It was the Scheldt River (Scheldt in Dutch) who gave life to Antwerp. According to the legend, the Roman centurion Silvio Brabo cut off the hand of the giant Druoon Antigoon, who made a toll to those who wanted to cross this river at the height of the current city.
Whether the legend is true or not, Antwerp grew prosperous thanks to the Scheldt and continues to be so. It is the largest port in the country and one of the most important in Europe, although from a map it seems that it has no connection to the sea.
Perhaps it is the modernity of Antwerp that makes the city look so different from the rest of the cities of Belgium. It has as much culture and nightlife as Ghent, possibly more and is smaller than Brussels, but it seems much more modern than these two.
The port of Antwerp stretches for kilometers along the estuary of the river and through the dozens of artificial canals created next to it. Through this estuary the riches of the Antwerp nobles were forged. These were in charge of which the wool that came from England was transformed into upholstery before returning to its place of origin.
Our tour of this beautiful city begins in the impressive Antwerp central train station, one of the most beautiful train stations in Europe. In addition, it is the most important railway monument in Belgium, from here we will go on foot to the diamond district considered the most famous gemstone of the city.
Our tour continues through the old Royal Palace known as the Palace of the Meir " and we will discover what this residence has become. Crossing Wapper Street, turning a corner in the middle of Mair shopping street, we will arrive at the Rubens house museum.
This is the house where the famous painter of the Flemish school made a great part of his work and lived for twenty-five years. The portico of the entrance, the studio, the art room and the garden are the must-see sites of one of the most visited places in Antwerp.
To continue we will immerse ourselves in the Middle Ages walking alongside the Steen Castle, which was the first building built in stone and is the oldest in the city. Then we will go through the Marketplace o Grote Markt, one of the most picturesque in northern Belgium, for its characteristic flamenco architecture. There is the building of Town hall of Renaissance aesthetics.
After admiring the baroque facade of the Church of San Carlos Borromeo, we will arrive at the gothic cathedral of Our Mrs, one of the jewels of the city. It stands out as one of the most important buildings of Gothic style, it has the distinction of having seven naves and an imposing tower of 123 meters high. This makes it the highest in the Netherlands. It should be noted that in addition to being a place of worship, it is a museum with important collections and inside we can see works by Rubens.