Grote Markt, Antwerp

Like any good medieval Flemish city, life in Antwerp revolved around the market. Although the vendors have disappeared, ornate guildhalls and the gorgeous 16th century Italo-Flemish Renaissance-style stadhuis flank the square.

And is that a baroque fountain? With a man throwing a…hand? Why yes, yes it is! The baroque fountain in the middle of the square depicts a Roman warrior hurling a giant severed hand.

According to the legend, a giant and extortionist extraordinaire, Druon Antigoon, controlled a bend in the Scheldt River and forced passing ships’ captains to pay hefty tolls. If the captains could not pay, the giant cut off their hands and threw them into the river. One day, Roman warrior Silvius Brabo got fed up, killed the giant, chopped off his hand and threw it in the river.

The place of hand werpen (hand throwing) became Antwerpen.

Grote Markt, Druon Antigoon, Silvius Brabo, Brabo Fountain, Antwerp, Belgium

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