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Photographer's Note

Here's the 100th picture in my "Pictures of Home" series.

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Antwerp is the biggest city in the Dutch-speaking part the country. It's a port city with a fascinating history. It's famous for its painters, fashion and diamonds. It's also the place I call home. Actually I grew up in the countryside about half an hour north of Antwerp, but I found that too boring, so after I had finished my studies, like many young people, I moved to the city and I have stayed here ever since. I don't think in Belgium - apart from maybe Brussels - we'd want to live anywhere else, really.

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This picture shows a collection of guild houses on the Grote Markt in the old city centre. A guild is a medieval association of artisans or merchants. All guilds have a guildhouse. These buildings were built to impress, in the city centre, close to the city hall, with a (golden) decoration or statue at the top to symbolize their craft or trade.

Most of these guildhouses, though, are romantic reconstructions built during 19th century. Before that, no one really cared much for these medieval leftovers and most of the originals were sadly lost. As I was taking this picture, I overheard a guide failing to mention this. A fact I couldn't help but point out. Damn the locals!

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song title reference: Gene Clark

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Additional Photos by Benny Verbercht (BennyV) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2810 W: 35 N: 5715] (30476)
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