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Origin of the name[edit] According to folklore, notably celebrated by a statue in front of the town hall, the city got its name from a legend about a giant called Antigoon who lived near the Scheldt river. He exacted a toll from passing boatmen, and for those who refused, he severed one of their hands and threw it into the river.[8] Eventually the giant was killed by a young hero named Silvius Brabo, who cut off the giant's own hand and flung it into the river. Hence the name Antwerpen, from Dutch hand werpen, akin to Old English hand and wearpan (to throw), which has evolved to today's warp.[9] A longstanding theory is that the name originated in the Gallo-Roman period and comes from the Latin antverpia. Antverpia would come from Ante (before) Verpia (deposition, sedimentation), indicating land that forms by deposition in the inside curve of a river (which is in fact the same origin as Germanic waerpen). Note that the river Scheldt, before a transition period between 600 and 750, followed a different track. This must have coincided roughly with the current ringway south of the city, situating the city within a former curve of the river.[10] However, many historians think it unlikely that there was a large settlement which would be named 'Antverpia', but more something like an outpost with a river crossing. However, John Lothrop Motley argues, and so do a lot of Dutch etymologists and historians, that Antwerp's name derives from an 't werf (on the wharf, in the same meaning as the current English wharf).[11] Aan 't werp (at the warp) is also possible. This "warp" (thrown ground) is a man-made hill or a river deposit, high enough to remain dry at high tide, whereupon a construction could be built that would remain dry. Another word for werp is pol (dyke) hence polders (the dry land behind a dyke, that was no longer flooded by the tide). Pre-1500[edit] Historical Antwerp allegedly had its origins in a Gallo-Roman vicus. Excavations carried out in the oldest section near the Scheldt, 1952–1961 (ref. Princeton), produced pottery shards and fragments of glass from mid-2nd century to the end of the 3rd century. The earliest mention of Antwerp dates from the 4th century. In the 4th century, Antwerp was first named, having been settled by the Germanic Franks.[12] The name was reputed to have been derived from "anda" (at) and "werpum" (wharf).[11] The Merovingian Antwerp was evangelized by Saint Amand in the 7th century. At the end of the 10th century, the Scheldt became the boundary of the Holy Roman Empire. Antwerp became a margraviate in 980, by the German emperor Otto I, a border province facing the County of Flanders. In the 11th century Godfrey of Bouillon was for some years known as the marquis of Antwerp. In the 12th century, Norbert of Xanten established a community of his Premonstratensian canons at St. Michael's Abbey at Caloes. Antwerp was also the headquarters of Edward III during his early negotiations with Jacob van Artevelde, and his son Lionel, the Duke of Clarence, was born there in 1338. 16th century[edit] Osias Beert the Elder, from Antwerp. Dishes with Oysters, Fruit, and Wine, c. 1620/1625 After the silting up of the Zwin and the consequent decline of Bruges, the city of Antwerp, then part of the Duchy of Brabant, grew in importance. At the end of the 15th century the foreign trading houses were transferred from Bruges to Antwerp, and the building assigned to the English nation is specifically mentioned in 1510. Antwerp became the sugar capital of Europe, importing the raw commodity from Portuguese and Spanish plantations. The city attracted Italian and German sugar refiners by 1550, and shipped their refined product to Germany, especially Cologne.[13] Moneylenders and financiers did a large business lending money to the English government in 1544–1574. London bankers were too small to operate on that scale, and Antwerp had a highly efficient bourse that itself attracted rich bankers from around Europe. After the 1570s the city's banking business declined: England ended its borrowing in Antwerp in 1574.[14] Fernand Braudel states that Antwerp became "the centre of the entire international economy, something Bruges had never been even at its height."[15] Antwerp was the richest city in Europe at this time.[16] Antwerp's golden age is tightly linked to the "Age of Exploration". During the first half of the 16th century Antwerp grew to become the second-largest European city north of the Alps.[citation needed] Many foreign merchants were resident in the city. Francesco Guicciardini, the Venetian envoy, stated that hundreds of ships would pass in a day, and 2,000 carts entered the city each week. Portuguese ships laden with pepper and cinnamon would unload their cargo. According to Luc-Normand Tellier "It is estimated that the port of Antwerp was earning the Spanish crown seven times more revenues than the Americas."[17] The Sack of Antwerp in 1576, in which about 7,000 people died. Without a long-distance merchant fleet, and governed by an oligarchy of banker-aristocrats forbidden to engage in trade, the economy of Antwerp was foreigner-controlled, which made the city very cosmopolitan, with merchants and traders from Venice, Ragusa, Spain and Portugal. Antwerp had a policy of toleration, which attracted a large Orthodox Jewish community. Antwerp experienced three booms during its golden age: the first based on the pepper market, a second launched by American silver coming from Seville (ending with the bankruptcy of Spain in 1557), and a third boom, after the stabilising Treaty of Cateau-Cambresis in 1559, based on the textiles industry. At the beginning of the 16th century Antwerp accounted for 40% of world trade.[17] The boom-and-bust cycles and inflationary cost-of-living squeezed less-skilled workers. In the century after 1541, however, the city's economy and population declined dramatically, while rival Amsterdam experienced massive growth. View of the Pier of Antwerp from the Vlaams Hoofd The religious revolution of the Reformation erupted in violent riots in August 1566, as in other parts of the Low Countries. The regent Margaret, Duchess of Parma, was swept aside when Philip II sent the Duke of Alba at the head of an army the following summer. When the Eighty Years' War broke out in 1568, commercial trading between Antwerp and the Spanish port of Bilbao collapsed and became impossible. On 4 November 1576, Spanish soldiers sacked the city during the so-called Spanish Fury: 7,000 citizens were massacred, 800 houses were burnt down, and over £2 million sterling of damage was done. Subsequently, the city joined the Union of Utrecht in 1579 and became the capital of the Dutch revolt. In 1585, Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma and Piacenza, captured it after a long siege and as part of the terms of surrender its Protestant citizens were given two years to settle their affairs before quitting the city.[18] Most went to the United Provinces in the north, starting the Dutch Golden Age. Antwerp's banking was controlled for a generation by Genoa, and Amsterdam became the new trading centre. 17th–19th centuries[edit] Map of Antwerp (1624) Antwerp and the river Scheldt, photochrom ca. 1890–1900 "View of Antwerp with the frozen Scheldt" (1590) by Lucas van Valckenborch. The recognition of the independence of the United Provinces by the Treaty of Münster in 1648 stipulated that the Scheldt should be closed to navigation, which destroyed Antwerp's trading activities. This impediment remained in force until 1863, although the provisions were relaxed during French rule from 1795 to 1814, and also during the time Belgium formed part of the Kingdom of the United Netherlands (1815 to 1830). Antwerp had reached the lowest point in its fortunes in 1800, and its population had sunk to under 40,000, when Napoleon, realizing its strategic importance, assigned funds to enlarge the harbour by constructing a new dock (still named the Bonaparte Dock) and an access- lock and mole and deepening the Scheldt to allow for larger ships to approach Antwerp.[16] Napoleon hoped that by making Antwerp's harbour the finest in Europe he would be able to counter the Port of London and hamper British growth. However, he was defeated at the Battle of Waterloo before he could see the plan through.[19] Antwerp, Belgium, from the left bank of the Scheldt (c. 1890 – 1900) In 1830, the city was captured by the Belgian insurgents, but the citadel continued to be held by a Dutch garrison under General David Hendrik Chassé. For a time Chassé subjected the town to periodic bombardment which inflicted much damage, and at the end of 1832 the citadel itself was besieged by the French Northern Army commanded by Marechal Gerard. During this attack the town was further damaged. In December 1832, after a gallant defence, Chassé made an honourable surrender, ending the Siege of Antwerp (1832). Later that century, a double ring of Brialmont Fortresses was constructed some 10 km (6 mi) from the city centre, as Antwerp was considered vital for the survival of the young Belgian state. And in the last decade Antwerp presented itself to the world via a World's Fair attended by 3 million.[20] 20th century[edit] Results of German bombardment of Antwerp, October 1914 Antwerp was the first city to host the World Gymnastics Championships, in 1903. During World War I, the city became the fallback point of the Belgian Army after the defeat at Liège. The Siege of Antwerp lasted for 11 days, but the city was taken after heavy fighting by the German Army, and the Belgians were forced to retreat westwards. Antwerp remained under German occupation until the Armistice. Antwerp hosted the 1920 Summer Olympics. During World War II, the city was an important strategic target because of its port. It was occupied by Germany in May 1940 and liberated by the British 11th Armoured Division on 4 September 1944. After this, the Germans attempted to destroy the Port of Antwerp, which was used by the Allies to bring new material ashore. Thousands of Rheinbote, V-1 and V-2 missiles were fired (more V-2s than used on all other targets during the entire war combined), causing severe damage to the city but failed to destroy the port due to poor accuracy. After the war, Antwerp, which had already had a sizeable Jewish population before the war, once again became a major European centre of Haredi (and particularly Hasidic) Orthodox Judaism. A Ten-Year Plan for the port of Antwerp (1956–1965) expanded and modernized the port's infrastructure with national funding to build a set of canal docks. The broader aim was to facilitate the growth of the north-eastern Antwerp metropolitan region, which attracted new industry based on a flexible and strategic implementation of the project as a co-production between various authorities and private parties. The plan succeeded in extending the linear layout along the Scheldt river by connecting new satellite communities to the main strip.[21] Starting in the 1990s, Antwerp rebranded itself as a world-class fashion centre. Emphasizing the avant-garde, it tried to compete with London, Milan, New York and Paris. It emerged from organized tourism and mega-cultural events.[22] Over Antwerpen Hoe oud is Antwerpen? Opgravingen hebben aangetoond dat er zeker al in het Gallo-Romeinse tijdperk (tweede en derde eeuw van onze tijdrekening) bewoning was aan de Schelde. Dat was ook het geval omstreeks 650, toen de kerstening startte. In 836 verwoestten de Noormannen de toenmalige woonkern. Daarna kwamen er opnieuw bewoners aan de ‘aanwerp’, waaraan Antwerpen haar naam zou ontlenen, op de plaats waar vandaag nog steeds de burcht het Steen staat. Deze kern groeide uit tot de huidige stad. Toen Antwerpen rond 970 een grensplaats werd van het Duitse Rijk, bouwde men een houten versterking. Die werd later vervangen door een stenen burcht (het Steen) met een omheiningsmuur en Antwerpen mocht zich markgraafschap (grensgraafschap) van het Heilig Roomse Rijk der Duitse Natie noemen. De Schelde was de grens en aan de overkant lag het graafschap Vlaanderen. Aan de zuidzijde van Antwerpen richtte de Heilige Norbertus in de twaalfde eeuw de Sint-Michielsabdij op. De kanunniken van het kerkje dat daar had gestaan, verhuisden toen naar de noordelijke kern en stichtten daar een nieuwe parochie, met als centrum een Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekerk, de eerste voorloper van de Onze-Lieve-Vrouwekathedraal. De stad, die vanaf dan deel uitmaakte van het hertogdom Brabant, bleef zich concentrisch uitbreiden met opeenvolgende omwallingen die nog steeds herkenbaar zijn in het stratenpatroon. Een eerste economische bloeiperiode volgde in de eerste helft van de veertiende eeuw. Toen werd Antwerpen het belangrijkste handelscentrum en financiële hart van West-Europa, vooral bekend voor haar zeehaven en wolmarkt. In 1356 werd de stad aangehecht bij het graafschap Vlaanderen en verloor ze heel wat privileges, onder meer ten voordele van Brugge. Maar vijftig jaar later keerde het politieke en economische tij weer en begon de aanloop naar de ‘Gouden Eeuw’, waarin Antwerpen op elk vlak een wereldstad werd; zowat het New York van de zestiende eeuw. In 1531 bouwt Dominicus de Waghemakere de allereerste Handelsbeurs, ‘de Moeder van alle beurzen’, die onder meer model stond voor de beurzen van Amsterdam, Londen en Rijsel (Lille). De Florentijn Lodovico Guicciardini omschreef dit handels- en cultuurcentrum als ‘de mooiste stad ter wereld’. De beroemdste inwoners uit die tijd zijn: de schilders Quinten Metsys en Bruegel, de drukker Plantin, de humanisten en wetenschapslui Lipsius, Mercator, Dodoens en Ortelius. De spotnaam ‘sinjoren’, die de Antwerpenaars met trots dragen, stamt uit deze Gouden Eeuw. In de ogen van al dan niet afgunstige bezoekers leidden vele inwoners toen een waar herenleven: hoofs en zelfbewust, als ‘sinjeurs’ (naar het Spaanse señor). In de tweede helft van deze eeuw lag de stad echter in het brandpunt van de politiek-godsdienstige strijd tussen het protestantse Noorden en het katholieke Spanje, met als dieptepunten de Beeldenstorm (1566), de Spaanse Furie (1576) en uiteindelijk de Val van Antwerpen (1585). Na de Val kwam de stad weer onder het gezag van Filips II en sloten de Noordelijke Nederlanden de Schelde af. Economisch gezien was dit een ramp. Bovendien ontvluchtten niet alleen de protestanten, maar ook de commerciële en intellectuele elite de stad. Van de 100 000 inwoners in 1570 bleven er in 1590 zowat 40.000 over. Toch duurde de culturele bloei nog tot halfweg de zeventiende eeuw, met schilders als Rubens, Van Dyck, Jordaens en Teniers, de beeldhouwerfamilies Quellin en Verbrugghen, drukkers als Moretus en de beroemde Antwerpse klavecimbelbouwers. Vanaf 1650 tot in de negentiende eeuw valt er nog weinig vrolijks over Antwerpen te melden. De Schelde bleef dicht en de metropool werd een provinciestad. Onder het Oostenrijkse bewind (1715–1792) probeerde Jozef II de stroom manu militari vrij te maken, maar dit mislukte. In 1795, onder Franse bezetting, lukte het wel, maar ditmaal stuitten de schepen op een Engelse blokkade. Geen wonder, want Napoleon beschouwde de Antwerpse haven als ‘een pistool gericht op het hart van Engeland’. Aan de Franse periode (1792–1815) dankte Antwerpen wel de aanzet tot een moderne haven, maar tegelijk viel het culturele patrimonium ten prooi aan een zelden geziene kunstroof en vernieling. Er werden zelfs plannen gemaakt om de kathedraal te slopen. Na de val van Napoleon in Waterloo (1815) volgde een kortstondige hereniging met de Noordelijke Nederlanden en een even korte bloei, die eindigde met de Belgische revolutie (1830) en opnieuw de sluiting van de Schelde. Een definitieve vrije doorvaart kwam er pas in 1863. Toen kon de derde grote bloeiperiode van Antwerpen beginnen. Afgezien van onderbrekingen tijdens de twee wereldoorlogen beleefde Antwerpen in de twintigste eeuw een gestage economische groei. In 1920 organiseert Antwerpen de Olympische Zomerspelen. Voor het eerst werd de Olympische vlag gehesen, worden duiven losgelaten als symbool voor de vrede en werd de Olympische eed afgelegd door een atleet. Op cultureel vlak kreeg de stad in 1993 internationale uitstraling toen ze Culturele Hoofdstad van Europa werd: meteen de erkenning van haar historische en hedendaagse rijkdom waarvan ook u kan genieten.




















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