|Area :||204.51 km²|
|Residents:||525,935 (Jan 1, 2019)|
|Population density:||2,572 inhabitants per km²|
|Post Code:||2000, 2018, 2020, 2030, 2050, 2060 (Antwerp)
2100 ( Deurne )
2600 ( Berchem )
2660 ( Hoboken )
|Mayor:||Bart De Wever ( N-VA )|
Local government address :
|Grote Markt 1
Antwerp (outdated German Antorf or Antorff , French Anvers , English Antwerp ) is a port city in the Flanders region in Belgium and the capital of the province of Antwerp . In terms of the city as an administrative unit, Antwerp is the largest city in the country. The Antwerp agglomeration is the second largest in Belgium after the Brussels-Capital Region .
Antwerp was one of the largest cities in the world in the 15th and 16th centuries, at times the most important trading metropolis in Europe and, as an important cultural center, the place where artists such as Rubens worked . Antwerp was the venue for the 1920 Summer Olympics and the European Capital of Culture in 1993. The Plantin-Moretus Printing Museum , the Maison Guiette and the tower of the Cathedral of Our Lady are all UNESCO World Heritage sites .
Antwerp lies on the Scheldt , 88 km from its confluence with the North Sea . The river widens in the urban area to a wide funnel mouth that can be navigated by seagoing vessels and leads over the Westerschelde estuary to the North Sea. In order not to hinder shipping, there are no bridges over the Scheldt in Antwerp, but numerous tunnels. The last bridge is about 20 km upstream in Temse .
The capital Brussels is about 40 km south, the port city of Rotterdam 75 km north of Antwerp. The city is thus on an important European transport axis that leads from Amsterdam via Antwerp and Brussels to Paris . The metropolitan regions of Antwerp and Brussels merge directly into one another, especially since the cathedral city of Mechelen , which is halfway there and has over 80,000 inhabitants, forms a link. The two major cities are connected by two motorways and one of the busiest railway lines in Europe.
The Ruhr area, about 180 km to the east, with the port of Duisburg is of great importance for the port of Antwerp and is therefore connected to it via its own long-distance freight railway (" Iron Rhine "), as the actual river Rhine from the Ruhr area to the rival seaport of Rotterdam at its mouth leads. This rail connection has not been used since 1992, but has been on a section again since 2007.
Together with Brussels, which is only about 40 km south, and the third largest Belgian urban region around Ghent (50 km southwest) and other cities such as Leuven , Mechelen , Sint-Niklaas and Aalst , the Antwerp region forms the metropolitan region of Vlaamse Ruit ("Flemish diamond", also "Flemish Diamond"), which with around 5 million inhabitants is one of the largest agglomerations in Europe.
The municipality of Antwerp consists of the districts
- Antwerp (whose coat of arms shows the castle)
- Merksem and
- Wilrijk .
The incorporation of the aforementioned former neighboring communities was carried out in two steps, 1958 and 1983.
Early history and the Middle Ages
A Gallo-Roman vicus can already be found on the soil of the city of Antwerp . This is evidenced by finds of clay and broken glass from the 2nd and 3rd centuries AD, which came to light in 1952–1961 during excavations near the Scheldt.
Christianization began in the 7th century . The city was first mentioned in documents in 726. In 836 the city was devastated by the Normans . After the division of the Franconian Empire , which began in 843, and further, mostly war-like, partitions of the Middle Kingdom , Antwerp came to Eastern Franconia , the early medieval forerunner of the Holy Roman Empire . The Ottos founded the Duchy of Lower Lorraine belonging Markgrafschaft Antwerp . At the beginning of the 12th century, the Counts of Leuven (later dukes of Brabant ) came into being. The place received city rights in 1291. The city experienced its first heyday in the 14th century. Thanks to the port and the cloth trade, it was a leading trading center and financial center in Europe. Antwerp fell to Burgundy in 1430 and to Habsburg in 1477 .
The Reformation found supporters in the city early on through the Augustinian order , which was connected to Martin Luther . But the Habsburg regent Margaret of Austria had the first Protestants arrested as early as 1522, and in 1523 the two Augustinian monks Johannes van Esschen and Hendrik Vos were burned in Brussels after being sentenced by the Inquisition . That was the beginning of the first persecution of Protestants in the southern Netherlands. As a result, around 40,000 people fled to Amsterdam and Emden . In 1556, after fierce fighting, the Reformation prevailed in Antwerp - as in the entire Spanish Netherlands . In the 16th century the city was the richest trading city in Europe. The subsequent conflicts between the Habsburgs and the Netherlands , which had been separated from the empire , led to decline. In November 1576 there was fire and looting in the so-called. Spanish fury . In 1585 the Spanish governor Alessandro Farnese conquered Antwerp. All residents who remained Protestant had to leave the city, most of them fled to the northern province.
Antwerp's northern neighbor, the Republic of the Seven United Provinces , fought for independence from the Spanish crown in the Eighty Years War (1568–1648). Another reason for the decline was a regulation of the Peace of Westphalia from 1648 that the Scheldt was no longer allowed to be used as a shipping route, which seriously impaired the city's trade.
From 1714 (end of the Spanish War of Succession ) Antwerp belonged to the Austrian Netherlands until 1795 . Then the French era began ; this ended in 1815 after Napoleon's defeat in the Battle of Waterloo (Waterloo is 65 km south of Antwerp).
The Belgian Revolution began on August 25, 1830 ; During the turmoil as a result of this revolution, Antwerp was shelled by Dutch troops under David Hendrik Chassé on October 27, 1830 and was later captured on August 4, 1831 during the "Ten-Day Campaign". In 1832, after a brief siege, French troops captured the citadel of Antwerp and handed it over to the Belgians.
From 1863 Antwerp - now part of the new state of Belgium - experienced a renewed upswing as a Belgian port , the shipping ban finally fell. It was expanded militarily to the fortress of Antwerp with two belts of forts. Some of these structures still exist today. In the 1880s, the city became one of the most important sites in the systematic exploitation of the Congo . Important cargo was brought to the Congo and back to Antwerp via the port. A special feature was that the ships to the Congo were mostly loaded with weapons, while those from the Congo had rubber and ivory as cargo.
The first gymnastics world championships took place in Antwerp in 1903 .
In the First World War , the retired Belgian army to the fortress Antwerp back after German troops Liege from 4 to August 16, 1914 had conquered; the city of Antwerp itself was bombed by the besieging German troops on October 8, 1914 and taken on October 10 (→ Siege of Antwerp (1914) ) after the British and Belgian occupations of Antwerp had fled. This was followed by the proclamation of a military administration by the German general Hans von Beseler . Titus Türk , sea captain , became the first German port commander in Antwerp. Only at the end of 1918 did Antwerp become free again due to Germany's military defeat.
In 1920 Antwerp hosted the Summer Olympics . Another world exhibition took place in 1930 with the Exposition internationale coloniale, maritime et d'art flamand ; others had already been held in 1885 and 1894.
Destruction in World War II
During the Second World War , as in the First World War , Belgium was a transit area between the German Empire and France. On May 18, 1940 - the ninth day of the western campaign - troops of the Wehrmacht occupied Antwerp. In the course of the next few years it was repeatedly targeted by Allied air strikes ; so on April 5, 1943, when over 2000 people died in a bombing of the industrial areas. In September 1944, Antwerp was liberated by advancing British troops. The town with its intact port facilities became the main supply base for the Allied forces; It therefore became, along with London , a further main target for V1 flight bombs and V2 rockets (October 7, 1944 to March 30, 1945) and the target of the Ardennes offensive (from December 16, 1944 to the end of January 1945). Of the more than 1,600 V-weapons fired on the city and the surrounding area, 1,200 reached their target. Due to the inaccuracy of V1 and V2, the port was hardly or not at all destroyed. The civilian population suffered even more deaths (depending on the source 3700 to 7000) and injuries (approx. 6000). The V-weapons and the Battle of the Bulge delayed the advance of the Allies and Ghent was selected as an additional alternative port. The terror, the destruction and the bloodbaths (including impacts of V2 rockets on intersections, in the city center or in the "Rex" cinema, where 567 people died on December 16, 1944) remained in the memory of the population . The Allied media were not allowed to report anything about it until the spring of 1945, while Nazi propaganda cheered every V weapon that was shot down against London and Antwerp as an indication of a " final victory ". In March 1945, the American Time Magazine named Antwerp "The City of Sudden Death" ("City of Sudden Death"). Despite the destruction, the historic cityscape was largely preserved.
The city's large Jewish minority, including Eruv , was particularly hard hit by the Holocaust . Mala Zimetbaum was one of the Jews in Antwerp who were deported and murdered in a concentration camp . Today Antwerp is again a major center of Orthodox Judaism in Europe.
Origin of the city name
The name Andauerpa refers to the raised shores of the bay ( Scheldt bay). The name probably comes from "an de warp" (at the terp ) . The first settlers lived on terps, later, due to lack of space, people settled on higher areas "on the terp".
The fact that the name Antwerp literally means "to throw a hand" and goes back to the Brabo legend is a story invented later in the 15th century. A local specialty, small biscuit or chocolate hands called Antwerpse Handjes , commemorates this legend.
The Caloes, named by St. Amandus ( Amand of Maastricht ?), Was an earlier name of Antwerp. Later, the district south of Caloes, in which the Sankt-Michiels-Abbey , founded by Norbert von Xanten in 1124, was located, became known as Kiel . The old name Antorf , for example, was still used by Albrecht Dürer , who was in Antwerp in 1521.
coat of arms
Antwerp was already a trading center of the Reichsmark at the beginning of the 11th century and received city rights in 1291. The two hands in the city coat of arms remind of the legend of the giant Druon Antigoon , who is said to have terrorized the area until he was defeated by Salvius Brabo . He is said to have chopped off his hands and thrown into the Scheldt.
Antwerp is one of the few central European cities with a largely preserved historical city center. Due to the many architectural and art monuments still in existence from the city's heyday ( late Middle Ages , Renaissance and Baroque ) as well as from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods , Antwerp is a must-see city and an important destination for city tourism .
Some of the city's attractions include:
- The five large churches of the old town
- the Cathedral of Our Lady ( Onze Lieve Vrouwekathedraal ) ( )
- the Sint-Jacobskerk with the burial chapel of Peter Paul Rubens and his family ( )
- the Sint-Andrieskerk with treasure chamber ( )
- the Sint-Pauluskerk ( )
- the Carolus Borromeuskerk , a major work of Jesuit architecture ( )
- Secular buildings
- City Festival Hall Antwerp ( )
- Central Station ("Railway Cathedral") ( )
- The Boerentoren is considered the first skyscraper of the (US) Art Deco style in mainland Europe ( )
- the Vleeshuis ( )
- Felix Pakhuis ( )
- Port House Antwerp ( )
- Plantin-Moretus-Museum , World Heritage Site ( )
- Rubens House, home and workshop of Peter Paul Rubens , now a museum ( )
- Royal Museum of Fine Arts ( )
- Middelheim Museum ( )
- Museum aan de Stroom (MAS) ( )
- Het Steen (old castle, now a maritime museum) ( )
- Diamond Museum ( )
- Sterckshof Silver Museum in Sterckshof Castle ( )
- Red Star Line Museum about European migration to America (near MAS) ( )
- Streets, squares, markets and neighborhoods
- the market square ( Grote Markt ) with the Brabobrunnen ( )
- the Hendrik Conscienceplein ( plein = square; )
- Beguinage Antwerp ( )
- the Cogels-Osylei and the neighboring streets Transvaalstraat and Waterloostraat in the Zurenborg district (boulevards with many Art Nouveau buildings; )
- the Leysstraat and the adjoining Meir (boulevard; )
- the Jewish Quarter in the immediate vicinity of the main train station
- Vogelmarkt ( )
- Antwerp Zoo ( )
- Harbor tour (departure from Kattendijkdok-Zuidkaai at the drawbridge; )
- Park Spoor Noord leisure facility on the site of a former freight yard
Arts and Culture
The city has produced many well-known artists, including the painters Rubens , van Dyck , Jacob Jordaens , Jan Brueghel the Elder and his son Jan Brueghel the Younger, as well as the important printer and publisher Christoph Plantin (16th century), whose house is included in UNESCO - World Heritage List and includes the Plantin-Moretus Museum .
There are numerous cultural institutions in Antwerp, such as the Vlaamse Opera , the Royal Museum of Fine Arts , the Middelheim Museum , the Museum Mayer van den Bergh , the Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerp , the Sterckshof Silver Museum or the Rubens House .
Antwerp's historic harbor location gave rise to a diversity of gastronomy with international influences.
In the Zuid (south) district in particular , culture is concentrated in a very small space. This ambience has ensured that a fashion culture has now developed here, the focus of which is the fashion department of the Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten ( Royal Academy of Fine Arts ), around which, in addition to many writers and artists, there are also many bars. The best preserved Art Nouveau ensemble in Antwerp is the Zurenborg district .
From 1966 to 1976 the Wide White Space gallery was one of the leading avant-garde galleries in Europe; she worked closely with well-known artists such as Joseph Beuys , Marcel Broodthaers and Panamarenko . Jan Fabre and Luc Tuymans are major contemporary artists who live and work in Antwerp.
The vast majority of Antwerp residents are Roman Catholic . As a seaport and trading metropolis, Antwerp has also been a very international city for centuries. This is also expressed in the great diversity of the local religions .
Antwerp, like all of Belgium, is predominantly shaped by Roman Catholic Christianity due to its earlier membership of the Spanish Netherlands . The Liebfrauendom heard as Stadtkrone the historic old town of the largest church buildings in Europe, it is the cathedral of the Diocese of Antwerp . The city and the suburb of Stabroek form the deanery of Antwerp within the diocese . Since many of the immigrants living in Antwerp are Roman Catholic or Uniate Catholic Christians, numerous foreign-language communities also use the city's Catholic churches. There are several African and Latin American congregations, but also a Chaldean one of the Iraqi Christians here.
The United Protestant Church in Belgium and with her in ARPEE merged evangelical Christians in Antwerp about 15 communities. The Anglican Church also has a parish in the city, it belongs to the Archdeaconate of Northwest Europe in the Diocese of Gibraltar in Europe . The Protestant denominational family also has numerous other foreign and foreign-language congregations, including the German-speaking Evangelical congregation .
There are five Byzantine Orthodox communities. Two of them are subordinate to the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (one Greek and one Russian speaking), one to the Russian Orthodox Church , one to the Georgian Orthodox Apostle Church and one to the Romanian Orthodox Church .
Antwerp has one of the largest Jewish communities in Europe, so Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jews shape the cityscape in some neighborhoods. The Antwerp Jews particularly dominate the diamond trade; this is why the diamond cutters quarter at the main train station is also an important residential area for Jewish Antwerp residents. There are 22 synagogues (see also: Dutch Synagogue ) belonging to three different parishes.
Due to the large number of Moroccan and Turkish immigrants, Islam is also strongly represented in Antwerp. There are almost 30 communities of different currents and schools of law, predominantly Sunni , but also Ahmadiyya or Sufism .
Economy and education
The city is traditionally the most important diamond trading center in the world. In addition to four diamond exchanges (the oldest and largest is the Beurs voor Diamanthandel ), around 1,600 diamond companies and a diamond museum have set up shop. The area where the diamond trade is concentrated is secured by surveillance cameras and retractable road barriers.
While it was recently over 80 percent, today around 60 percent of all rough diamonds are still traded in Antwerp - traditionally mainly by Jewish traders for half a millennium. There has been a tremendous change in the diamond trade in recent years. Jain Indians control 55 percent of the world's diamond business. They are increasingly trading in other places too, for example in Dubai , where trading is tax-free. Traders are now calling for this in Antwerp as well, and the Belgian government is planning a tax amnesty to dissuade those traders that are so important to the country - trade and industry in the diamond sector employing 27,000 people in the city - from using the city as a trading center to leave completely.
Antwerp is home to the University of Antwerp , which has emerged from three smaller universities, and several colleges such as the Artesis Hogeschool Antwerp and the Plantijn Hogeschool, as well as scientific institutes (e.g. the Institute for Tropical Medicine ).
In the port area not far from Churchilldocks on the “Noorderlaan” road on a 96-hectare site was a General Motors Belgium NV automobile plant in which 2500 employees produced cars for Opel . On January 21, 2010 it was announced that the company would be closed. The last vehicle was produced in December 2010, after which the production facilities were dismantled. This site, which is located in the Churchilldok harbor basin , is now being marketed under the name Churchill Industriele Zone by the Antwerp Municipal Port Authority (SHA).
The petrochemical plants located in the port area represent the largest cluster of this kind after Houston (Texas, USA). Furthermore, Antwerp has various branches of industry, including a. Oil industry and vehicle construction .
The city's port is one of the largest in the world and the second largest in Europe after Rotterdam . Like many large seaports in Europe (e.g. London , Rotterdam, Bremen , Hamburg, Stettin ), it is not located on the open sea, but on a river estuary leading there. The ships reach the open North Sea via the Westerschelde , which runs through Dutch territory .
Like many other seaports, Antwerp has an outer harbor at the mouth of the river to the open sea. However, unlike the port group Bremen / Bremerhaven , Vlissingen , which belongs to the Netherlands , is not a complementary, but rather a competing location. The Westerschelde as a port access is also a Dutch body of water, which in view of the competition with the nearby Dutch port of Rotterdam led to many bureaucratic obstacles and in the past even to military conflicts. The expansion of the port area is also hampered by the border location, as in the north it already extends right up to the Dutch border.
A similar situation exists at the neighboring Belgian seaport of Gent , which only reaches the Westerschelde via the Gent – Terneuzen canal through Dutch territory and the local outer port of Terneuzen . Belgium only has direct access to the sea at the ports of Bruges-Zeebrugge and Ostend .
Antwerp is located on the European north-south main traffic axis from Amsterdam , i. H. the metropolitan area Randstad Holland , via Brussels and Lille to Paris . In this corridor plurality of highways extend (in Belgian area, the A 1 and A 12 ), which jointly Europastraße 19 form, as well as the high-speed line Schiphol-Antwerpen for high-speed trains Thalys .
The east-west routes via Antwerp are of minor importance, as Antwerp is overshadowed by the neighboring city of Brussels. The most important are the A 14 / E 17 , which leads via Gent to Lille and there meets the Brussels – Paris route, and the European route 34 (Belgium: A 21 , Netherlands: A 67 , Germany: A 40 / Ruhrschnellweg), the leads via Eindhoven and Venlo to Dortmund .
The main station , originally a terminus , was reopened in 2007 after lengthy renovation work. As part of the connection of Antwerp to the European high-speed rail network, the station was tunnelled and enlarged. The historic reception building from the 19th century was retained and was connected to the new areas. The station is frequented by around 540 trains every day. International high-speed connections exist several times a day to the northern neighboring country of the Netherlands (with Thalys and NS International ) and to Paris in France (with Thalys). There is also a regular express connection with the capital Brussels with Thalys.
The Antwerp-Noord marshalling yard , one of the largest in Europe, handles the rail freight traffic of the port with the hinterland that extends far beyond Belgium .
The Antwerp International Airport has little international significance. The city can be reached with an hourly direct train connection from Amsterdam Airport (duration 58 minutes) or with an hourly direct train connection from Brussels-Zaventem Airport (duration 34 minutes).
Regional and local transport
Antwerp has a large tram network with twelve lines. In the inner city area there are two tunnels with eleven tunnel stations, the Scheldt is also crossed underground. The route to the left bank of the Scheldt extends to Zwijndrecht in East Flanders .
In addition to the tram, the Antwerp S-Bahn lines , which were created in 2018 from previous L-train connections, also operate in the city of Antwerp .
The most important city motorway is the Antwerp Ring (R1), which unites the A1 ( Utrecht ) and A12 (Rotterdam) motorways coming from the north , runs in a semicircle to the east around the city center, crosses the Scheldt in the south of the city in the Kennedy tunnel and meets in the south-west branches into the motorways A11 ( Port of Gent / Bruges ) and A14 (Gent). The A13 ( Hasselt / Lüttich ) joins in the west , from which the A13 ( Eindhoven ) branches off a few kilometers east , and in the south the two motorways A1 and A12 leading to Brussels.
The Great Ring runs much further outside than Ring R1, but so far it only consists of a 13 km long section in the northwest. This crosses under the entire port area via three underwater tunnels and connects it to traffic to the north (Rotterdam) and west (Ghent).
In the inner city area there are also two very old Schelden tunnels, namely the Waasland tunnel, through which the national road N49a runs, and the Sint- Anna tunnel for cyclists and pedestrians , both of which were opened in 1933. A little to the south of it is the Brabo tunnel (1990) used by the trams . Another tunnel is the Craeybeckxtunnel , this leads the Autobahn 1 underneath a park area.
Antwerp has an international airport about 3 km from the city center, Antwerp Airport (IATA code: ANR). There are currently scheduled connections to Alicante , Barcelona , Berlin , Geneva , Hamburg , London , Milan , Málaga , Manchester , Palma and other seasonal destinations. A connection to Innsbruck that existed in the past has been discontinued. In addition, the airport is mainly used for charter and private flights. The airport is connected to the city center by bus, and there is also a shuttle to the nearby Antwerpen-Berchem train station . The number of passengers was recently around 163,000 annually. The low use of the airport compared to the number of inhabitants is mainly due to the proximity to the capital Brussels. It is currently only around half an hour's journey by train from Antwerp Centraal to Brussels-Zaventem Airport , and a direct Thalys connection will shorten travel times considerably in the future .
- Mulhouse , France , since 1954
- Marseille , France, since 1958
- Saint-Petersburg , Russia , since 1958
- Rostock , Germany , since 1963
- Shanghai , People's Republic of China , since 1984
- Akhisar , Turkey , since 1988
- Haifa , Israel , since 1995
- Cape Town , South Africa , since 1996
- Barcelona , Spain , since 1997
- Ludwigshafen am Rhein , Germany, since 1998
- Chongqing , People's Republic of China , since 2011
In addition, there are unsealed partnerships with:
sons and daughters of the town
- Eberhard Gresch: The Huguenots. History, Belief and Impact. 4th, revised edition. Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig 2009, ISBN 978-3-374-02260-1 , pp. 197 to 200
- Adam, Hochschild: Shadows over the Congo . 9th edition. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 978-3-608-94769-4 , p. 254 ff .
- Imperial and Royal Privileged Prague Newspaper ( Paris December 26th )
- www.v2rocket.com (English); Retrieved July 4, 2012
- 1910 there were around 31,800 Jews in all of Belgium; In the 1920s, many Jews came to Belgium from areas where Poland was newly established (and where there was anti-Semitic persecution) (Tanja von Fransecky: Escape of Jews from Deportation Trains in France, Belgium and the Netherlands . Metropol Verlag , 2014 ( ISBN 978-3863311681 ) pp. 181f.). 24,916 Jews were deported from Belgium; see SS assembly camp Mechelen
- hagalil.com names (mid-2014) 15,000 parishioners and 30 synagogues for Antwerp
- Source for the information in this section: City of Antwerp: Gids voor levensbeschouwelijk Antwerpen (Weltanschauungen in Antwerpen), November 2006 (PDF; 3.3 MB) ( page no longer available , search in web archives ) Info: The link was automatically defective marked. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. ; Retrieved July 4, 2012
- For further reading: A flawless crime , in the Hamburger Abendblatt , March 18, 2010; Retrieved July 4, 2012
- Opel confirms: out for Antwerp - n-tv.de ; Retrieved July 4, 2012
- Opel plant in Antwerp closes - the last ones put out the Christmas tree - tagesschau.de, accessed on December 29, 2010 ( Memento from January 1, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
- Eckhard-Herbert Arndt: Antwerp: Investor Search · Worldwide marketing of the former General Motors plant . In: Daily port report from October 14, 2014, p. 13
- www.bahnaktuell.net ; Retrieved July 4, 2012
- Chongqing Municipal Government