Antwerp, Belgium; Anvers, Belgium
City in Belgium, on the Scheldt, 60 miles from the sea.
In the 10th and 11th centuries, capital of the Margravate of Antwerp, it rose to the height of its prosperity in the 16th century under Charles V, at whose death it fell to Austria.
France held it from 1794 to 1815, and Holland, from 1815 to the foundation of the new Kingdom of Belgium in 1830.
As an intellectual center it was the home of Plantin, Lipsius, Ortelius, Mercator, and De Backer, the Jesuit biographer.
As an art center, it encouraged Metsys, Rubens, Van Dyck, Jordaens, Teniers, and Leys.
It also sheltered the English religious orders who fled persecution in England.
The cathedral, built 1354-1530, is cruciform, with triple aisles and an ambulatory, has a tower 400 feet high, and contains Rubens's "Descent from the Cross."
Other churches are Saint Charles Borromeo, Saint Jacques, and Saint Paul.
Antwerp was the seat of a diocese from 1559 to 1801, suffragan of Mechlin.
The diocese was re-erected on 8 December 1961.
New Catholic Dictionary