Friday, December 30, 2005

A stands for Antwerp

Where does the name Antwerp come from?

Those among you whom have visited Antwerp and the Grote Markt (Big Square), might have noticed a statue in front of the city hall: it's the statue of Brabo tossing the hand of the Giant who used to demand toll from the skippers that wanted to enter the harbor.

Brabo thought the ways of the Giant were very unfair and so inhospitable, that he became furious in such a way, that he fought the Giant with the result that the latter lost his hand and Brabo tossed it in the river Scheldt, so the Giant wasn't able to ask toll no more.

That's what being depicted by the statue.

In Flemish the word 'hand' means ... 'hand' and 'werpen' means 'toss', hence the explanation in local folklore of the name of the city Antwerpen ...

But do you reckon this is true?


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