Antwerp is located on the river Scheldt and is the largest city in Flanders, in the Northern - Flemish speaking - part of Belgium, located in the center of Europe. Antwerp is the real urban deal, a refreshingly down-to-earth yet vivacious cosmopolitan habitat blessed with magnificent architecture, fashionable shop fronts, beer-washed pubs, dazzling monuments, jazzed-up clubs, inspired artworks and restaurant tables piled with plates of superb Belgian and multicultural food. Antwerp, home of the Flemish Baroque master Rubens, not only has a wealth of outstanding museums, picturesque galleries, sculpted streets and beautiful architecture, but is also laced with refreshing greenery and urban haunts. Its culture, history, vibrant nightlife and world class shopping are within easy reach, thanks to excellent access by air, train, motorway and even water. Because of its historical heritage, bubbling social and cultural life, Antwerp offers an excellent environment for education and research and, of course, makes a great location for the EEWC 2017 conference.
The history of the city of Antwerp is one of economic and cultural success over many centuries. The time of its greatest glory was the 16th century. Many remnants from those days can still be found in the historic city centre. The City Campus of the University of Antwerp is situated in the historical city centre and its central 16th century building “Hof van Liere”, is part of the cultural-historical patrimony of Antwerp. The Museum Plantin Moretus, a unique 16th century print shop and library, is a particularly wonderful and fascinating example. This Golden Age also boats some of Antwerp’s best-know painters: Rubens, Van Dyck, Jordaens and Teniers, whose works can be found in Antwerp’s museums and the city’s five monumental historic churches. The magnificent gothic Our Lady’s Cathedral is a category all of its own.
It harbours Europe's second largest port and is considered the capital of diamond trade. The city has an illustrious century-old cultural history associated with the famous painters Rubens and van Dijck, the printer-editor Plantin, but its citizens also cherish the zoological garden, the recent MAS and Red Star Line museums and the medieval cathedral and churches. Fashion, shopping and dining occasions abound, making it a favourite destination for a city trip.
Diamond capital of the world
Antwerp owes its very existence and prosperity to the River Scheldt. The port of Antwerp is the second largest in Europe, and in the top ten worldwide. The diamond trade is another major economic factor: within one square kilometer, near the Central Station, 80% of the world’s rough diamonds and 50% of the world’s polished diamonds are traded.
In recent decades, Antwerp has become a leading European trendsetter in the world of fashion. In the 1980s the so called Antwerp Six took London and Paris by storm after graduating from the famous fashion department of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. The movement they started is still going strong today, as one can easily tell from the many unique designers shops.
Enjoy good food
The people of Antwerp have always had a reputation for being gourmets. Because of its unique location, in the 16th century – the “Golden Age” – Antwerp was a port where all types of foodstuffs, drinks, herbs and spices from distant lands arrived. Even today a wide range of exotic foods is still on sale in Antwerp. The majority of Antwerp restaurants tend to go in the direction of the French cuisine, with the addition of a few fine Belgian touches or the use of typical Belgian ingredients. However, in this cosmopolitan city you will find a whole range of European, ethnic and biological cuisine as well as restaurants experimenting with the latest food fads. The greatest concentration of places to eat is in the areas around the historic city centre, the Central Station and the south quarter of Antwerp.