In the middle of the Large Market Antwerp, Brabo, the statue of a man throwing a large hand, is standing.
This statue dates from 1887 and was made by Jef Lambeaux. Note that the water is not falling into a bassin, no, the water simply hits the ground.
This statue shows the legend related to the name 'Antwerp'. This is the story. There was a terrible giant (Druoon Antigoon) living next the the river Scheldt. Al ships had to pay high taxes to be allowed to pass with their ship. If they didn't, he hook off their hand. But, he didn't count on the brave Roman soldier Silvius Brabo, who killed the giant. After that, he hook off the hand of the giant, and threw this into the river Scheldt. Hence the name 'Antwerpen' or 'Hand Throwing'.
Of course, this legend is not correct. Other possibilities are :
- Antwerp means 'Aan de werpen', which means on the ditches of on the shipyard.
- Roman coins were found indicating Ando Verpia.
- When the Scheldt was still a free, fully natural river, and the Stone was built, they first had to build a hill. Such hill was called Aanworp.
Whatever, the Antwerpians have something with hands. They are present in their scutcheon, and in a lot of nice food they make (like the famous 'Antwerp Hands')
Lennie Heerwegh (translated by us): 'The house where J. Lambeaux was born is not far from the statue! Oringally, a bassin was foreseen, but due to the high cost, this was replaced by the rocks. The nudity of the statue caused a lot of commotion in the Catholic spirits. (They found it a 'naked ape'...) '