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Antwerps history goes back to the 2nd century, but it's glory begun in the end of the 15th century, when the foreign trading houses were moved from Bruges to Antwerp. This started the golden period in Antwerps history, by 1560 it was already the second largest city in Europe. During the golden period Antwerp was very international city with merchants coming e.g. from Venice, Spain and Portugal. At this time the most important products were spices and silver.

Antwerps glory came to a sudden halt in 1684 when the Treaty of Munster was signed, and a independent Netherlands was born. This treaty led to the closing of Scheld, which ment the end of trade in Antwerp. The closing of Scheld also closed Antwerp and by the year 1800 the population had sunk to 40,000.