Antwerp (Flemish: Antwerpen, French: Anvers) is a Flemish city in Belgium, and is the capital of Antwerp province in the community of Flanders. With a population of 520,504, it is the most populous city proper in Belgium. Its metropolitan area houses around 1,200,000 people, coming in second behind Brussels.
Antwerp is on the River Scheldt, linked to the North Sea by the Westerschelde estuary. It is about 40 kilometres north of Brussels, and about 15 kilometres from the Dutch border. The Port of Antwerp is one of the biggest in the world, ranking second in Europe and within the top 20 globally. Antwerp was also the place of the world's oldest stock exchange building, originally built in 1531 and re-built in 1872, it has been derelict since 1997.
Antwerp has long been an important city in the Low Countries, both economically and culturally, especially before the Spanish Fury (1576) in the Dutch Revolt. The inhabitants of Antwerp are nicknamed Sinjoren, after the Spanish honorific señor or French seigneur, "lord", referring to the Spanish noblemen who ruled the city in the 17th century. Antwerp had an artistic reputation in the 17th century, based on its school of painting, which included Rubens, Van Dyck, Jordaens, the two Teniers and many others.
Today Antwerp is a major trade and cultural centre, and is the world's second most multi-cultural city (after Amsterdam) home to 170 nationalities. It is also known as "the diamond capital of the world" for its large diamond district. The city hosted the 1920 Summer Olympics.
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