Urban Velo

City Report: Antwerp

City: Antwerp, Belgium

Nickname: Koekenstad

Claim to Fame: Antwerp is the second largest city in Belgium behind Brussels. Eighty percent of the world’s diamonds come through Antwerp, where they are bought and sold between dealers from around the world. According to some, the fashion industry in Antwerp ranks with those of Milan and Paris.

History in 100 Words (or less): Local lore holds that Antigoon was an unfriendly giant who lived near the Schelde river. His job was to collect a fee from people who wanted to cross. You can’t pay the fee? Antigoon would cut off your hand and throw it in the river. Brabo was a brave young soul who found this act unacceptable. He gave Antigoon some of his own medicine before killing him. Brabo lopped off the hand of the mean giant and threw it into the river. From it grew the current city of Antwerp. The name, “Antwerpen” is actually a Dutch phrase that translates to “hand throwing.”

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