The history of Antwerp

The name or toponym "Antwerp" is explained toponymical and archaeologically from the name given to the site of the first settlement, which was called "Anda Verpa". This is probably an Old Frankish reference to 'near the grounds', for example, a place in a bend of the river, the appropriate site for a settlement at this time. It is not so that the name of the city comes from Silvius Brabo, a folklore figure. According to a legend, he was a Roman soldier who killed the giant Druon Antigoon, cut off his hand, and threw it into the Scheldt river. In the language of the time that would mean Ant (hand) and Werpen (throwing), but that is a legend that was later partly accepted as accurate. Brabo became the official symbol of the city and got its own statue in front of the town hall, throwing the hand of the giant into the river.

Picture by Pixabay

Over time, the name changed to Antwerpen, in English Antwerp. The settlement grew into a bustling port city, thanks in part to its strategic location at the intersection of the River Scheldt and the North Sea. The city became an important hub for trade, with merchants from all over Europe coming to Antwerp to buy and sell goods.

As the centuries passed, Antwerp continued to thrive. The city was home to many great artists, including the painters Rubens and Van Dyck, and the composer Lassus. It was also a center of learning, with a university that attracted students from all over Europe.
In the 19th century, Antwerp underwent a period of industrialization, with new factories and shipyards being built along the river. This growth period ended with the First World War when the city was heavily damaged by German bombing.

Today, Antwerp is a vibrant and bustling city, known for its fashion, art, and culture. Despite its many challenges and setbacks over the centuries, it remains a thriving center of trade and commerce, and a testament to the resilience and ingenuity of its people.