In the middle of the 'Grote Markt' stands the Brabo fountain. The statue was made by sculptor Jef Lambeaux in 1887. According to a legend, a terrible giant, called Druoon Antigoon, lived on the banks of the river Scheldt in ancient times. Whenever sailors on the Scheldt river refused to pay toll to the giant, he punished them by cutting off their hand. A Roman soldier, Silvius Brabo, managed to kill the giant. Brabo cut off the hand of the giant and threw the hand away in the river.
Hence, according to the legend, the name of the city : hand ( Engl.: hand) -werpen (Engl.: to throw). A nice legend, but untrue. Nevertheless, the 'hand' is the symbol of Antwerp. There are hands in the town flag. Also there are several sweets in the form of a hand (cookies, chocolates). In any case, without the Brabo fountain, the Grote Markt would not be complete.
Brabo Fountain and Town Hall
The tops of the buildings are ornately decorated
Statues in front of the Cathedral
The statue on the lower left is actually a street performer dressed as a statue
THE "LANGE WAPPER''
The entrance to the Steen is guarded by the 'Lange Wapper' statue. This statue was made in 1963 by Albert Poels and represents a legendary person called Lange Wapper, the Antwerp version of the boogie man. He terrified children and drunks. The name 'Lange Wapper is now also used for a new fountain in the river Scheldt.
Well, apparently he terrified kids and drunks with his huge crotch ...
The first skyscraper in Europe