Antwerp, an ancient Roman settlement, rose into power when the old order was passing away and a new era was setting in – an era of discovery! The whole world was beginning to look in a different direction. The old, Mediterranean routes were losing their importance and this is when Antwerp conquered the scene with a bang! It became a European window to the newly discovered lands of America and new sea routes to Africa and Asia, a port through which unimaginable wealth flowed. Textiles, silver and diamonds, pepper, cinnamon and sugar were the foundation of the city’s richness. It was here that the new method of diamond polishing was created and Antwerp became (and remains to this day) the diamond capital of the world. Merchants from every corner of the world were streaming into the city wanting their share of these riches thus making Antwerp a cosmopolitan hub and an economic centre of the world. A centre that was able to lend money (on interest of course) to almost everyone, individuals, and countries alike. Its cosmopolitan character and tolerance attracted those who were not welcomed in other places because of their religion – Jews. This international community of merchants needed just one thing – an easy way of exchanging money and goods. This is how the first in the world, especially built, commodity exchange came into being.The wealth of the city attracted not only merchants but also many great painters, among them the famous Pieter Bruegel. They all knew that Antwerp had the resources to pay well (or pay anything) for their talent. There was a time when so many artists lived in Antwerp that there was one painter for every 250 residents!
But such a sudden explosion of prosperity couldn’t and didn’t last long, soon Antwerp was knocked off its high pedestal. Then came the usual suspects: war, fire and bloodshed. In more recent times Napoleon envisioned Antwerp as the greatest port in Europe but with the Battle of Waterloo he failed to implement this (as well as other) plan. Nevertheless when the new Belgian state emerged, Antwerp proved vital for it. Following its great past, today’s Antwerp is the cool kid – the centre of fashion and avant-garde art, a place where every artsy type wants to hang out! Discover with us the remarkable city of Antwerp and get to know its amazing vibe!
During this tour you will see and discover:
This tour is organized in cooperation with our local partner, Legends Tours!
Thank you for choosing Walkative & Legends Tours! If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
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