While we’re all quarantined, we’d better learn something, right? Have you ever wondered how Valencia or Bilbao came into being? How Antwerp got its name and why Brussels has a statue of a peeing boy? Well, keep reading and you’ll know the answers.
Let’s start with Antwerp and how this city got its name. The name Antwerp is actually a corruption of the word́s “hand” & “werpen” (Dutch for “hand” & “throwing”). According to the myth, the giant Druon Antigoon would take a high toll on every skipper who passed on the river Scheldt. If one refused to pay, a hand was mercilessly cut off by the giant.
The brave Roman soldier Silvius Brabo went to war and slayed the giant. He cut off his giant hand and threw it into the river. This way the hand became the symbol of Antwerp and the name of the city was born. However, there is another story. You can read about it on Traveling With The Jones.
Next up, we have a great myth about Valencia. Have you ever wondered why the bat appears everywhere in Valencia? And why it is on the city armor? According to the myth, a bat woke up King Jaime I to warn him that the city was under attack. The king was able to successfully defend the city and as a thank you, the king gave the bat a place in the city armor of Valencia.
This is just one of the many stories about Valencia and the bat. You could easily spend an entire day reading all the different stories.
If you can‘t get enough of these stories make sure to check Travelsuniverse, here you can find 23 more fun facts about Valencia.
As far as “manneken pis” in Brussels is concerned, there are two legends circulating. According to the first one, there was a little boy who peed against a witch’s door. The witch was so angry that she used a spell to turn him into a statue and this statue still stands where the boy peed against her door.
The other story is about a father who lost his son, when he found him two days later, his son was casually urinating. However, the father was so happy to finally have his son back, he decided to make a statue of his little boy.
Since this post is all about (fun) facts, S marks the spots can’t be missing. Through this link you will find 10 other tips and facts about Brussels. Ideal if you are planning to visit this wonderful city.
And last but not least, we have the brief history of Bilbao. Bilbao originally consisted of only 3 streets. When Alfonso XI decided in 1315 to divert the road from Santiago so that he walked via Bilbao, the city blossomed. Bilbao traded with English ports and got more and more shipyards. During the period of the Spanish Empire, Bilbao was seen as one of the most important commercial and financial centres of northern Spain. Currently Bilbao is the hotspot for expats, here you can read Why Bilbao is the new trending hotspot for digital nomads and expats.
You can thank us later for teaching you some brief history about these lovely cities. Although there are many different versions, you’d still be able to tell your friends something fun about these places, and brag about it…Or be the best future city guide the next time you visit one of these cities. If you can’t get enough of all this information about these four cities, be sure to keep an eye on our blog, where we regularly post new and interesting content, regarding life in these cities.