Antwerp, Belgium: Legend of Brabo and the Giant

Clausito's Footprints

On my post about Antwerp, Belgium, I referred a few times to a local legend about a giant: a legend that kept popping up in various parts of the city, and which is embraced by the city as part of its folklore.

Sitting on Antigoon's Cut Off Hand, in Antwerp's Meir Street Sitting on Antigoon’s Cut Off Hand, in Antwerp’s Meir Street

Well, the legend, as it goes, is about a giant named Antigoon, who lived in Antwerp two thousand years ago. The giant built a fortress at the edge of the River Scheldt, and demanded passing boats to pay a toll. If the sailors were unwilling or unable to pay, the giant would cut off one of their hands, and throw it into the river.

Eventually, the giant was slain by a Roman warrior (Brabo), who proceeded to pay homage to the giant’s victims, by cutting the giant’s hand off, and throwing it into the River Scheldt.

The legend is meant…

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