Antwerp: a gem of a host
The world’s diamond capital and Europe’s second largest seaport has always been outward looking and forward thinking, with a cosmopolitan air that has made it a popular destination for visitors seeking culture, history and the very best in food, drink and company.
Antwerp offers an effortless mix of old and new in its art, entertainment and architecture, and is a friendly and walkable creative hub rated by both the New York Times and the Lonely Planet guide as among the world’s 10 best cities to visit.
Visitors fall in love with Antwerp’s charm from the moment they arrive in its ‘railway cathedral’, a Central Station considered among the most beautiful in all the world. From there, it’s a short stroll to many of the city’s other architectural masterpieces, such as the Cathedral of Our Lady and the Grand Place, home to the Town Hall and the 16th century Guild Houses in which the reputation of Flanders’ peerless craftsmanship was first forged. These great historic buildings are also home to some of the world’s finest works of art, produced by the Flemish masters Rubens, Jordaens and Van Dyck. More contemporary attractions in Belgium’s ‘capital of cool’ include the state-of-the-art Museum aan de Stroom in the fashionable dockside neighbourhood of Het Eilandje, the city’s famous Diamond Museum, Antwerp Zoo, and the Port House by Zaha Hadid.
Antwerp’s history and modern reputation have made it a magnet for creativity and youth. The city is now the second most diverse city in the world with 175 different nationalities living here.
Antwerp is ready to welcome the world!
Antwerp is an ideal hosting city of the stages in line of the World Championship Cycling in 2021. Located in the heart of Europe and being one of the world’s largest ports, the global centre of diamond trading, a fashion hotspot, one of the cultural capitals of Europe and one of the 23 Olympic cities, Antwerp knows what it takes to host large-scale events and to accommodate large numbers of visitors.
With a qualitative sport infrastructure and a good number of activities and events for different target groups, Antwerp is becoming an important sporting metropolis with international ambition and has been awarded with the title “European Capital of Sports in 2013” as the culmination of its concerted drive for greater sports participation.
Hosting sporting events is an important element in Antwerp’s sports policy. A diverse and attractive calendar of mass and elite sports events enhances Antwerp’s stature as a city of sport. Moreover, it stimulates active and passive sports participation and contributes to community cohesion and civic pride. Last but not least, the organization of international sporting events generates great economic spin-off.
Sporting events are an essential ingredient of life in Antwerp. Every year, about sixty different events attract a total of around 100 000 participants and 600 000 spectators to the city. The City of Antwerp strives to host an appropriate mix of top-level sporting events, mass participation sporting events and sporting events for specific target groups. The top-level sporting events attract over 500 000 spectators every year. Highlights include the start of the cycling spring classic Tour of Flanders, the ATP tennis tournament European Open, the largest running event of the country Antwerp 10 Miles and the new Port of Antwerp Night Marathon.
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Foto's: © Stad Antwerpen