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grand place

The center of the old town is Antwerp’s Grand Place (Grote Markt), which is home to the town hall and various guild houses. The elaborate Brabo Fountain, which was built in 1887 by Jef Lambeaux and shows the Roman soldier Silvius Brabo flinging the giant Antigonus’ severed hand into the Scheldt, is situated in the center.

Built by Cornelis Floris de Vriendt between 1561 and 1565, the Town Hall (or Stadhuis) occupies the western side of the square. The inside is decorated with paintings by H. Leys depicting Antwerp’s history. Apart from the Stadhuis, the majority of the structures lining the Grote Markt were formerly guild houses (gildehuizen), which served as the administrative centers of the city’s guilds in the 16th and 17th centuries.

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