The city of Antwerp is in the region of Flanders in northern Belgium. It lies on the right bank of the river Scheldt, linked to the sea, and has historically been an important city in terms of economic activity and culture. Antwerp's port, the second largest in Europe, has high volumes of shipping. It is also ‘the diamond capital of the world’.
The 500,000 cosmopolitan inhabitants call their city ‘The Metropolis’. In the 16th century (‘the golden era’) Antwerp was reknowned for its wealthy merchant citizens, whose splendid houses have been maintained throughout the city.
In the 17th century Antwerp had a fine artistic tradition, based on the school of Rubens, Van Dyck, and many others.
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