The name of Antwerpen (or Antwerp) originated from the words ‘hand werpen’ which means ‘hand throwing’ in Dutch. 

The city got its name from a mythical giant named Antigoon who resided near the banks of the river Scheldt and caused major distress among local residents by imposing a toll for crossing the river. Those who resisted got one of their hands cut off and thrown into the Scheldt. A local hero named Brabo finally laid the giant to rest by slaying him and throwing one of his hands into the river.

Today Antwerp is a major port, diamond centre and tourist destination with numerous shopping streets, road-side pubs and restaurants and a thriving nightlife, with many venues open almost 24 hours.

And what do Matthias Schoenaerts, Felix van Groeningen, Koen De Bouw, Kevin Janssens, Charlotte Vermeersch, Marie Vinck and Mateo Simoni have in common? They all live in Antwerp.

→ Get a glimpse of Flanders’ most vibrant city in the 500 Hidden Secrets web guide to the city.