Antwerp (city)

Antwerp (Antwerpen in Dutch; Anvers in French) is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp, of which it is the capital. The municipality comprises the city of Antwerp proper and the towns of Berchem, Berendrecht, Borgerhout, Deurne, Ekeren, Hoboken, Merksem, Wilrijk and Zandvliet. On January 1st, 2000 Antwerp had a total population of 446,525 (216,580 males and 229,945 females). The total area is 203.80 km² which gives a population density of 2,191.00 inhabitants per km².

Antwerp is notable as a centre of the diamond industry, both for trading and for cutting and polishing. Antwerp is also famous for its seaport with a lot of cargo shipping. Since the 1990s it has been recognized as a fashion design city, namely because of some graduates of the Royal Academy of Fine arts - Fashion, became internationally successful.

The river Schelde passes through Antwerp. Antwerp is a major port, linked to the North Sea by the Schelde and the Westerschelde.

Antwerp is also notable for its zoo, which is one of the oldest and most famous zoos in the world. The Antwerp Zoo is located in the middle of the city and hosts more than 4000 animals. The Royal Society for Zoology has been watching over the welfare of numerous animals and helping to protect threatened animals for more than 100 years.

Antwerp is nicknamed "The Jerusalem of the West" because of its large orthodox Jewish (hasidic) community.

In the Eighty Years' War on November 4, 1576, Spain captured the city and nearly destroyed it after three days.

During World War II the city was occupied by Germany and was liberated on September 4, 1944 when the British 11th Armored Division entered the city. After this, it was hit by more V-2 rockets than any other target during the whole war because the germans were trying to destroy the port of Antwerp (wich was used by the allies to bring new material ashore) but without succes. Antwerp Stadhuis (Town Hall) in Grote Markt

Historical population

1800: 45,500 inhabitants
1830: 73,500
1856: 111,700
1880: 179,000
1900: 275,100
1925: 308,000

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