Right smack dab in the middle of the Grote Markt in Antwerp is a somewhat mythical statue atop a fountain. Called the Brabo Fountain, it was sculpted by Jef Lambeaux in 1887. Brabo Fountain has an engaging legend behind it. The story goes that a horrible giant by the name of Druoon Antigoon lived on the river Scheldt. If sailors vetoed paying a toll to Druoon, he cut off their hand. A Roman soldier, Silvius Brabo, managed to fell the ugly giant and cut off his hand, throwing it into the river. As you may have guessed, this is supposedly the origin on the name of the city Antwerpen – which goes likes this hand (English – hand) and Werpen (English – to throw).
A colorful legend, but of course not true. That aside, the hand is the symbol of the city of Antwerp and you will see it all over the place, even in the town flag. And for those of you who loves sweets, you can partake of chocolate hands and hands in the form of cookies. The Brabo Fountain completes the Grote Markt and is the major focal point. Of interest is also the fact that the water of this fountain does not flow into a bowl, it just seeps under the stones of the monument and enters a closed water circuit – rather adding to the "mystery" of the fountain.
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