"Capitol of the Kempen and ... playing cards" Turnhout by Pavlik_NL
Turnhout Travel Guide: 111 reviews and 153 photos
Turnhout started out as houses and huts surrounding the castle of the dukes of Brabant. In 1212 it was granted city rights and was proclaimed "Stad en Vrijheid" (City and Freedom). The good fortune turned again and again for Turnhout, as it was often suffering from wars and quarrels, though the "Kempen" (surrounding country of which Turnhout is the capitol) were always relatively poor and not a target itself. The town however always tried hard to bring better economical situation. In the late medieval times the cloth industry (especially teak) was important and after the industrial revolution Turnhout became a centre of paper-industry.
The paper industry that brought Turnhout many well payed jobs was founded by Philippus J. Brepols. It became the main drive for Turnhouts economy and 'til the day of today it has also attached many graphical companies. It might even be called the centre of the graphic Flandres business. Last but not least in Turnhout the company "Carta Mundi" has it's home. This company is worldleader in production of playing cards.
Turnhout is a town that is attracting a lot of (studying) youth from surrounding "Kempen". It has around 30.000 inhabitantsand a good complete service towards them. Though the "Kempen" is still relatively poor, tourism has brought a change to that (as well as Dutch new residents that built huge houses in the border area to get underneath the high real estate taxes in their own country). Furthermore Turnhout has light industries in food, light metalurgic and transport business. It is an attractive town to make a stop-over on your travel through the Benelux.
Maybe this tip gets boring, but it's just something that should be mentioned in all Belgian town and villages. Be aware... more travel advice
This large brickstone church is quite modern, though one wouldn't say that. It was built only in 1903 and has a 92... more travel advice
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