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Puurs
Municipal flag
Flag
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
Location of Puurs in the province of Antwerp
Location of Puurs in the province of Antwerp
Puurs is located in Belgium
Puurs
Location in Belgium
Sovereign state Belgium Belgium
Region  Flemish Region
Community Flanders Flemish Community
Province  Antwerp
Arrondissement Mechelen
Coordinates 51°05′0″N 04°17′0″E / 51.083333°N 4.283333°E / 51.083333; 4.283333Coordinates: 51°05′0″N 04°17′0″E / 51.083333°N 4.283333°E / 51.083333; 4.283333
Area 33.41 km²
Population
– Males
– Females
Density
16,029 (2006-01-01)
49.81%
50.19%
480 inhab./km²
Unemployment rate 4.62% (1 January 2006)
Mean annual income €14,042/pers. (2003)
Mayor Koen Van den Heuvel (CD&V/N-VA)
Governing parties CD&V/N-VA
Postal codes 2870
Area codes 03, 052
Website www.puurs.be

Puurs (Google Satellite Image) is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. It is located in the Flemish Region. The municipality comprises the towns of Breendonk, Liezele, Kalfort, Ruisbroek (old spelling: Ruysbroeck) and Puurs proper. On January 1, 2006 Puurs had a total population of 16,029. The total area is 33.41 km² which gives a population density of 480 inhabitants per km².

Puurs sits about 5 meters above main sea level. Its geography shows only minor elevation differences (so it's basically flat).

Puurs is mainly rural, with some low intensity industry development in the North alongside the N16 motorway. However, because of its proximity to the cities of Antwerp and Brussels (both within a 25 km radius) and its excellent accessibility, Puurs is developing increasingly into a residential town.

Contents

History

Signs of habitation dating back to the Iron Age, as well as early Roman and Merovingian times, have been found in Puurs.

Arguably, the Benedictine abbeys of Saint-Cornelimunster of Aachen were the lords of Puurs in the 10th century A.D. In 1278 the municipality was acquired by the Abbey of Sint-Bernard's upon Scheldt, whose property it would remain until the end of the 18th century.

Points of interest

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Saint-Peter Church

For a provincial town, Puurs' Saint-Peter Church is quite impressive and is hence sometimes referred to as the region's "cathedral". It was built in the 15th century, on the remains of a roman-style church. The baroque-style bell tower was added in the late 17th century. The classical center piece was completed in 1744.

Asparagus

The lands of Kalfort are widely renowned for producing the most delicious asparagus, and at the beginning of summer a festival is held in honour of this "white gold".

Beer

The world famous Duvel beer is brewed in Breendonk, by the Duvel-Moortgat brewery. Each year in August, a 100 km long foot march called the Dodentocht (Death March) passes at the breweries, and it's free (or at least lowly priced) Duvel for all, participants and spectators alike!

Nazi Prison Camp

Fort Breendonk was used by the Nazis as a prison camp. It is pretty much kept in its WWII state and is open for visiting (which, even on a hot summer day, may prove to be a chilling experience). Fort Breendonk and its twin sister Fort Liezele (which now serves as a municipal recreational area) were initially built by the Belgian military just before WWI, as part of a string of fortresses (the Réduit national) designed to protect the approaches to Antwerp. Since 1976, the site of the fort now is part of the municipality of Willebroek.

Railroad

The Dendermonde-Puurs Steam Railway is a heritage railroad that links up Puurs and Dendermonde. The maintenance road that runs alongside serves as a bicycle track. Bikers can leave the track in Sint-Amands and follow the scenic route up North on the banks of the river Scheldt.

International relations

Twin towns - sister cities

Puurs is twinned with:

Notable people

External links


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