‘The Scheldt river owes its existence to God, and Antwerp owes its existence to the Scheldt river’ is a popular saying that shows how important the river Scheldt is for the city of Antwerp. Yes, Antwerp also has Europe’s second largest and world’s fourth largest harbour. And its operating assets such as cranes, buildings, bridges, docks, roads, the electricity distribution network, data and stock management, planning, budgeting, reporting, performance tracking, internal and external outsourcing are being managed by IBM .
The following clip is taken from my colleague’s handycam, showing a passenger ship at the port. Before that day I had never seen a ship in my life, let alone this big. This time I didn’t have my camera so showing only the clips. Audio is bad, bear with me.
Of all the ports on the North Sea, Antwerp is the most central vis-à-vis the largest European production and consumption centers. Although the open North Sea is about 60 km away from Antwerp, the river is so large that sea-going vessels and large oil tankers can sail to deliver their products in the vast port area of the city.
Though the more common language in Belgium is French, this small city speaks Dutch, perhaps because of its proximity to Netherlands. Most buildings are old but a treat to eyes.. total architectural wonders. Many Indian restaurants, one doesn’t feel out of place.
Not as big as the ‘Grand’Place’ of Brussels, but certainly equally beautiful and crowded is the ‘Grote Markt’ of Antwerp, also known as Market Square.
In the background the tower of Our Lady’s Cathedral completes the magnificent view.
One of the grandest buildings in Antwerp is the ‘Central Station’. It welcomes visitors who arrive by train in Antwerp like a modern day cathedral. The part of the station where the platforms are, is covered by an immense metal and glass dome (typical for turn-of-the-century railway stations in Europe).