In this weeks' installment of See the World, we feature the biggest city in Belgium from an administrative and legal sense, Antwerp. Internationally known for diamonds, fashion and art, Antwerp is a wonderful combination of heritage and modernity. With good food, great living, and the most pubs per capita in the world, Antwerp is definitely worth a visit. Located centrally in Europe, Antwerp is easily accessed by foot, car, bike, train or plane and is only 133 km/ 88 miles from Amsterdam or 7,449 km/ 4,630 miles from Miami.
Once the richest city in Europe, Antwerp accounted for 40% of world trade at the beginning of the 16th century. Today, Antwerp is the second biggest port in Europe after Rotterdam.
The Roman Catholic gothic style Cathedral of Our Lady, Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal, was started in 1352 and consecrated in 1521. Reaching a height of 123 meters/ 404 ft, the Unesco World Heritage site dominates the skyline around Groenplaats and Grote Markt.
With the most pubs per capita in the world, drinking and eating are a delight in Antwerp at all times of day. Order yourself a Bolleke (De Koninck) and sit back and relax!
Antwerp is home to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten van Antwerpen, which has produced notable students such as Vincent Van Gogh and Dries Van Noten among many others.
If you are not yet convinced on your visit to Antwerp consider these facts. 1.) Antwerp hosted the the 1920 Summer Olympics and 2.) More than 70% of the worlds diamonds are traded in Antwerp.
Sources: wikipedia.org, visit.antwerpen.be