Brian Doucet

Urban Geographer

Antwerp, Belgium

Antwerp is Belgium's second largest city and the largest city in the Flanders region. It is one of Europ's major ports and in Medieval times was one of the wealthiest cities on the continent. Much of this wealth can be seen in the historic buildings in the city centre, particuarly in its cathedral. But the city went through a long period of decline covering several centuries. Antwerp is a good example of 'landscape silence' - a long period with few buildings or expansions of the city. However, in the 19th Century, the city began to grow once again, fuelled by its port. Today, the harbour remains important, but much of the 19th century port areas have been turned over to post-industrial uses. Culture, fashion, and other creative industries are also important to the city's economy. Our tour starts in the city centre, before moving into the harbour.