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Discovering Antwerp   by Joushua James

Located in Flanders, Antwerp is a historically and culturally important city in Belgium. It's Belgium's second largest city and Antwerp's port is the country's chief commercial port.
It's a place where you can just sit and wonder at the many architectural marvels that surround you, ranging from those designed and built in the sixteenth and seventeenth century to the modern day buildings. Some of the important places to visit in Antwerp are "The Town Square", "The Town Hall", "The Steen", "The Meat Hall", "Groenplaats", "Meir", "The House of Rubens" and the "Central Station".

Antwerp is also world famous for its diamonds and it is also known as the diamond centre of the world. Diamonds being a girl's best friend, tourists often seen to visit the diamond district around the Railway Station. This area is in the Jewish part of the city and it's place with it's Jewish inhabitants, give the city a unique flair not to be found in other cities of Belgium. Important streets where the Jewish 'Hassidic' community is settled are Pelikaanstraat (Diamond District), the City Park, Belgiëlei and Charlottelei.

Antwerp owes its popularity to the existence of the Scheldt river, which enabled Antwerp to become the second-largest harbor in Europe (after Rotterdam), and the fourth largest harbor in the world. Antwerp port was enlarged in the 19th century with an artificial dock, the so-called Napoleon Dock and it is now the eight largest container port in the world.

Cathedral at Antwerp, Belgium
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A favorite spot for tourist in Antwerp is the "Antwerp Zoo". It's is one of the oldest and, most famous zoos in the world and houses more than 4,000 animals. The Royal Society for Zoology has helped to ensure that numerous animals in the zoo are well taken care of and has been actively involved in protecting threatened species for more than 100 years.

Antwerp is also a place for fashion. It's been in the spotlight of international fashion because of the glamorous works done by Flemish fashion designers like Walter Van Beirendonck, Nadine Wynants, Ann De Meulemeester, Dirk Bikkembergs, Kaat Tilley and others. A visit to the Meir shopping street is a must for fashion lovers


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About the Author - Joushua James - http://www.travels-belgium.be/
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