©François De Heel
Located only 45km from the worldwide-connected Brussels airport, the city of Antwerp is located on the River Scheldt, linked to the North Sea by the Westerschelde estuary. Its port is one of the biggest in the world, ranking third in Europe and within the top 20 globally. Besides the activities related to its maritime industry, Antwerp’s other great mainstay is the diamond trade. Antwerp World Diamond Centre plays an important and international role in setting standards, regulating professional ethics, training and promoting the city.
A city on a human scale
With most sights situated within walking distance, the city of Antwerp can be discovered on foot. It is a charming medieval town, consisting of remarkable buildings and narrow streets. With medieval churches, impressive Art Nouveau buildings, maritime warehouses and modern complexes, there is an abundance of varied architecture to discover in Antwerp. The city is constantly evolving: buildings are being restored to their former glory and new structures are being added to the cityscape all the time.
An artistic reputation
Antwerp had an artistic reputation in the 17th century, due to its school of painting, which included Rubens, Van Dyck, Jordaens, the two Teniers and many others. The city is home to numerous museums. Among the best known are the Rubens House, the MAS | Museum aan de Stroom and the Red Star Line Museum but there are plenty of others worth seeing: historical houses where you can savor the atmosphere of past times, a fashion museum and several art museums.
European Capital of Sport
Antwerp held the 1920 Summer Olympics, which were the first games after the First World War, and which were also the only ones to be held in Belgium. Later, in 2013, Antwerp was the first Belgian city to be named the European Capital of Sport. The city gained this title thanks to the extensive range of sports offered and to the sporting ways of the locals: an impressive two out of three Antwerpers practise sport regularly, ranging from running or cycling to swimming and many other activities.
Olympic events: Summer Olympic Games 1920