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Antwerp, alongside the river 'Schelde', is linked to the North Sea by the Westerschelde estuary. The Port of Antwerp is one of the biggest in the world, ranking second in Europe and within the top 20 globally.
Antwerp has long been an important city in the Low Countries, both economically and culturally, especially before the Spanish Fury (1576) in the Dutch Revolt. The inhabitants of Antwerp are nicknamed Sinjoren, after the Spanish honorific señor or French seigneur, "lord", referring to the Spanish noblemen who ruled the city in the 17th century.
According to folklore, notably celebrated by a statue in front of the town hall, the city got its name from a legend involving a mythical giant called Antigoon who lived near the Scheldt river.
He exacted a toll from those crossing the river, and for those who refused, he severed one of their hands and threw it into the river.
Eventually, the giant was slain by a young hero named Brabo, who cut off the giant's own hand and flung it into the river.
Hence the name Antwerpen, from Dutch hand werpen, akin to Old English hand and wearpan (to throw), which has evolved to today's warp.
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