_119


  • 10th century: fortification of the wharf with a wall and a ditchAntwerp_item_2_32
  • 12th and 13th century: canals (so called "vlieten" and "ruien") were madeAntwerp_item_2_33
  • 16th century: Spanish fortificationsAntwerp_item_2_34
  • 19th century: double ring of Brialmont forts around the city, dismantling of the Spanish fortificationsAntwerp_item_2_35
  • 20th century: 1960 dismantling of the inner ring of forts, decommissioning of the outer ring of fortsAntwerp_item_2_36

Demographics Antwerp_section_11

Historical population Antwerp_section_12

This is the population of the city of Antwerp only, not of the larger current municipality of the same name. Antwerp_sentence_120

Minorities Antwerp_section_13



(by citizenship)Antwerp_cell_1_0_0

Population – 2020

(all districts)Antwerp_cell_1_0_1

BelgiumAntwerp_cell_1_1_0 415,747Antwerp_cell_1_1_1
NetherlandsAntwerp_cell_1_2_0 20,103Antwerp_cell_1_2_1
MoroccoAntwerp_cell_1_3_0 11,780Antwerp_cell_1_3_1
PolandAntwerp_cell_1_4_0 8,387Antwerp_cell_1_4_1
SpainAntwerp_cell_1_5_0 6,221Antwerp_cell_1_5_1
AfghanistanAntwerp_cell_1_6_0 4,539Antwerp_cell_1_6_1
BulgariaAntwerp_cell_1_7_0 4,376Antwerp_cell_1_7_1
TurkeyAntwerp_cell_1_8_0 4,360Antwerp_cell_1_8_1
RomaniaAntwerp_cell_1_9_0 4,131Antwerp_cell_1_9_1
IraqAntwerp_cell_1_10_0 3,082Antwerp_cell_1_10_1
PortugalAntwerp_cell_1_11_0 3,043Antwerp_cell_1_11_1
SyriaAntwerp_cell_1_12_0 2,894Antwerp_cell_1_12_1
IndiaAntwerp_cell_1_13_0 2,389Antwerp_cell_1_13_1
AlgeriaAntwerp_cell_1_14_0 2,364Antwerp_cell_1_14_1
ItalyAntwerp_cell_1_15_0 2,322Antwerp_cell_1_15_1
FranceAntwerp_cell_1_16_0 2,017Antwerp_cell_1_16_1
OthersAntwerp_cell_1_17_0 34,659Antwerp_cell_1_17_1

In 2010, 36% to 39% of the inhabitants of Antwerp had a migrant background. Antwerp_sentence_121

A study projects that in 2020, 55% of the population will be of migrant background. Antwerp_sentence_122

Jewish community Antwerp_section_14

Main article: Jewish Community of Antwerp Antwerp_sentence_123

After The Holocaust and the murder of its many Jews, Antwerp became a major centre for Orthodox Jews. Antwerp_sentence_124

At present, about 15,000 Haredi Jews, many of them Hasidic, live in Antwerp. Antwerp_sentence_125

The city has three official Jewish Congregations: Shomrei Hadass, headed by Rabbi Dovid Moishe Lieberman, Machsike Hadass, headed by Rabbi Aron Schiff (formerly by Chief Rabbi Chaim Kreiswirth) and the Portuguese Community Ben Moshe. Antwerp_sentence_126

Antwerp has an extensive network of synagogues, shops, schools and organizations. Antwerp_sentence_127

Significant Hasidic movements in Antwerp include Pshevorsk, based in Antwerp, as well as branches of Satmar, Belz, Bobov, Ger, Skver, Klausenburg, Vizhnitz and several others. Antwerp_sentence_128

Rabbi Chaim Kreiswirth, chief rabbi of the Machsike Hadas community, who died in 2001, was arguably one of the better known personalities to have been based in Antwerp. Antwerp_sentence_129

An attempt to have a street named after him has received the support of the Town Hall and is in the process of being implemented. Antwerp_sentence_130

Jain community Antwerp_section_15

Main article: Jainism in Belgium Antwerp_sentence_131

The Jains in Belgium are estimated to be around about 1,500 people. Antwerp_sentence_132

The majority live in Antwerp, mostly involved in the very lucrative diamond business. Antwerp_sentence_133

Belgian Indian Jains control two-thirds of the rough diamonds trade and supplied India with roughly 36% of their rough diamonds. Antwerp_sentence_134

A major temple, with a cultural centre, has been built in Antwerp (Wilrijk). Antwerp_sentence_135

Mr Ramesh Mehta, a Jain, is a full-fledged member of the Belgian Council of Religious Leaders, put up on 17 December 2009. Antwerp_sentence_136

Armenian community Antwerp_section_16

Main article: Armenians in Belgium Antwerp_sentence_137

There are significant Armenian communities that reside in Antwerp, many of them are descendants of traders who settled during the 19th century. Antwerp_sentence_138

Most Armenian Belgians are adherents of the Armenian Apostolic Church, with a smaller numbers are adherents of the Armenian Catholic Church and Armenian Evangelical Church. Antwerp_sentence_139

One of the important sectors that Armenian communities in Antwerp excel and involved in is the diamond trade business, that based primarily in the diamond district. Antwerp_sentence_140

Some of the famous Armenian families involved in the diamond business in the city are the Artinians, Arslanians, Aslanians, Barsamians and the Osganians. Antwerp_sentence_141

Economy Antwerp_section_17

Port Antwerp_section_18

According to the American Association of Port Authorities, the port of Antwerp was the seventeenth largest (by tonnage) port in the world in 2005 and second only to Rotterdam in Europe. Antwerp_sentence_142

It handled 235.2 million tons of cargo in 2018. Antwerp_sentence_143

Importantly it handles high volumes of economically attractive general and project cargo, as well as bulk cargo. Antwerp_sentence_144

Antwerp's docklands, with five oil refineries, are home to a massive concentration of petrochemical industries, second only to the petrochemical cluster in Houston, Texas. Antwerp_sentence_145

Electricity generation is also an important activity, with four nuclear power plants at Doel, a conventional power station in Kallo, as well as several smaller combined cycle plants. Antwerp_sentence_146

There is a wind farm in the northern part of the port area. Antwerp_sentence_147

There are plans to extend this in the period 2014–2020. Antwerp_sentence_148

The old Belgian bluestone quays bordering the Scheldt for a distance of 5.6 km (3.5 mi) to the north and south of the city centre have been retained for their sentimental value and are used mainly by cruise ships and short sea shipping. Antwerp_sentence_149

Diamonds Antwerp_section_19

Antwerp's other great mainstay is the diamond trade that takes place largely within the diamond district. Antwerp_sentence_150

85 percent of the world's rough diamonds pass through the district annually, and in 2011 turnover in the industry was $56 billion. Antwerp_sentence_151

The city has four diamond bourses: the Diamond Club of Antwerp, the Beurs voor Diamanthandel, the Antwerpsche Diamantkring and the Vrije Diamanthandel. Antwerp_sentence_152

Antwerp's history in the diamond trade dates back to as early as the sixteenth century, with the first diamond cutters guild being introduced in 1584. Antwerp_sentence_153

The industry never disappeared from Antwerp, and even experienced a second boom in the early twentieth century. Antwerp_sentence_154

By the year 1924, Antwerp had over 13,000 diamond finishers. Antwerp_sentence_155

Since World War II families of the large Hasidic Jewish community have dominated Antwerp's diamond trading industry, although the last two decades have seen Indian and Maronite Christian from Lebanon and Armenian, traders become increasingly important. Antwerp_sentence_156

, (AWDC) the successor to the Hoge Raad voor Diamant, plays an important role in setting standards, regulating professional ethics, training and promoting the interests of Antwerp as the capital of the diamond industry. Antwerp_sentence_157

However, in recent years Antwerp has seen a downturn in the diamond business, with the industry shifting to cheaper labor markets such as Dubai or India. Antwerp_sentence_158

Transportation Antwerp_section_20

Road Antwerp_section_21

A six-lane motorway bypass encircles much of the city centre and runs through the urban residential area of Antwerp. Antwerp_sentence_159

Known locally as the "Ring" it offers motorway connections to Brussels, Hasselt and Liège, Ghent, Lille and Bruges and Breda and Bergen op Zoom (Netherlands). Antwerp_sentence_160

The banks of the Scheldt are linked by three road tunnels (in order of construction): the Waasland Tunnel (1934), the Kennedy Tunnel (1967) and the Liefkenshoek Tunnel (1991). Antwerp_sentence_161

Daily congestion on the Ring led to a fourth high-volume highway link called the "Oosterweelconnection" being proposed. Antwerp_sentence_162

It would have entailed the construction of a long viaduct and bridge (the Lange Wapper) over the docks on the north side of the city in combination with the widening of the existing motorway into a 14-lane motorway; these plans were eventually rejected in a 2009 public referendum. Antwerp_sentence_163

In September 2010 the Flemish Government decided to replace the bridge by a series of tunnels. Antwerp_sentence_164

There are ideas to cover the Ring in a similar way as happened around Paris, Hamburg, Madrid and other cities. Antwerp_sentence_165

This would reconnect the city with its suburbs and would provide development opportunities to accommodate part of the foreseen population growth in Antwerp which currently are not possible because of the pollution and noise generated by the traffic on the Ring. Antwerp_sentence_166

An old plan to build an R2 outer ring road outside the built up urban area around the Antwerp agglomeration for port related traffic and transit traffic never materialized. Antwerp_sentence_167

Rail Antwerp_section_22

Antwerp is the focus of lines to the north to Essen and the Netherlands, east to Turnhout, south to Mechelen, Brussels and Charleroi, and southwest to Ghent and Ostend. Antwerp_sentence_168

It is served by international trains to Amsterdam and Paris, and national trains to Ghent, Bruges, Ostend, Brussels, Charleroi, Hasselt, Liège, Leuven and Turnhout. Antwerp_sentence_169

Antwerp Central station is an architectural monument in itself, and is mentioned in W G Sebald's haunting novel Austerlitz. Antwerp_sentence_170

Prior to the completion in 2007 of a tunnel that runs northwards under the city centre to emerge at the old Antwerp Dam station, Central was a terminus. Antwerp_sentence_171

Trains from Brussels to the Netherlands had to either reverse at Central or call only at Berchem station, 2 kilometres (1 mile) to the south, and then describe a semicircle to the east, round the Singel. Antwerp_sentence_172

Now, they call at the new lower level of the station before continuing in the same direction. Antwerp_sentence_173

Antwerp is also home to Antwerpen-Noord, the largest classification yard for freight in Belgium and second largest in Europe. Antwerp_sentence_174

The majority of freight trains in Belgium depart from or arrive here. Antwerp_sentence_175

It has two classification humps and over a hundred tracks. Antwerp_sentence_176

Public transportation Antwerp_section_23

The city has a web of tram and bus lines operated by De Lijn and providing access to the city centre, suburbs and the Left Bank. Antwerp_sentence_177

The tram network has 12 lines, of which the underground section is called the "premetro" and includes a tunnel under the river. Antwerp_sentence_178

The Franklin Rooseveltplaats functions as the city's main hub for local and regional bus lines. Antwerp_sentence_179

Air Antwerp_section_24

A small airport, Antwerp International Airport, is located in the district of Deurne, with passenger service to various European destinations. Antwerp_sentence_180

A bus service connects the airport to the city centre. Antwerp_sentence_181

The now defunct VLM Airlines had its head office on the grounds of Antwerp International Airport. Antwerp_sentence_182

This office is also CityJet's Antwerp office. Antwerp_sentence_183

When VG Airlines (Delsey Airlines) existed, its head office was located in the district of Merksem. Antwerp_sentence_184

Belgium's major international airport, Brussels Airport, is about 45 kilometres (28 miles) from the city of Antwerp, and connects the city worldwide. Antwerp_sentence_185

It is connected to the city centre by bus, and also by train. Antwerp_sentence_186

The new Diabolo rail connection provides a direct fast train connection between Antwerp and Brussels Airport as of the summer of 2012. Antwerp_sentence_187

There is also a direct rail service between Antwerp (calling at Central and Berchem stations) and Charleroi South station, with a connecting buslink to Brussels South Charleroi Airport, which runs twice every hour on working days. Antwerp_sentence_188

The runway has increased in length, and there is now direct connectivity to Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and Greece from the city of Antwerp. Antwerp_sentence_189

In September 2019 Air Antwerp began operations with their first route to London City Airport with old VLM Airlines Fokker 50's. Antwerp_sentence_190

Politics Antwerp_section_25

City council Antwerp_section_26

The current city council was elected in the October 2018 elections. Antwerp_sentence_191

The current majority consists of N-VA, sp.a and Open Vld, led by mayor Bart De Wever (N-VA). Antwerp_sentence_192


PartyAntwerp_header_cell_2_0_0 SeatsAntwerp_header_cell_2_0_2
Antwerp_cell_2_1_0 New Flemish Alliance (N-VA)Antwerp_cell_2_1_1 23Antwerp_cell_2_1_2
Antwerp_cell_2_2_0 GreenAntwerp_cell_2_2_1 11Antwerp_cell_2_2_2
Antwerp_cell_2_3_0 Socialist Party Differently (sp.a)Antwerp_cell_2_3_1 6Antwerp_cell_2_3_2
Antwerp_cell_2_4_0 Flemish InterestAntwerp_cell_2_4_1 6Antwerp_cell_2_4_2
Antwerp_cell_2_5_0 Christian Democratic and Flemish (CD&V)Antwerp_cell_2_5_1 3Antwerp_cell_2_5_2
Antwerp_cell_2_6_0 Workers' Party of Belgium (PVDA)Antwerp_cell_2_6_1 4Antwerp_cell_2_6_2
Antwerp_cell_2_7_0 Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats (Open Vld)Antwerp_cell_2_7_1 2Antwerp_cell_2_7_2
TotalAntwerp_header_cell_2_8_0 55Antwerp_header_cell_2_8_2

Former mayors Antwerp_section_27

Main article: List of mayors of Antwerp Antwerp_sentence_193

In the 16th and 17th century important mayors include Philips of Marnix, Lord of Saint-Aldegonde, Anthony van Stralen, Lord of Merksem and Nicolaas II Rockox. Antwerp_sentence_194

In the early years after Belgian independence, Antwerp was governed by Catholic-Unionist mayors. Antwerp_sentence_195

Between 1848 and 1921, all mayors were from the Liberal Party (except for the so-called Meeting-intermezzo between 1863 and 1872). Antwerp_sentence_196

Between 1921 and 1932, the city had a Catholic mayor again: Frans Van Cauwelaert. Antwerp_sentence_197

From 1932 onwards and up until 2013, all mayors belonged to the Social Democrat party: Camille Huysmans, Lode Craeybeckx, Frans Detiège and Mathilde Schroyens, and after the municipality fusion: Bob Cools, Leona Detiège en Patrick Janssens. Antwerp_sentence_198

Since 2013, the mayor is the Flemish nationalist Bart De Wever, belonging to the Flemish separatist party N-VA (New Flemish Alliance). Antwerp_sentence_199

Climate Antwerp_section_28

Antwerp has an oceanic climate (Köppen: Cfb) similar to that of Southern England, while being far enough inland to build up summer warmth above 23 °C (73 °F) average highs for both July and August. Antwerp_sentence_200

Winters are more dominated by the maritime currents instead, with temps being heavily moderated. Antwerp_sentence_201

Culture Antwerp_section_29

Antwerp had an artistic reputation in the 17th century, based on its school of painting, which included Rubens, Van Dyck, Jordaens, the Teniers and many others. Antwerp_sentence_202

Informally, most Antverpians (in Dutch Antwerpenaren, people from Antwerp) speak Antverpian daily (in Dutch Antwerps), a dialect that Dutch-speakers know as distinctive from other Brabantic dialects for its characteristic pronunciation of vowels: an 'aw' sound approximately like that in 'bore' is used for one of its long 'a'-sounds while other short 'a's are very sharp like the 'a' in 'hat'. Antwerp_sentence_203

The Echt Antwaarps Teater ("Authentic Antverpian Theatre") brings the dialect on stage. Antwerp_sentence_204

Fashion Antwerp_section_30

Antwerp is a rising fashion city, and has produced designers such as the Antwerp Six. Antwerp_sentence_205

The city has a cult status in the fashion world, due to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, one of the most important fashion academies in the world. Antwerp_sentence_206

It has served as the learning centre for many Belgian fashion designers. Antwerp_sentence_207

Since the 1980s, several graduates of the Belgian Royal Academy of Fine Arts have become internationally successful fashion designers in Antwerp. Antwerp_sentence_208

The city has had a huge influence on other Belgian fashion designers such as Raf Simons, Veronique Branquinho, Olivier Theyskens and Kris Van Assche. Antwerp_sentence_209

Local products Antwerp_section_31

Antwerp is famous for its local products. Antwerp_sentence_210

In August every year the Bollekesfeest takes place. Antwerp_sentence_211

The Bollekesfeest is a showcase for such local products as Bolleke, an amber beer from the De Koninck Brewery. Antwerp_sentence_212

The Mokatine sweets made by Confiserie Roodthooft, Elixir D'Anvers, a locally made liquor, locally roasted coffee from Koffie Verheyen, sugar from Candico, Poolster pickled herring and Equinox horse meat, are other examples of local specialities. Antwerp_sentence_213

One of the most known products of the city are its biscuits, the Antwerpse Handjes, literally "Antwerp Hands". Antwerp_sentence_214

Usually made from a short pastry with almonds or milk chocolate, they symbolize the Antwerp trademark and folklore. Antwerp_sentence_215

The local products are represented by a non-profit organization, Streekproducten Provincie Antwerpen vzw. Antwerp_sentence_216

Missions to seafarers Antwerp_section_32

A number of Christian missions to seafarers are based in Antwerp, notably on the Italiëlei. Antwerp_sentence_217

These include the Mission to Seafarers, British & International Sailors' Society, the Finnish Seamen's Mission, the Norwegian Sjømannskirken and the Apostleship of the Sea. Antwerp_sentence_218

They provide cafeterias, cultural and social activities as well as religious services. Antwerp_sentence_219

Music Antwerp_section_33

Antwerp is the home of the Antwerp Jazz Club (AJC), founded in 1938 and located on the square Grote Markt since 1994. Antwerp_sentence_220

The band dEUS was formed in 1991 in Antwerp. Antwerp_sentence_221

dEUS began their career as a covers band, but soon began writing their own material. Antwerp_sentence_222

Their musical influences range from folk and punk to jazz and progressive rock. Antwerp_sentence_223

Music festivals Antwerp_section_34

Cultuurmarkt van Vlaanderen is a musical festival and a touristic attraction that takes place annually on the final Sunday of August in the city center of Antwerp. Antwerp_sentence_224

Where international and local musicians and actors, present their stage and street performances. Antwerp_sentence_225

is a pop-rock music festival located at the left bank of the Scheldt. Antwerp_sentence_226

This music festival starts in August and mostly local Belgian musicians play and perform in this event. Antwerp_sentence_227

Other popular festivals Fire Is Gold, and focuses more on urban music, and Summerfestival. Antwerp_sentence_228

World Choir Games Antwerp_section_35

The city of Antwerp will co-host the 2020 World Choir Games together with the city of Ghent. Antwerp_sentence_229

Organised by the Interkultur Foundation, the World Choir Games is the biggest choral competition and festival in the world. Antwerp_sentence_230

Sport Antwerp_section_36

Antwerp held the 1920 Summer Olympics, which were the first games after the First World War and also the only ones to be held in Belgium. Antwerp_sentence_231

The road cycling events took place in the streets of the city. Antwerp_sentence_232

Royal Antwerp F.C., currently playing in the Belgian First Division, were founded in 1880 and is known as 'The Great Old' for being the first club registered to the Royal Belgian Football Association in 1895. Antwerp_sentence_233

Since 1998, the club has taken Manchester United players on loan in an official partnership. Antwerp_sentence_234

Another club in the city was Beerschot VAC, founded in 1899 by former Royal Antwerp players. Antwerp_sentence_235

They played at the Olympisch Stadion, the main venue of the 1920 Olympics. Antwerp_sentence_236

Nowadays KFCO Beerschot Wilrijk plays at the Olympisch Stadion in the Belgian Second Division. Antwerp_sentence_237

The Antwerp Giants play in Basketball League Belgium and Topvolley Antwerpen play in the Belgium men's volleyball League. Antwerp_sentence_238

For the year 2013, Antwerp was awarded the title of European Capital of Sport. Antwerp_sentence_239

Antwerp hosted the 2013 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. Antwerp_sentence_240

Antwerp hosted the start of stage 3 of the 2015 Tour de France on 6 July 2015. Antwerp_sentence_241

Higher education Antwerp_section_37

Antwerp has a university and several colleges. Antwerp_sentence_242

The University of Antwerp (Universiteit Antwerpen) was established in 2003, following the merger of the RUCA, UFSIA and UIA institutes. Antwerp_sentence_243

Their roots go back to 1852. Antwerp_sentence_244

The University has approximately 23,000 registered students, making it the third-largest university in Flanders, as well as 1,800 foreign students. Antwerp_sentence_245

It has 7 faculties, spread over four campus locations in the city centre and in the south of the city. Antwerp_sentence_246

The University is part of Young Universities for the Future of Europe (YUFE) and Young European Research Universities Network (YERUN). Antwerp_sentence_247

The city has several colleges, including Antwerp Management School (AMS), Charlemagne University College (Karel de Grote Hogeschool), Plantin University College (Plantijn Hogeschool), and Artesis University College (Artesis Hogeschool). Antwerp_sentence_248

Artesis University College has about 8,600 students and 1,600 staff, and Charlemagne University College has about 10,000 students and 1,300 staff. Antwerp_sentence_249

Plantin University College has approximately 3,700 students. Antwerp_sentence_250

International relations Antwerp_section_38

See also: List of twin towns and sister cities in Belgium Antwerp_sentence_251

Twin towns and sister cities Antwerp_section_39

Partnerships Antwerp_section_40


Within the context of development cooperation, Antwerp is also linked toAntwerp_cell_3_0_0

Notable people Antwerp_section_41

Main article: Notable people from Antwerp Antwerp_sentence_252

Born in Antwerp Antwerp_section_42

Lived in Antwerp Antwerp_section_43

Select neighbourhoods Antwerp_section_44


  • Den Dam – an area in northern AntwerpAntwerp_item_3_37
  • The diamond district – an area consisting of several square blocks, it is Antwerp's centre for the cutting, polishing, and trading of diamondsAntwerp_item_3_38
  • Linkeroever – Antwerp on the left bank of the Scheldt with a lot of apartment buildingsAntwerp_item_3_39
  • Meir – Antwerp's largest shopping streetAntwerp_item_3_40
  • Van Wesenbekestraat – the city's ChinatownAntwerp_item_3_41
  • Het Zuid – the south of Antwerp, notable for its museums and Expo groundsAntwerp_item_3_42
  • Zurenborg – an area between Central and Berchem station with a concentration of Art Nouveau townhousesAntwerp_item_3_43

See also Antwerp_section_45


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