District of Merksem within the city of Antwerp
The history of Merksem goes back to Gallo-Roman times. During that period the region was mentioned as Merk (border) and Heim (settlement) being part of the diocese Kamerijk. Merksem has for centuries been part of a larger community together with Schoten and Sint-Job-in-'t-Goor. During the Spanish period Merksem used to be a Dominium, a known Lord of Mercxem is Anthony van Stralen. In the 16th century Merksem was separated from Schoten.
The road currently known as Bredabaan (Breda Road), once a major northern access to Antwerp, begins in Merksem and goes up north, all the way up until the border with the Netherlands. It ends in the Dutch city of Breda (hence the name). Other major axes would include Lambrechtshoekenlaan, Groenendaallaan, Maantjessteenweg and Ringlaan. Together with Bredabaan they could be considered as the boundaries of the centre of Merksem. Another main axis, that constitutes most of the southern border of the district, is a canal called the Albert Canal, which connects the Port of Antwerp to the river Meuse near Liège and is an important connection for inland freight shipping.
Sport and culture
The Sportpaleis and the Lotto Arena are both located in the district of Merksem and host major sporting events, live music and festivals. The football team of Merksem is "SC City Pirates Antwerp". They play in the fourth division of the Belgian league pyramid system.
- Official site of Merksem: http://merksem.antwerpen.be/MIDA (this site is in the Dutch language).
- Newssite about Merksem: http://www.stroboerke.be (this site is in the Dutch language).
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