Antwerp Travel Guide, Belgium
Antwerp Travel Guide – City Function and Transportation
Antwerp is the capital city of the Antwerp province in Flanders, Belgium. It has a population of 472.000 and it is a very important cultural and economic pole for the nations of Benelux. Its location on the river Scheldt which has a direct connection to the North Sea makes it a huge historical port which was declared the seventeenth biggest in the world in 2005. This made the petrochemical industries develop very fast and give the city quite considerable economical support. The moderate maritime climate makes it a good destination for all seasons and the good transportation network makes easier to get there whether by plane, train or car. The motorway bypass links Antwerp to Brussels, Hasselt, Lille or Bruges and the railway system offers direct international connections to Paris and Amsterdam. VLM Airlines provides flights directly from Antwerp International Airport and links it to London and Manchester.
Antwerp Travel Guide – The Diamond Industry
The diamond industry is what Antwerp is best known for among the connoisseurs. It has been constantly developing since the 15th century and it has since set standards in the diamond processing and beauty. After the Second World War the diamond industry was entirely controlled by the Jewish community, but now the Indian and Armenian traders also have an important word to say in setting standards of professional ethics and promoting Antwerp as one of the biggest diamond centers of the world. At present, there are about 1.500 diamond companies in the city centre alone.
Antwerp Travel Guide – Culture and Fashion
Antwerp is known as a very important historical school of painting, where Rubens, Van Dyck or Brueghel were trained. Their heritage is still visible to this day and the city centre prides itself with an imposing statue of Rubens. Still, the cultural life is filled with contemporary artistic manifestations, starting with music, architecture or experimental performances. There is also an important number of theatres, cinemas and museums, all of them blending tradition with modernity. What is specific for Antwerp though is its authentic fashion culture. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts prolifically trains young people in the fashion field and it has produced the internationally known pioneers of the fashion movement known as the “Antwerp-Six”. Moreover, lots of graduates with innovative views have opened small boutiques or have decorated coquette bookshops in Antwerp, so one could say that this pocket metropolis is a very fashionable place to visit. The first to probably agree are the 6.000 visitors who come to Antwerp each year for the fashion show of the Antwerp Academy.
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