The City Hall and Grote Markt

Grote Markt is the old market square and the centre of the old city. Today it's probably the nicest square in Antwerp, and maybe in the whole Belgium. On the sides of the square you can see the old quild houses, in one end the city hall, and then you have the cathedral in one corner. Straight in front of the city hall is the statue of Brabo the soldier who by the legend cut of the hand of the evil giant Antigoon, and threw it in the river. According to the legend this is why the city is called Antwerpen: hand werpen means to throw a hand.

The city hall it self was originally finished in the year 1565, but it was burned down in the Spanish fury in 1576. Three years after that it was re-erected to its present form. On the ground level of the city hall you can see a line of doors, which originally led to small shops. The shops had to be build as a part of the city hall because the building was built partly on the market square, which made the square too small for all the sellers.

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