Antwerp (wheat beer. Antwerpen (info.) [ˈɑntˌʋɛrpə(n)], FR. ‘anvers [ɑvɛʁs], z.-флам. Antwerpn) — a city in the Flemish region of Belgium. The second (after Brussels) city in the country, the largest city in Flanders. The administrative center of the province of Antwerp. The city is situated on both banks of the river Scheldt. Sea port is included in the 2010 year of the twenty largest ports in the world and is the second in Europe after the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
The exact date of origin of the castle Walls and the city is unknown, most likely, this happened not earlier than the VII century. The Duke Брабантский granted the right for free trade in Antwerp English, Venetian and Genoese merchants, which had a positive impact on the popularity of the fair. At first Antwerp rivalry with nearby Хертогенбосом and Bergen, then — with Левеном and Brussels.
Since the decline of Bruges in the XII century and until Восьмидесятилетней war Antwerp remained the rich trading city is not only the Netherlands, but also the whole of Northern Europe. In the XV century, when the Netherlands the rules of the house of Burgundy, almost all foreign merchant representative office moved from club Brugge kV in Antwerp.
With the discovery of America and the transition of Burgundy inheritance in the house of the Spanish Hapsburgs in Antwerp banks flooded the gold of the New world. In 1531, the city was opened the exchange, which served as a model for similar institutions in London and Amsterdam. To the middle of the XVI century the population of Antwerp more than 100 thousand inhabitants. A bright monument of the Golden age — the lavishly adorned the Renaissance Antwerp city hall (1561-65).
When a fire was kindled the Netherlands revolution, Antwerp made on the side of the rebels, for among the merchant class is dominated by Protestants. Not receiving a salary from king Philip II of Spanish troops mutinied, and plundered the Antwerp in November 1576г.  In 1585 the city was besieged and taken by the Spanish troops of Alexander Parma and has since kept loyalty to the king. In response, the Northern province blocked the navigation on the Schelde, thereby cutting off the city from the output to the sea. For this reason, the economic activity in the shortest possible time moved to the North, mainly in Amsterdam. In 1589, the population of Antwerp fell to 42 thousand inhabitants.
on November 15, 1715, in Antwerp has been concluded the contract.
When determining the state border of Belgium, which seceded from the Netherlands in 1834, Talleyrand for a bribe included Antwerp in the composition of Belgium.
Despite the drop in the economic role of Antwerp, he continued to be the largest art and cultural center of the South of the Netherlands. The names of local painters Rubens and van Dyck thundered throughout Europe. From the end of XIX century there began a new period of economic growth, associated with the expansion of the port. In 1920 in Antwerp there were summer Olympic games.