Turnhout, Antwerp (Belgium)

2017-04-26 15:33:48 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

Located in the northeast of Antwerp province and 42 km away from the Antwerp city, Turnhout city has a population of 40,000 and an area of 56.06 km2. It is the capital and economic, cultural and educational center of Ken Punta, one of the three regions in Antwerp province. Blessed with a maritime broad-leaved forest climate, Turnhout has abundant rainfall, humid climate, fresh air, artificial urban canal, large green areas and beautiful parks. In the city, bicycle paths converged with European walking tour routes, marking a unique tourism convenience.

The 1000-year-old Turnhout city is a famous historical and cultural city of Belgium, with rich cultural landscapes and historical sites including the famous 12th Century Bulanbangte Castle, Bit Cathedral and the Convent which was listed by UNESCO as a world-famous cultural heritage.

As a pearl of the region, Turnhout Commercial Center is attracting investors and consumers in neighboring cities. The world famous Philips had set up its lighting plant in Turnhout, considering the convenient traffic conditions and good investment environment in the city. Turnhout is also a major agricultural base of Antwerp province, with agriculture accounting for about 20% of its economy, agricultural workers accounting for about 5% of its total population. The city’s major agricultural industries are vegetable cultivation and aquaculture. Antwerp city is one of the world's largest ports and the most important industrial city in Belgium. 42 kilometers away from the city of Antwerp, Turnhout boasts well-developed industry and transportation, with industry playing a dominant role in its economy. In modern history, Turnhout city has developed into a center of the printing industry. Printing has become a major industry of the city, and several printing enterprises in the city are industry leaders in Europe. Carta Mundi leads the industry of playing cards production; Van Genechten is the best carton packaging company in Europe. The city has Europe's largest printing technology research center.

As the capital of the Ken Peng region, Turnhout has a variety of institutions, such as government departments, district courts, financial centers, employment service centers and more than 50 schools and etc. De Warande Cultural Center is a cultural center of the Vola region, and also brings world culture to the Ken Peng region. Xi’an Tang Music and Dance Troupe were invited to perform at the center in the Christmas of 2002, the first time the troupe gave performance overseas. Turnhout city is also the medical service center of the Ken Peng region, boasting two hospitals of about 1100 beds, which provide good medical services for local people.

Besides Hanzhong, Turnhout city have established sister relationship with cities of Germany, Hungary and Romania.

Sights

Architectural sights worth visiting are the 12th century castle of the Dukes of Brabant, the gothic church of St. Peter, the beguinage (begijnhof) dating from the 13th century, the 14th century gothic chapel of Theobald and the Taxandria museum housed in a prestigious renaissance mansion. Of particular interest is the Museum of the Playing Card. This is located in an old factory building downtown and houses a beautifully restored steam engine.

The beguinage was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1998.

Events

Turnhout is host to the biannual comic festival Strip Turnhout, the oldest comic festival of Flanders, and one of the largest.

Every year, there is also the film festival MOOOV (the former Open Doek) which promotes cultural movies. During the summer months, the "Vrij-dagen" is organised. For a certain period, every Friday (vrijdag in Dutch) two artists or bands give a live performance. The event is completely free (vrij in Dutch) and attracts large crowds, strongly benefitting the local economy. Due to budgetary issues however, the "Vrij-dagen" have been discontinued since 2009, when the last edition was held.