Antwerp, Belgium – Diamonds are just a part of its charm
The city of Antwerp, Belgium is often times compared with the neighboring city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands; this comparison stems from hundreds of years of history as neighbors and the fact that the two have had somewhat similar industries throughout the centuries. However in modern times, comparing their tourism numbers is not a fair fight, because as opposed to Amsterdam, Antwerp doesn’t have an internationally recognized brand-name. This is in part due to the fact that its actual name is spelled in different ways, sometimes it’s Anvers, sometimes it’s Antwerpen and usually English speakers call it Antwerp, but you can see why that can cause confusion to the average traveler.
But that trend has been changing in later years, with Belgium’s second city becoming a great tourist destination, especially for those who live in nearby countries and want to get out for the weekend.
The city’s economy bounded back in recent decades, thanks in part to the massive diamond trade that takes place here. This is an industry where Amsterdam had taken over back in the 17th century, during Antwerp’s centuries of turmoil, however it has now regained its spot as Europe’s major diamond market, probably the world’s top diamond market seeing how it trades half the cut diamonds in the world and eighty-five percent of the planet’s rough ones.
Considering this pedigree it only makes sense to make a stop at the World Diamond Centre where you can brush up on your geology and history notions. You can also view a reconstruction of a 19th century family workshop in which the father would set a rough diamond in molten lead and then grind it on a diamond dust turntable revolved by his children, while his wife would sweep the resulting diamond dust from the floor.
Diamonds are indeed big business here, and Antwerp is an ideal place to go to if you’re looking to buy some, however the city offers many other things to delight its visitors because its port, even though the city is fifty miles inland, is actually the fifth largest in the world, so the city has an extraordinarily wide range of products that you can find.
Maybe thanks to the many exotic imports that pass through the port, Antwerp has built a reputation for gourmet cuisine, so foodies will surely have their work cut out for them.
If it so happens that you or someone that you’re traveling with, is interested in fashion trends, know that Antwerp is home to the Antwerp Six, established designers who deal in a wide variety of trends.
These are just some of the major things that one can expect from a trip to Antwerp, be sure that the city offers many more things to be seen and done, all you have to do is to get there and the city will take care of the rest.
Antwerp – Belgium – Related links list
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