Explore Antwerp, city of diamonds
Famous for its diamonds, Antwerp is more than just a diamond mining town. It's the second largest city in Belgium and its diversity only adds to its appeal. Antwerp has many architectural highlights, despite the damage it suffered in the Second World War. Many of its wonderful old buildings date back to the 16th and 17th century. Antwerp is the second largest harbor in Europe.
Antwerp has also been called the diamond center of the world. No trip to this city would be complete without a visit to the Diamond District. Situated around the railway station, this section of the Antwerp is also the Jewish part of the city. It is only here that you will find a Jewish presence and flair that is unlike any that of any other Belgian city.
In more recent times, Antwerp has begun to earn a reputation for its fashion. Many young designers have originated from this city, and a visit to the fashion area near Meir Street will fulfill all your fashion desires. Meir Street is also a wonderful shopping area set in beautiful surroundings.
Antwerp's Grote Markt (town square) may not be as big as the one in Brussels, but it is every bit as lovely. It is often thought of as the heart of the city and as you look around, you will see the Town Hall (worth a visit), the Guilds and the tower of Our Lady's Cathedral. The Brabo fountain is at the very center of the Grote Markt. It was designed by Jef Lambeaux in 1887 and it is symbolic of the legend surrounding the founding of the city.
The Steen is the name given to the little castle situated on the border of the river Scheldt. Steen translates into 'stone', a name given to the castle as it was one of the first buildings built out of this material in the city. The castle has seen numerous renovations and was even used as a prison and a museum over the years. Next to the castle are a lot of storage hall which house many of the boat belonging to the Maritime Museum. Other sites worth seeing are the Old Meat Hall, Groenplaats, the Rubens House Museum on Wapper Street, as well as all the churches and museums in the city.
Antwerp is certainly as glorious today as it was a hundred years ago. It is a living legend and a place of history and beauty. Visit Antwerp today!