|• Mayor (list)||Bart De Wever (N-VA)|
|• Governing party/ies||1. N-VA
3. Open Vld
|• Total||204.51 km2 (78.96 sq mi)|
|Population (1 January 2013)|
|• Density||2,500/km2 (6,400/sq mi)|
Antwerp (i//, Dutch: Antwerpen [ˈɑntʋɛrpə(n)] ( listen), French: Anvers [ɑ̃vɛʁ(s)]) is a city in Belgium which is the capital of Antwerp province. With a population of 510,610, it is the most populous city in Belgium. Its metropolitan area houses around 1,200,000 people.
Antwerp is on the river Scheldt, linked to the North Sea by the Westerschelde estuary. The Port of Antwerp is one of the biggest in the world, ranking third in Europe and within the top 20 globally.
Antwerp has long been an important city in the Low Countries, both economically and culturally, especially before the Spanish Fury (1576) in the Dutch Revolt. The inhabitants of Antwerp are nicknamed Sinjoren, after the Spanish honorific señor or French seigneur, "lord", referring to the Spanish noblemen who ruled the city in the 17th century.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Origin of the name
- 1.1.1 Folklore
- 1.1.2 Scientific theories
- 22.214.171.124 Theory 1 : Dry land in the river
- 126.96.36.199 Theory 2 : The wharf where ships berth
- 188.8.131.52 Theory 3: The tribe that lived either side of the river
- 1.2 Pre-1500
- 1.3 16th century
- 1.4 17th–19th centuries
- 1.5 20th century
- 1.1 Origin of the name
- 2 Municipality
- 3 Buildings, landmarks and museums
- 4 Fortifications
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Economy
- 7 Transportation
- 8 Politics
- 9 Culture
- 10 Sport
- 11 Higher education
- 12 International relations
- 13 Notable people
- 14 Select neighbourhoods
- 15 See also
- 16 References
- 17 Further reading
- 18 External links
Origin of the name
In 1510 during digging works near the house "het Steen", fossils of a whale were dug up. It was rumoured that they were the shoulder blade and ribs of a giant, which is why a world-famous woodcarving of the Antwerp waterfront from 1518 mentions near the "Reuzenhuis": “dit es de borch waer de reus te wonen plach” (this is the burg where the giant used to live). The bones were displayed in the Aldermen's room and shown to Albrecht Dürer, visiting the city in 1521, who mentioned this in his travel diary.
According to folklore, notably celebrated by a statue in front of the town hall, the city got its name from a legend involving a mythical giant called Antigoon who lived near the Scheldt river. He exacted a toll from those passing and for those who refused, he severed one of their hands and threw it into the river. There are 2 versions: one is that a toll was exacted from those people crossing the river from one side to the other, and the other was about boatmen passing with their boats or barges before the Antwerp wharf.
Eventually, the giant was slain by a young hero named Brabo, who cut off the giant's own hand and flung it into the river. Hence, the name Antwerpen, from Dutch hand werpen, akin to Old English hand and wearpan (to throw), which has evolved to today's warp.
In 1512 the author Jean Lemaire de Belges (1473 – ca. 1524) quoted in his "Illustrations de Gaule et singularitez de Troye", the story of these facts from Willem van Berchem. Lemaire was a "chroniqueur" or "kroniekschrijver" (writer of historic facts) who was working at the court of Governess of the Netherlands Margaret of Austria, Duchess of Savoy. In 1568 Marcus van Vaernewijck  copied Jean Lemaire de Belges' story in his "Spieghel der Nederlandscher Oudtheyt" (Mirror image of ancient time of the Low Countries). He added that Brabo had thrown the giant's hand into the River Scheldt. Julius Caesar, according to Van Vaernewijck, named Silvius Brabo to Margrave of the place he called “Antwerpen” and gave it a fortified burg. The author noted that some of his more sceptical contemporaries considered Antigoon to be a very powerful person and not a physical giant.
Theory 1 : Dry land in the river
A longstanding theory is that the name originated in the Gallo-Roman period and comes from the Latin antverpia. Antverpia would come from Ante (before) Verpia (deposition, sedimentation), indicating land that forms by deposition in the inside curve of a river (which is in fact the same origin as Germanic waerpen). Note that the river Scheldt, before a transition period between 600 to 750, followed a different track. This must have coincided roughly with the current ringway south of the city, situating the city within a former curve of the river. However, many historians think it unlikely that there was a large settlement which would be named 'Antverpia', but more something like an outpost with a river crossing.
Theory 2 : The wharf where ships berth
However, John Lothrop Motley argues, and so do a lot of Dutch etymologists and historians, that Antwerp's name derives from an 't werf (on the wharf, in the same meaning as the current English wharf). Aan 't werp (at the warp) is also possible. This "warp" (thrown ground) is a man-made hill or a river deposit, high enough to remain dry at high tide, whereupon a construction could be built that would remain dry. Another word for werp is pol (dyke) hence polders (the dry land behind a dyke, that was no longer flooded by the tide).
Theory 3: The tribe that lived either side of the river
The most recent theory based on the latest archeological finds is described by Alfred Michiels. The author cites the following archeological sources (pre-10th century sources are very rare).
- The Vita Eligii a manuscript of the early 8th century (describing the life of Saint Eligius) reports about the attempts of Eligius to convert the Andouerpenses of Andouerpi (the “Antverpians”, the people).
- A coin dated 7- 8th century and attributed to the Merovingian era mentions the name And(u)erpus (a geografical place).
- The Annales Fuldenses report the destruction of "Andwerpam civitatem" by the Vikings in 836.
- In the 10th century two anecdotal mentions have been found of a place called Antwerpen: in vico Annuerpis (941) and Andouerpis castro (980).
A thorough linguistic and stylistic analysis of the Latin document Vita Eligii concludes, as did the Humanist scholar Petrus Divaeus in the 16the century, the author speaks about the "Antverpians" as a people, not about a place called "Antwerpen".
The explanations based on the Germanic etymology are repudiated for the following reasons:
- they do not explain the case suffix "–is" in the literary sources nor the suffix "–us" on the coin.
- the "ou" in "Andouerpis" does not represent a Germanic "w", but the old Latin "u".
- the meaning as proposed by those theories does not represent or name a people or a tribe.
- the meaning “tegenworp” is devoid of sense and would be an unicum in the whole of the Germanic language area.
After comparisom of the names "Andouerpenses", "Andouerpi", "Anduerpus" and "Andouerpis" with other occurrences in the whole Gallo-Roman language area, the conclusion is that the ablative suffix –is of city name "Andouerpis" (Antwerpen), belongs in the same category as other cities that cluster the name of a Celtic settlement + the name of the tribe inhabiting that area, and the –us sufffix on the coin confirms that interpretation (this accusative typifies the Merovingian origin) is only used on coins of an old Celtic capital with a name of the people (according to Germanist M.Gysseling)
|People/ tribe||Roman city name||tribe area||Latin Meroviangian city name||Modern City name||Coin|
|Anduaeripi||in Anduaerip-is||Anduerpis(Latijnse u)
Andouerpis (Romaanse ou)
"Anduerpi" or "Andouerpi" is the name of a Celtic tribe that gave its name to its capital settlement, "Anduerpis" or "Andouerpis".
The Chanson de Roland implies that Andouerpenses' (inflection according to the third Latin declension class) is derived from the word Andouesripenses, "Andouerpis" is the combination of "andoues" the Romamesque form is of the late-Latin "ambaeduae" (female form of "amboduo" or both) and "ripenses" (meaning embankment or riverside) the whole word meaning the “oeverbewoners” or "riverside-dwellers". The word "Andouerpi" (case inflection of the second Latin declesion class) comes from "anduaeripi" < "ambaeduaeripi". The meaning of "Andouerpenses" and "Andouerpi" is "Riverside-dwellers" or "Those who lives both(either) sides (of the river)", a Latin translation of the Celtic Ambidouesreipi, both words with almost identical meaning.
Supporting evidence for theory about the Celtic tribe that lived either side of the river
The area inhabited by the Anduerpi was an uncommonly large area called a “vrijheid”, which would become the city right of the later medieval city (the “libertas castrensis operis”), about which the cleric-archeologist Prims wondered why it extended into part of the County of Flanders. The area is described by a Roman civil servant as bordering with that of the Ambiani, Remi and Tungri.
According to the Roman encyclopedic author Pliny the Elder in the 1st century (about the western embankment)) and Ammianus Marcellinus in the 4th about the Kempen area the area was inhabited by the Texuandri or Toxandri; Pliny locates the Texuandri in Belgica "from the river Scheldt to the territory of the Ambiani (which started at the Leie). It is highly probable that Anduerpi and Texuandri were different names for the same people, whereby Anduerpi would emphasize the aspect of territory/habitat (on either side of the river) whereas Texuandri evocates their magical totem animal, the badger (Texuandri meaning “the badgers of the underworld” (*Taxoanderi : Tasgos, Taxos “badger” + anderos “of the underworld”).
The Anduerpi named their capital according to tradition where the Anduerpi live (…in Anduerpis). We can safely assume that the Romans transformed a Celtic settlement to a Roman Castrum. It is unlikely that the Gallo-Roman settlement at the later Antwerp wharf was the Celtic settlement. The excavated site was abandoned at the end of the 3rd century. No archeological evidence exists (at present that inicates continuity of habitation at that site between the 3rd and 9th centuries.
Sources indicate that an important Roman settlement civitas named "Andwerpa" was burnt down by Vikings in 836 which means that this settlement existed while no trace evidence was found at the current location of the city. Obviously (according to the author) because the Roman fortification with the name "Andwerpa", a former Celtic settlement, "Anduerpis", taken over by the Merovingians and destroyed by the Vikings, was located elsewhere (outside the current city of Antwerp), Antwerp was reborn at its current location, an explanation that aligns the literary sources with the archeological evidence.
Historical Antwerp allegedly had its origins in a Gallo-Roman vicus. Excavations carried out in the oldest section near the Scheldt, 1952–1961 (ref. Princeton), produced pottery shards and fragments of glass from mid-2nd century to the end of the 3rd century. The earliest mention of Antwerp dates from the 4th century.
The Merovingian Antwerp was evangelized by Saint Amand in the 7th century. At the end of the 10th century, the Scheldt became the boundary of the Holy Roman Empire. Antwerp became a margraviate in 980, by the German emperor Otto I, a border province facing the County of Flanders.
In the 11th century Godfrey of Bouillon was for some years known as the marquis of Antwerp. In the 12th century, Norbert of Xanten established a community of his Premonstratensian canons at St. Michael's Abbey at Caloes. 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.
After the silting up of the Zwin and the consequent decline of Bruges, the city of Antwerp, then part of the Duchy of Brabant, gained in importance. At the end of the 15th century the foreign trading houses were transferred from Bruges to Antwerp, and the building assigned to the English nation is specifically mentioned in 1510. Antwerp became the sugar capital of Europe, importing product from Portuguese and Spanish plantations. The city attracted Italian and German sugar refiners by 1550, and shipped their refined product to Germany, especially Cologne. Moneylenders and financiers did a large business loaning money to the English government in the 1544–1574 period. 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. After the 1570s the city's banking business declined; England ended its borrowing in Antwerp in 1574.
Fernand Braudel states that Antwerp became "the centre of the entire international economy, something Bruges had never been even at its height." Antwerp was the richest city in Europe at this time. Antwerp's golden age is tightly linked to the "Age of Exploration". Over the first half of the 16th century Antwerp grew to become the second-largest European city north of the Alps. Many foreign merchants were resident in the city. Francesco Guicciardini, the Venetian envoy, stated that hundreds of ships would pass in a day, and 2,000 carts entered the city each week. Portuguese ships laden with pepper and cinnamon would unload their cargo. According to Luc-Normand Tellier "It is estimated that the port of Antwerp was earning the Spanish crown seven times more revenues than the Americas."
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 Venice, Ragusa, Spain and Portugal. Antwerp had a policy of toleration, which attracted a large orthodox Jewish community.
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. At the beginning of the 16th century Antwerp accounted for 40% of world trade. The boom-and-bust cycles and inflationary cost-of-living squeezed less-skilled workers. In the century after 1541, however, the city's economy and population declined dramatically, while rival Amsterdam experienced massive growth.
The religious revolution of the Reformation erupted in violent riots in August 1566, as in other parts of the Low Countries. 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. When the Eighty Years' War broke out in 1568, commercial trading between Antwerp and the Spanish port of Bilbao collapsed and became impossible. 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.
Subsequently, the city joined the Union of Utrecht in 1579 and became the capital of the Dutch revolt. 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. Most went to the United Provinces in the north, starting the Dutch Golden Age. Antwerp's banking was controlled for a generation by Genoa, and Amsterdam became the new trading centre.
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. 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 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. 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. However, he was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo before he could see the plan through.
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. 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. During this attack the town was further damaged. In December 1832, after a gallant defence, Chassé made an honourable surrender, ending the Siege of Antwerp (1832).
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. And in the last decade Antwerp presented itself to the world via a World's Fair attended by 3 million.
Antwerp was the first city to host the World Gymnastics Championships, in 1903. During World War I, the city became the fallback point of the Belgian Army after the defeat at Liège. 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 remained under German occupation until the Armistice.
Antwerp hosted the 1920 Summer Olympics. During World War II, the city was an important strategic target because of its port. It was occupied by Germany in May 1940 and liberated by the British 11th Armoured Division on 4 September 1944. After this, the Germans attempted to destroy the Port of Antwerp, which was used by the Allies to bring new material ashore. Thousands of Rheinbote, V-1 and V-2 missiles battered the city. The city was hit by more V-2s than all other targets during the entire war combined, but the attack did not succeed in destroying the port since many of the missiles fell upon other parts of the city. As a result, the city itself was severely damaged and rebuilt after the war in a modern style. 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.
Ryckewaert argued for the importance of the Ten-Year Plan for the port of Antwerp (1956–1965). It expanded and modernized the port's infrastructure over a 10-year period, with national funding, intended to build a set of canal docks. The broader importance was to facilitate the growth of the north-eastern Antwerp metropolitan region, which attracted new industry. Extending the linear layout along the Scheldt River, planners designed further urbanization along the same linear city model. Satellite communities would be connected to the main strip. Ryckewaert, argues that in contrast to the more confused Europoort plan for the port of Rotterdam, the Antwerp approach succeeded because of flexible and strategic implementation of the project as a co-production between various authorities and private parties.
Starting in the 1990s, Antwerp rebranded itself as a world-class fashion centre. Emphasizing the avant-garde, it tried to compete with London, Milan, New York and Paris. It emerged from organized tourism and mega-cultural events.
The municipality comprises the city of Antwerp proper and several towns. It is divided into nine entities (districts):
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. 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. At that time the city was akso divided into the districts mentioned above. Simultaneously, districts received an appointed district council; later district councils became elected bodies.
Buildings, landmarks and museums
In the 16th century, Antwerp was noted for the wealth of its citizens ("Antwerpia nummis"); the houses of these wealthy merchants and manufacturers have been preserved throughout the city. However, fire has destroyed several old buildings, such as the house of the Hanseatic League on the northern quays in 1891. The city also suffered considerable war damage by V-bombs, and in recent years other noteworthy buildings were demolished for new developments.
- Antwerp Zoo was founded in 1843, and is home to more than 6,000 animals (about 769 species). One of the oldest zoos in the world, it is renowned for its high level of research and conservation.
- Antwerp City Hall dates from 1565, and is a Belfry in Renaissance style
- Central Station is a railway station designed by Louis Delacenserie that was completed in 1905. It has two monumental neo-baroque façades, a large metal and glass dome (60m/197 ft) and a gilt and marble interior
- Cathedral of Our Lady. This church was begun in the 14th century and finished in 1518. The church has four works by Rubens, viz. "The Descent from the Cross", "The Elevation of the Cross", "The Resurrection of Christ" and "The Assumption"
- St. James' Church, is more ornate than the cathedral. It contains the tomb of Rubens
- The Church of St. Paul has a beautiful baroque interior. It is a few hundred yards north of the Grote Markt
- Museum Vleeshuis (Butchers' Hall) is a fine Gothic brick-built building sited a short distance to the North-West of the Grote Markt. Originally used as a home for the Butchers Guild these days it holds a musical instrument collection (including some original Ruckers harpsichords) and is home to occasional concerts.
- Plantin-Moretus Museum preserves the house of the printer Christoffel Plantijn and his successor Jan Moretus
- The Saint-Boniface Church is an Anglican church and headseat of the archdeanery North-West Europe.
- Boerentoren (Farmers' Tower) or KBC Tower, a 26-storey building built in 1932, is the oldest skyscraper in Europe
- Royal Museum of Fine Arts, close to the southern quays, has a collection of old masters (Rubens, Van Dyck, Titian) and the leading Dutch masters.
- Rubenshuis is the former home and studio of Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640) in Antwerp. It is now a museum.
- Exchange or Bourse. The current building was built in 1872.
- Law Courts, designed by the Richard Rogers Partnership, Arup and VK Studio, and opened by King Albert in April 2006. This building is the antithesis of the heavy, dark court building designed by Joseph Poelaert that dominates the skyline of Brussels. The courtrooms sit on top of six fingers that radiate from an airy central hall, and are surmounted by spires which provide north light and resemble oast houses or the sails of barges on the nearby River Scheldt. It is built on the site of the old Zuid ("South") station, at the end of a magnificent 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) perspective at the southern end of Amerikalei. The road neatly disappears into an underpass under oval Bolivarplaats to join the motorway ring. This leaves peaceful surface access by foot, bicycle or tram (route 12). The building's highest 'sail' is 51 m (167.32 ft) high, has a floor area of 77,000 m2 (828,821.10 sq ft), and cost €130 million.
- Zurenborg, a late 19th century belle époque neighbourhood on the border of Antwerp and Berchem with many art nouveau architectural elements. The area counts as one of the most original belle époque urban expansion areas in Europe. Though the houses in the neighbourhood are listed as national heritage, they suffer severely from vibration and pollution caused by heavy city bus traffic through its streets, especially through the famous Cogels Osylei.
- Museum aan de Stroom The MAS is 60 metres high, and was designed by Neutelings Riedijk Architects. The façade is made of Indian red sandstone and curved glass panel construction. The MAS house 470,000 objects, most of which are kept in storage.
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 . A replica of a (castle) named Steen has been partly rebuilt near the Scheldt-quais in the 19th century. Antwerp's development as a fortified city is documented between the 10th and the 20th century. The fortifications were developed in different phases:
- 10th century : fortification of the wharf with a wall and a ditch
- 12th and 13th century : canals ( so called "vlieten" and "ruien") were made
- 16th century : Spanish fortifications
- 19th century : double ring of Brialmont forts around the city, dismantling of the Spanish fortifications
- 20th century : 1960 dismantling of the inner ring of forts, decommissioning of the outer ring of forts
This is the population of the city of Antwerp only, not of the larger current municipality of the same name.
|Largest groups of foreign residents|
After the Holocaust and the destruction of its many semi-assimilated Jews, Antwerp became a major centre for Orthodox Jews. At present, about 15,000 Haredi Jews, many of them Hasidic, live in Antwerp. The city has three official Jewish Congregations: Shomrei Hadass, headed by Rabbi Dovid Moishe Lieberman, Machsike Hadass, headed by Rabbi Sekkel Pollack of Brussels (formerly by Chief Rabbi Chaim Kreiswirth) and the Portuguese Community Ben Moshe. Antwerp has an extensive network of synagogues, shops, schools and organizations. Significant Hasidic movements in Antwerp include Pshevorsk, based in Antwerp, as well as branches of Satmar, Belz, Bobov, Ger, Skver, Klausenburg and several others. Rabbi Chaim Kreiswirth, chief rabbi of the Machsike Hadas community, who died in 2003, was arguably one of the better known personalities to have been based in Antwerp. 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.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (July 2010)|
According to the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), the port of Antwerp was the seventeenth largest (by tonnage) port in the world in 2005 and second only to Rotterdam in Europe. Importantly it handles high volumes of economically attractive general and project cargo, as well as bulk cargo. 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. 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. There is a wind farm in the northern part of the port area. There are plans to extend this in the period 2014-2020. 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's other great mainstay is the diamond trade that takes place largely within the diamond district. The city has four diamond bourses: the Diamond Club of Antwerp, the Beurs voor Diamanthandel, the Antwerpsche Diamantkring and the Vrije Diamanthandel. 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 traders become increasingly important. Antwerp World Diamond Centre, 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 a centre of the diamond industry.
A six lane motorway bypass encircles much of the city centre and runs through the urban residential area of Antwerp. 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). 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).
Daily congestion on the Ring led to a fourth high-volume highway link called the "Oosterweelconnection" being proposed. It would entail the construction of a long viaduct and bridge (the Lange Wapper) over the docks on the north side of the city in combination of a widening of the existing motorway into a 14 lane motorway. Eventually the plans were rejected in a public referendum in 2009.
In September 2010 the Flemish Government decided to replace the bridge by a series of tunnels. There are ideas to cover the Ring in a similar way as happened around Paris, Hamburg, Madrid and other cities. 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. 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 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. 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 Central station is an architectural monument in itself, and is mentioned in W G Sebald's haunting novel Austerlitz. 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. 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. Now, they call at the new lower level of the station before continuing in the same direction.
Antwerp is also home to Antwerpen-Noord, the largest classification yard for freight in Belgium and second largest in Europe. The majority of freight trains in Belgium depart from or arrive here. It has two classification humps and over a hundred tracks.
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. The tram network has 12 lines, of which the underground section is called the "premetro" and includes a tunnel under the river.
VLM Airlines has its head office on the grounds of Antwerp International Airport. This office is also CityJet's Antwerp office. When VG Airlines (Delsey Airlines) existed, its head office was located in the district of Merksem.
Belgium's major international airport, Brussels Airport is about 45 kilometres (28 miles) from the city of Antwerp, and connects the city worldwide. It too is connected to the city centre by bus, and also by train. The new Diabolo rail connection provides a direct fast train connection between Antwerp and Brussels Airport as of the summer of 2012.
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).
In the early years after Belgian independence, Antwerp was governed by Catholic-Unionist mayors. Between 1848 and 1921, all mayors were from the Liberal Party (except for the so-called Meeting-intermezzo between 1863 and 1872). Between 1921 and 1932, the city had a Catholic mayor again: Frans Van Cauwelaert. From 1932 onwards (and up till 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. Since 2013 the mayor is the Flemish nationalist Bart De Wever, belonging to the Flemish separatist party N-VA (New Flemish Alliance).
Informally, most Antverpians (in Dutch Antwerpenaren, people from Antwerp) daily speak Antverpian (in Dutch Antwerps), a dialect that Dutch-speakers know as distinctive from other Brabantic dialects through its typical vowel pronunciations: approximating the vowel sound in 'bore' – for one of its long 'a'-sounds while other short 'a's are very sharp like the vowel sound in 'hat'. The Echt Antwaarps Teater ("Authentic Antverpian Theatre") brings the dialect on stage.
Antwerp is a rising fashion city, and has produced designers such as the Antwerp Six. 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 Europe. It has served as the learning centre for many Belgian fashion designers. Since the 1980s, several graduates of the Belgian Royal Academy of Fine Arts have become internationally successful fashion designers in Antwerp. 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 is famous for its local products. In August every year the Bollekesfeest takes place. The Bollekesfeest is a showcase for such local products as Bolleke, an amber beer from the De Koninck Brewery. 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. One of the most known products of the city are its biscuits, the Antwerpse Handjes, literally "Antwerp Hands". Usually made from a short pastry with almonds or milk chocolate, they symbolize the Antwerp trademark and folklore. The local products are represented by a non-profit organization, Streekproducten Provincie Antwerpen vzw.
Missions to seafarers
A number of Christian missions to seafarers are based in Antwerp, notably on the Italiëlei. These include the Mission to Seafarers, British & International Sailors' Society, the Finnish Seamen's Mission, the Norwegian Sjømannskirken and the Apostleship of the Sea. They provide cafeterias, cultural and social activities as well as religious services.
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. The road cycling events took part in the streets of the city.
Royal Antwerp F.C., currently playing in the Belgian Second 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. Since 1998, the club has taken Manchester United players on loan in an official partnership. Another club in the city was Beerschot AC, founded in 1899 by former Royal Antwerp players. They played at the Olympisch Stadion, the main venue of the 1920 Olympics, and folded in May 2013 due to financial problems.
For the year 2013, Antwerp was awarded the title of European Capital of Sport.
Antwerp hosted the 2013 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
Antwerp has a university and several colleges. The University of Antwerp (Universiteit Antwerpen) was established in 2003, following the merger of the RUCA, UFSIA and UIA institutes. Their roots go back to 1852. The University has approximately 13,000 registered students, making it the third-largest university in Flanders, as well as 1,800 foreign students. It has 7 faculties, and is located of four campus locations in the city centre and in the south of the city. Education is organized on bachelor, masters, and post-graduate level.
The city has several colleges, including Charlemagne University College (Karel de Grote Hogeschool), Plantin University College (Plantijn Hogeschool), and Artesis University College (Artesis Hogeschool). 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. Plantin University College has approximately 3,700 students.
Twin towns and sister cities
The following places are twinned with or sister cities to Antwerp:
Within the context of development cooperation, Antwerp is also linked to
Born in Antwerp
- Bernoulli family, renowned family of mathematicians and physicists
- Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, son of Edward III of England (1338–1368)
- Samuel Blommaert, Director of the Dutch West India Company (1583–1654)
- Frans Floris, painter (1520–1570)
- Abraham Ortelius, cartographer and geographer (1527–98)
- Gillis van Coninxloo, painter of forest landscapes (1544–1607)
- Bartholomeus Spranger, painter, draughtsman, and etcher (1546–1611)
- Martín Antonio del Río, Jesuit theologian (1551–1608)
- Matthijs Bril, landscape painter (1550–1583)
- Paul Bril, landscape painter (1554–1626)
- Willem Usselincx, Flemish merchant and investor, one of the founders of the Dutch West India Company (1567–1647)
- Abraham Janssens, painter (c. 1570 – 1632)
- Rodrigo Calderón, Count of Oliva, Spanish favourite and adventurer (died 1621)
- Frans Snyders, still life and animal painter (1579–1657)
- Osias Beert the Elder (1580–1623)
- Frans Hals, painter (1580–1666)
- Caspar de Crayer, painter (1582–1669)
- David Teniers the Elder, painter (1582–1649)
- Jacob Jordaens, painter (1593–1678)
- Anthony van Dyck, painter (1599–1641)
- David Teniers the Younger, painter (1610–1690)
- Jan Fyt, animal painter (1611–1661)
- Jacob Leyssens, Baroque painter (1661–1710)
- Nicolaes Maes, Baroque painter (1634–1693)
- Hendrik Abbé, engraver, painter and architect (1639-?)
- Gerard Edelinck, copperplate engraver (1649–1707)
- Peter Tillemans, painter (c. 1684 – 1734)
- John Michael Rysbrack, sculptor (1694–1770)
- Hendrik Conscience, writer and author of De Leeuw van Vlaanderen ("The Lion of Flanders") (1812–1883)
- Johann Coaz, Swiss forester, topographer and mountaineer (1822–1918)
- Georges Eekhoud, novelist (1854–1927)
- Hippolyte Delehaye, Jesuit Priest and hagiographic scholar (1859–1941)
- Ferdinand Perier, Jesuit Priest and 3rd Archbishop of Calcutta (1875–1968)
- Willem Elsschot, writer and poet (1882–1960)
- Constant Permeke, expressionist painter (1886–1952)
- Paul van Ostaijen, poet and writer (1896–1928)
- Alice Nahon, poet (1896-1933)
- Albert Lilar, Minister of Justice (1900–1976)
- Maurice Gilliams, writer (1900–1982)
- Michel Seuphor, painter, designer (1901-1999)
- André Cluytens, conductor (1905–1967)
- Daniel Sternefeld, composer and conductor (1905–1986)
- Maurice van Essche, Belgian-born South African painter (1906–1977)
- Antoinette Feuerwerker, French jurist and member of the Resistance (1912–2003)
- Karl Gotch, professional wrestler (1924–2007)
- Simon Kornblit, American advertising and film studio executive (1933–2010)
- Bernard de Walque, architect (born 1938)
- Paul Buysse, businessman (born 1945)
- Carl Verbraeken, composer (born 1950)
- Tom Barman, Belgian musician and film director. (born 1972)
- Tia Hellebaut, Olympic high jump champion (born 1978)
- Evi Goffin, vocalist (born 1981)
- Jessica Van Der Steen, model (born 1984)
- Ferre Grignard, Rock Singer/songwriter. Known for "Ring Ring, I've Got To Sing" (1939–1982)
- Laetitia Beck, Israeli golfer (born 1992)
Lived in Antwerp
- Abraham Mayer, German-born physiscian (1848)
- Quentin Matsys, Renaissance painter, founder of the Antwerp school (1466–1530)
- Jan Mabuse, painter (c. 1478 – 1532)
- Joachim Patinir, landscape and religious painter (c. 1480 – 1524)
- John Rogers, Christian minister, Bible translator and commentator, and martyr (c. 1500 – 1555)
- Joos van Cleve, painter (c. 1500 – 1540/41)
- Damião de Góis, Portuguese humanist philosopher (1502–1574)
- Sir Thomas Gresham, English merchant and financier (c. 1519 – 1579)
- Sir Anthony More, portrait painter (1520 – c. 1577)
- Christoffel Plantijn, humanist, book printer and publisher (c. 1520 – 1589)
- Pieter Brueghel the Elder, painter and printmaker (1525–1569)
- Philip van Marnix, writer and statesman (1538–1598)
- Simon Stevin, mathematician and engineer (c. 1548/49 – 1620)
- Federigo Giambelli, Italian military and civil engineer (c. 1550 – c. 1610)
- John Bull, English/Welsh composer, musician, and organ builder (c. 1562 – 1628)
- Jan Brueghel the Elder, also known as "Velvet" Brueghel, painter (1568–1625)
- Pieter Paul Rubens, painter (1577–1640)
- William Cavendish, 1st Duke of Newcastle, English soldier, politician, and writer (c. 1592 – 1676)
- Adriaen Brouwer, painter (1605–1638)
- Jan Davidszoon de Heem, painter (1606–1684)
- Wenceslas Hollar, Bohemian etcher (1607–1677)
- Jan Lievens, painter (1607–1674)
- Ferdinand van Apshoven the Younger, painter (1630?–1694)
- Frédéric Théodore Faber, painter (1782–1799)
- Jan Frans Willems, writer (1793–1846)
- Henri Alexis Brialmont, military engineer (1821–1903)
- Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema, painter (1836–1912)
- Vincent van Gogh, impressionist painter, lived in Antwerp for about four months (1853–1890)
- Camille Huysmans, Socialist politician, former mayor of Antwerp and former Prime Minister of Belgium (1871–1968)
- Moshe Yitzchok Gewirtzman, leader of the Hasidic Pshevorsk movement based in Antwerp (1881–1976)
- Romi Goldmuntz, businessman (1882–1960)
- Gerard Walschap, writer (1898–1989)
- Albert Lilar, Minister of Justice (1900–1976)
- Suzanne Lilar, essayist, novelist, and playwright (1901–1992)
- Heaven Tanudiredja, Designer, Artist
- Eric de Kuyper, award-winning novelist, filmmaker, semiotician
- Philip Sessarego, former British Army soldier, conman, hoaxer, mercenary lived in Antwerp and found dead in a garage (1952–2008)
- Jean Genet, French writer and political activist (1909–1986): lived in Antwerp for short period in the 1930s
- George du Maurier, Came to Antwerp to study art and lost the sight in one eye. Cartoonist, author and grandfather of Daphne du Maurier (1834–1896)
- Chaim Kreiswirth, Talmudist and Rabbi of the Machsike Hadas Community, Antwerp (1918–2001)
- William Tyndale, Bible translator, arrested in Antwerp 1535 and burnt at Vilvoorde in 1536 (c. 1494–1536)
- Akiba Rubinstein, Polish grandmaster of chess (1882–1961).
- Veerle Casteleyn, Belgian performer
- Ray Cokes, English TV host
- Robert Barrett Browning, or "Pen", only child of Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Studied painting in Antwerp.
- Ford Madox Brown, leading Preraphaelite painter. Studied art at Antwerp.
- Den Dam – an area in northern Antwerp
- The diamond district – an area consisting of several square blocks, it is Antwerp's centre for the cutting, polishing, and trading of diamonds
- Linkeroever – Antwerp on the left bank of the Scheldt with a lot of apartment buildings
- Meir – Antwerp's largest shopping street
- Van Wesenbekestraat – the city's Chinatown
- Het Zuid – the south of Antwerp, notable for its museums and Expo grounds
- Zurenborg – an area between Central and Berchem station with a concentration of Art Nouveau townhouses
- Antwerp Book Fair
- Antwerp lace
- Antwerp Water Works (AWW)
- AMVC Archief en Museum voor het Vlaams Cultuurleven
- Jewish Community of Antwerp
- List of mayors of Antwerp
- Pshevorsk – Hassidic Jewish movement based in Antwerp
- University of Antwerp
- Population per municipality on 1 January 2013 (XLS; 607.5 KB)
- Statistics Belgium; Loop van de bevolking per gemeente (excel-file) Population of all municipalities in Belgium, as of 1 January 2014. Retrieved on 20 July 2014.
- The capital region of Brussels, whose metropolitan area comprises the city itself plus 18 independent communal entities, counts over 1,700,000 inhabitants, but these communities are counted separately by the Belgian Statistics Office Statbel the Belgian statistics office
- "De Belgische Stadsgewesten 2001" (PDF). Statistics Belgium. Retrieved 19 October 2008. Definitions of metropolitan areas in Belgium.
- "The World According to GaWC 2012". Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group and Network. Loughborough University. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
- Geert Cole; Leanne Logan, Belgium & Luxembourg p.218 Lonely Planet Publishing (2007) ISBN 1-74104-237-2
- Legenden en Mythen Legend Brabo
- Legenden en Mythen naming Antwerp
- Brabo Antwerpen 1 (centrum) / Antwerpen (Dutch)
- Marcus van Vaernewijck
- Jan Lampo, Blog about Antwerp history
- Eekhoud, Georges; Les libertins d'Anvers: légende et histoire des Loïstes ; Paris, Mercure de France; 1912; 404p; French; Antwerpen Erfgoedbibliotheek bibliographic reference 
- Antwerp Tourist Information – Meredith Booney, "The name 'Antwerp' has been linked to the word "aanwerp" (alluvial mound), which was the geographical feature in the early settlement period in this place".
- Room, Adrian (1 August 1997). Placenames of the World. McFarland & Company. p. 32. ISBN 0-7864-0172-9. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
- A. Michiels, Andouerpis-Antwerpen, World Wide Association of Writers, 2007 (self-publishing). University of Antwerp Library collection reference , full title : "Andouerpis-Antwerpen: nieuwe zoektocht naar de betekenis van de naam Antwerpen en de vroegste geschiedenis van de Antwerpenaars"
- From report about a lecture by Alfred Michiels, 4th dec 2007, before the Antwerp Historical Society (1926), 
- certain areas were the private dominion of a nobleman (including the inhabitants), and a city could would have a city charter (freeing its citizens from a liege lord), a "vrijheid" would be free territory where the inhabitants were free from any liege lord
- Warmenbol, E, "Hoe Romeins zijn de oudere Antwerpse vondsten wel?", 1987 , article in book, Het ontstaan van Antwerpen. Feiten en Fabels, p93-105, Antwerpen
- Ward Van Osta, "Een mislukt boek: Andouerpis Antwerpen" in: Handelingen van de Koninklijke Commissie voor Toponymie en Dialectologie, LXXXI (2009), pp. 299-348 (http://home.base.be/vt640100/Artikel-Andoverpis.pdf).
- "Antwerp" Britannica
- Donald J. Harreld, "Atlantic Sugar and Antwerp's Trade with Germany in the Sixteenth Century," Journal of Early Modern History, 2003, Vol. 7 Issue 1/2, pp 148–163
- R. B. Ouithwaite, "The Trials of Foreign Borrowing: the English Crown and the Antwerp Money Market in the Mid-Sixteenth Century," Economic History Review, August 1966, Vol. 19 Issue 2, pp 289–305 in JSTOR
- (Braudel 1985 p. 143.)
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- Michael Ryckewaert, Planning Perspectives, July 2010, Vol. 25 Issue 3, pp 303–322,
- Javier Gimeno Martínez, "Selling Avant-garde: How Antwerp Became a Fashion Capital (1990–2002)," Urban Studies November 2007, Vol. 44 Issue 1３, pp 2449–2464
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- Emporis. Retrieved 23 October 2006.
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- Braudel, Fernand The Perspective of the World, 1985
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- Coornaert, Émile (1961). Les Français et le commerce international à Anvers : fin du XVe, XVIe siècle. Paris: Marcel Rivière et cie. p. 96.
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- Description of the French Fury matter, see chapter 'Declaration of independence' in article 'William the Silent'
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- Auteur: Dajo Hermans. "56 procent van Antwerpse kinderen is allochtoon – Het Nieuwsblad". Nieuwsblad.be. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
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- The industry | Antwerp World Diamond Centre
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- "Our Offices." CityJet. Retrieved on 6 July 2010. "Antwerp office VLM Airlines Belgium NV Luchthavengebouw B50 B 2100 Antwerp Belgium Company registration number 0446.670.251."
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- Martínez, "Selling Avant-garde: How Antwerp Became a Fashion Capital (1990–2002)" (2007)
- Sports-reference.com 1920 Summer Olympics sysling individual road race.
- Sports-reference.com 1920 Summer Olympics cycling team road race, team Olympics at Sports-Reference.com
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- Manchester United's Royal Antwerp Loanees – Five Cantonas
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- Official website
- Capsule History
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- Antwerp Travel Guide – A comprehensive English language guide to Antwerp; includes history, sightseeing, brewing and beer culture.
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