One of Europe’s largest seaports famous for diamonds and banks, people have lived in what is now called Antwerp since the mid second Century. Its wealth, especially during the 16th Century, coming from its prime position on the trade routes lead to wealthy citizens who wanted to build attractive houses and municipal buildings. In the 17th Century Antwerp’s artistic bent flourished as it produced major painters including Rubens and Van Dyck. It also likes to see itself as a city rising onto the global catwalk.
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