Campine
Overview
 
The Campine is a natural region situated chiefly in north-eastern Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 and parts of the south-western Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 which once consisted mainly of extensive moors
Moorland
Moorland or moor is a type of habitat, in the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome, found in upland areas, characterised by low-growing vegetation on acidic soils and heavy fog...

, tracts of sandy heath
Heath (habitat)
A heath or heathland is a dwarf-shrub habitat found on mainly low quality acidic soils, characterised by open, low growing woody vegetation, often dominated by plants of the Ericaceae. There are some clear differences between heath and moorland...

, and wetland
Wetland
A wetland is an area of land whose soil is saturated with water either permanently or seasonally. Wetlands are categorised by their characteristic vegetation, which is adapted to these unique soil conditions....

s. It encompasses the east of Antwerp province
Antwerp (province)
Antwerp is the northernmost province both of the Flemish Region, also called Flanders, and of Belgium. It borders on the Netherlands and the Belgian provinces of Limburg, Flemish Brabant and East Flanders. Its capital is Antwerp which comprises the Port of Antwerp...

 (with Turnhout as the most important city) and a part of Limburg province
Limburg (Belgium)
Limburg is the easternmost province of modern Flanders, which is one of the three main political and cultural sub-divisions of modern Belgium. It is located west of the river Meuse . It borders on the Dutch provinces of North Brabant and Limburg and the Belgian provinces of Liège, Flemish Brabant...

 in Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 (a former coal-producing region), as well as areas of the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 province of North Brabant
North Brabant
North Brabant , sometimes called Brabant, is a province of the Netherlands, located in the south of the country, bordered by Belgium in the south, the Meuse River in the north, Limburg in the east and Zeeland in the west.- History :...

.

Today the Campine is becoming a popular destination for tourists in search of a quiet and relaxing weekend.
Encyclopedia
The Campine is a natural region situated chiefly in north-eastern Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 and parts of the south-western Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 which once consisted mainly of extensive moors
Moorland
Moorland or moor is a type of habitat, in the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome, found in upland areas, characterised by low-growing vegetation on acidic soils and heavy fog...

, tracts of sandy heath
Heath (habitat)
A heath or heathland is a dwarf-shrub habitat found on mainly low quality acidic soils, characterised by open, low growing woody vegetation, often dominated by plants of the Ericaceae. There are some clear differences between heath and moorland...

, and wetland
Wetland
A wetland is an area of land whose soil is saturated with water either permanently or seasonally. Wetlands are categorised by their characteristic vegetation, which is adapted to these unique soil conditions....

s. It encompasses the east of Antwerp province
Antwerp (province)
Antwerp is the northernmost province both of the Flemish Region, also called Flanders, and of Belgium. It borders on the Netherlands and the Belgian provinces of Limburg, Flemish Brabant and East Flanders. Its capital is Antwerp which comprises the Port of Antwerp...

 (with Turnhout as the most important city) and a part of Limburg province
Limburg (Belgium)
Limburg is the easternmost province of modern Flanders, which is one of the three main political and cultural sub-divisions of modern Belgium. It is located west of the river Meuse . It borders on the Dutch provinces of North Brabant and Limburg and the Belgian provinces of Liège, Flemish Brabant...

 in Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

 (a former coal-producing region), as well as areas of the Dutch
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 province of North Brabant
North Brabant
North Brabant , sometimes called Brabant, is a province of the Netherlands, located in the south of the country, bordered by Belgium in the south, the Meuse River in the north, Limburg in the east and Zeeland in the west.- History :...

.

Today the Campine is becoming a popular destination for tourists in search of a quiet and relaxing weekend. Old farms have been transformed into bed-and-breakfast hotels, the restaurant and café business is very active, and an extensive cycle touring network has come into existence over the past few years.

Origin of name

The name Campine / Kempen derives from the Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 Campinia or Campina, meaning "region of fields" (campus means "field"). The inhabitants of the Campine region are known as Kempenaars. The region is rich in folk tales, such as the stories about the Goat riders
Goat riders
The Buckriders is a legend of Limburg. There are however as many versions of the legend as there are story tellers.- The legend :...

 (Dutch: Bokkenrijders) and those concerning the gnome king Kyrië
Gnome King Kyrië
Gnome King Kyrië is, according to local folklore, the leader of the legendary gnomes which lived in the Campine region of the province of North Brabant, the Netherlands. These gnomes had their base in the village of Hoogeloon. From Hoogeloon the gnomes often made journeys in the neighbourhood...

 (Dutch: Kabouterkoning Kyrië).

Culture

The region, described as a desolate flat land often appears in the books of the prominent Flemish writer Hendrik Conscience
Hendrik Conscience
Henri "Hendrik" Conscience was a Belgian writer. He was a pioneer in writing in Dutch after the secession from the Netherlands in 1830 left Belgium a mostly French speaking country....

 (1812–1883), who spent much of his childhood there. Another author who has written many novels playing in the Campine was Georges Eekhoud
Georges Eekhoud
Georges Eekhoud was a Belgian novelist of Flemish descent, but writing in French.Eekhoud was a regionalist best known for his ability to represent scenes from rural and urban daily life. He tended to portray the dark side of human desire and write about social outcasts and the working...

 (1854–1927). In 1837 Victor Hugo
Victor Hugo
Victor-Marie Hugo was a Frenchpoet, playwright, novelist, essayist, visual artist, statesman, human rights activist and exponent of the Romantic movement in France....

 made a journey through Belgium and visited the Campine and the cities Lier
Lier, Belgium
Lier is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises the city of Lier proper and the village of Koningshooikt. On January 1, 2010 Lier had a total population of 33,930. The total area is 49.70 km² which gives a population density of 669 inhabitants per...

 and Turnhout, and wrote about his journey. During the interbellum Felix Timmermans
Felix Timmermans
Leopold Maximiliaan Felix Timmermans is a much translated author of Flanders.Timmermans was born in the Belgian city of Lier, as the thirteenth of fourteen children in the family. He died in Lier, aged 60. He was an autodidact, and wrote plays, historical novels, religious works, and poems. His...

, Stijn Streuvels
Stijn Streuvels
Stijn Streuvels, born Franciscus Petrus Maria Lateur, is a Flemish writer. He was born on 3 October 1871 in Heule, Kortrijk, and died in Ingooigem, Anzegem on 15 August 1969 at the age of 98. In 1905 he married Alida Staelens. They had 4 children: Paula , Paul , Dina and Isa...

, Jozef Simons
Jozef Simons
Jozef Simons was a Flemish writer and poet. Jozef Simons was active in the socio-cultural life of the Campine, among other things as a President of the Association of Campine writers...

 and the poet Jozef De Voght wrote about the Belgian Campine. The painters Jakob Smits
Jakob Smits
Jakob Smits or Jacob Smits was a Dutch-Flemish painter. He was born as son of a decorator. Jakob studied in Rotterdam at the academy and helped its father in the decoration business. From 1873 up to 1876 het studied at the Academy in Brussels, and afterwards also in Munich , Vienna and Rome...

 (1855–1928) and Frans Van Giel
Frans Van Giel
Frans Van Giel, born Franciscus Alexius van Giel was a Belgian painter who was born in Oostmalle. He is called the painter of the Campine and was a friend of the painter Jakob Smits. From 1930 until his death in 1975, he lived in Wechelderzande, and is also buried there.-Source:*...

 (1892–1975) painted many Campine landscapes.

The Museum Kempenland in Eindhoven has a considerable and historically important art collection of painters, draughtsmen, sculptors, blacksmiths and other craftsmen from this region. Much of the architectural, agrarian and historical and cultural heritage of the Campine can be visited in the museum of Bokrijk
Bokrijk
Bokrijk is a provincial domain in Limburg, Belgium, situated near the city of Genk. It is mainly known for its open air museum. The domain is 5.5 square kilometres in area and hosts an important botanical garden and Flanders' largest open air playground.-History:Early sources until the French...

. The old way of living and the Campine dialects have been the topic of scientific research . In the Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 era the name of the region was Toxandria
Toxandria
Toxandria is the classical name for a region between the Meuse and the Scheldt rivers in the Netherlands and Belgium. The name is also spelled Taxandria...

 or Taxandria.

History

The Campine is an area which is located in the Belgian provinces Antwerp
Antwerp (province)
Antwerp is the northernmost province both of the Flemish Region, also called Flanders, and of Belgium. It borders on the Netherlands and the Belgian provinces of Limburg, Flemish Brabant and East Flanders. Its capital is Antwerp which comprises the Port of Antwerp...

, Limburg
Limburg (Belgium)
Limburg is the easternmost province of modern Flanders, which is one of the three main political and cultural sub-divisions of modern Belgium. It is located west of the river Meuse . It borders on the Dutch provinces of North Brabant and Limburg and the Belgian provinces of Liège, Flemish Brabant...

 and the extreme north of the province Flemish Brabant
Flemish Brabant
Flemish Brabant is a province of Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium. It borders on the Belgian provinces of Antwerp, Limburg, Liège, Walloon Brabant, Hainaut and East Flanders. Flemish Brabant also completely surrounds the Brussels-Capital Region. Its capital is Leuven...

, and in the south of the Dutch province Noord-Brabant. It stretches from the east of the city of Antwerp and towards the west of Eindhoven. Furthermore towards the east the Campine proceeds in the Groote Peel, a region which is geographically related to the Campine. The South border is formed by the river the Demer
Demer
The Demer is an 85 km long river in eastern Belgium, right tributary of the Dijle. It flows through the Belgian provinces Limburg and Flemish Brabant. Its source is near Tongeren. It flows into the river Dijle in Werchter, Rotselaar municipality....

. The East border by the valley of the river Meuse
Meuse
Meuse is a department in northeast France, named after the River Meuse.-History:Meuse is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790...

. The Campine plateau is part of the Campine region. The Campine Basin, which extends from Belgium into the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 is formed by the Devonian
Devonian
The Devonian is a geologic period and system of the Paleozoic Era spanning from the end of the Silurian Period, about 416.0 ± 2.8 Mya , to the beginning of the Carboniferous Period, about 359.2 ± 2.5 Mya...

 and Carboniferous
Carboniferous
The Carboniferous is a geologic period and system that extends from the end of the Devonian Period, about 359.2 ± 2.5 Mya , to the beginning of the Permian Period, about 299.0 ± 0.8 Mya . The name is derived from the Latin word for coal, carbo. Carboniferous means "coal-bearing"...

 sedimentary rocks on the northern flank of the Brabant Massif
Massif
In geology, a massif is a section of a planet's crust that is demarcated by faults or flexures. In the movement of the crust, a massif tends to retain its internal structure while being displaced as a whole...

.

Since it was a region with a poor sand soil, one finds only a few old or large cities in the region. Most of those cities are located at the outer rim of the region, such as Hasselt
Hasselt
Hasselt is a Belgian city and municipality, and capital of the Flemish province of Limburg...

, Diest
Diest
Diest is a city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Flemish Brabant. Situated in the northeast of the Hageland region, Diest neighbours the provinces of Antwerp to its North, and Limburg to the East and is situated around 60km from Brussels. The municipality comprises the city of...

, Aarschot
Aarschot
Aarschot is a city and municipality in the province of Flemish Brabant, in Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium. The municipality comprises the city of Aarschot proper and the towns of Gelrode, Langdorp and Rillaar. On January 1, 2006 Aarschot had a total population of 27,864...

, Lier
Lier, Belgium
Lier is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises the city of Lier proper and the village of Koningshooikt. On January 1, 2010 Lier had a total population of 33,930. The total area is 49.70 km² which gives a population density of 669 inhabitants per...

 (the self-styled gate of the Campine, a title also claimed by the Northern-Brabant Oirschot
Oirschot
Oirschot is a municipality and a town in the southern Netherlands. It is situated 12 km from the city of Eindhoven and 20 km from the city of Tilburg in the province Noord-Brabant...

), Breda
Breda
Breda is a municipality and a city in the southern part of the Netherlands. The name Breda derived from brede Aa and refers to the confluence of the rivers Mark and Aa. As a fortified city, the city was of strategic military and political significance...

, Tilburg
Tilburg
Tilburg is a landlocked municipality and a city in the Netherlands, located in the southern province of Noord-Brabant.Tilburg municipality also includes the villages of Berkel-Enschot and Udenhout....

, Eindhoven, Maaseik
Maaseik
Maaseik is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Limburg. The city is located on the river Meuse , bordering the Netherlands. The Maaseik municipality includes the town of Maaseik and the villages of Neeroeteren and Opoeteren...

, and Maastricht
Maastricht
Maastricht is situated on both sides of the Meuse river in the south-eastern part of the Netherlands, on the Belgian border and near the German border...

. Turnhout is an exception, and is sometimes called the Capital of the Campine. West of Turnhout clay
Clay
Clay is a general term including many combinations of one or more clay minerals with traces of metal oxides and organic matter. Geologic clay deposits are mostly composed of phyllosilicate minerals containing variable amounts of water trapped in the mineral structure.- Formation :Clay minerals...

 was used for the production of barge
Barge
A barge is a flat-bottomed boat, built mainly for river and canal transport of heavy goods. Some barges are not self-propelled and need to be towed by tugboats or pushed by towboats...

, which is one of the reasons why the Noord-Kempens Canal was dug to Antwerp. Also the more central Herentals
Herentals
Herentals is a city and municipality located in Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium, and in the Flemish province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises the city of Herentals proper and the towns of Morkhoven and Noorderwijk. On January 1, 2006 Herentals had a total population of 26,071...

 was an historical industrial center, thanks to its textile industry of which the Lakenhal on the main market place is a remaining monument. The printing industry in Turnhout is historically important, with companies such as Brepols
Brepols
Brepols was once one of the largest printing companies of the world and one of the main employers in Turnhout . Besides its printing business, Brepols is also active as a publisher...

 and more recently Cartamundi
Cartamundi
Cartamundi, also called Carta Mundi, is a Belgian company, based in Turnhout, that produces and sells board games, card games, collectible card games, packages and playing cards through its manufacturing and sales subsidiaries...

.

The region was sparsely populated, and therefore chosen by monks who were looking for silence such as the abbeys of Achel
Achel Abbey
The Trappist Abbey of Achel or Saint Benedictus-Abbey or also Achelse Kluis , which belongs to the Cistercians of Strict Observance, is located in Achel in the Campine region of the province of Limburg . The abbey is famous for its spiritual life and its brewery, which is one of few Trappist beer...

, Brecht
Brecht Abbey
Brecht Abbey, also known as the Abbey of Our Lady of Nazareth, is an abbey of Trappistine nuns located in Brecht, in the Campine region of the province of Antwerp...

, Zundert
Zundert
Zundert is a municipality and a town in Noord Brabant, the Netherlands.Zundert lies about 10 metres above Dutch sea level , and is located 15 km south-west of the city of Breda, and 35 km north-east of Antwerp, Belgium...

, Postel
Postel Abbey
Postel Abbey is a Premonstratensian abbey in the Belgian municipality of Mol in the province of Antwerp.-History:In 1138 Premonstratensian canons from Floreffe Abbey founded the monastery at Postel as a dependent priory. In 1613 Postel became independent of Floreffe and in 1618 was raised to the...

 and Westmalle
Westmalle Abbey
The Trappist Abbey of Westmalle or Abdij van Onze-Lieve-Vrouw van het Heilig Hart , which belongs to the Cistercians of Strict Observance, is located in Westmalle , in the Campine region of the province of Antwerp .The abbey was founded in 1794, but the community was not elevated to the rank of...

). In the nineteenth and twentieth century industry established itself in the region, such as the metallurgy
Metallurgy
Metallurgy is a domain of materials science that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, their intermetallic compounds, and their mixtures, which are called alloys. It is also the technology of metals: the way in which science is applied to their practical use...

 in Balen
Balen
Balen is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises the towns of Balen proper and Olmen. On 1 January 2009 Balen had a total population of 20,643...

-Overpelt
Overpelt
Overpelt is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Limburg. On January 1, 2006 Overpelt had a total population of 13,435. The total area is 40.85 km² which gives a population density of 329 inhabitants per km².The current mayor is Jaak Fransen....

-Lommel
Lommel
Lommel is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Limburg. On January 1, 2006 Lommel had a total population of 31,898. The total area is 102.37 km² which gives a population density of 312 inhabitants per km².-Lutlommel:...

. In 1872 the Sablières et Carrières Réunies (SCR), now Sibelco
Sibelco
Sibelco has over 245 production units worldwide and is the disputed market leader in the extraction, production and distribution of the main industrial minerals: quartz, cristobalite, nepheline syenite, plastic clay and olivine...

, was founded to extract the silica sand layers in Mol for industrial applications (glass
Glass
Glass is an amorphous solid material. Glasses are typically brittle and optically transparent.The most familiar type of glass, used for centuries in windows and drinking vessels, is soda-lime glass, composed of about 75% silica plus Na2O, CaO, and several minor additives...

). In 1891, the Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V.
Philips
Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V. , more commonly known as Philips, is a multinational Dutch electronics company....

 was founded in Eindhoven (Noord-Brabant).

In the Twentieth century the first nuclear installation in Belgium, the SCK•CEN
SCK•CEN
SCK•CEN is the Belgian nuclear research centre located in Mol, Belgium. SCK•CEN is active in various areas of research and services in the nuclear sector.-Organisation profile:...

, was built in Mol in 1962. The European Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements
Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements
The Institute for Reference Materials and Measurements , located in Geel, Belgium, is one of the seven institutes of the Joint Research Centre , a Directorate-General of the European Commission ....

 (IRMM) was founded in Geel
Geel
Geel is a city located in the Belgian province of Antwerp which acquired the status of a city in the 1980s.It comprises Central-Geel which is constituted of 4 old parishes a/o towns : Sint-Amand, Sint-Dimpna, Holven and Elsum...

 in 1957. Pharmaceutical industry was founded in Beerse
Beerse
Beerse is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises the towns of Beerse proper and Vlimmeren. On 1 January 2006 Beerse had a total population of 16,482. By the end of 2007, this number had risen to 16,757. The total area is 37.48 km² which gives a...

 in the Sixties, with Janssen Pharmaceutica
Janssen Pharmaceutica
Janssen Pharmaceutica is pharmaceutical company, established in Belgium in 1953 by Paul Janssen. Its headquarters are located in Beerse, in the Campine region of the province of Antwerp, Belgium. It was created not as a subsidiary of a chemical factory but solely with the aim of conducting...

 and more recently with Genzyme
Genzyme
Genzyme Corporation is a fully owned subsidiary of Sanofi-Aventis. Before its acquisition, Genzyme was an American biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 2010, Genzyme was the world’s third-largest biotechnology company, employing more than 11,000 people around the world...

 in Geel
Geel
Geel is a city located in the Belgian province of Antwerp which acquired the status of a city in the 1980s.It comprises Central-Geel which is constituted of 4 old parishes a/o towns : Sint-Amand, Sint-Dimpna, Holven and Elsum...

. Soudal
Soudal
Soudal is a Belgian company whose headquarter is located in Turnhout . The company has developed into one of the most important independent producers of silicone and caulks , Polyurethane-Foams and adhesives in Europe.Soudal has a consolidated turnover of 340 million USD, and the company...

 (silicon
Silicon
Silicon is a chemical element with the symbol Si and atomic number 14. A tetravalent metalloid, it is less reactive than its chemical analog carbon, the nonmetal directly above it in the periodic table, but more reactive than germanium, the metalloid directly below it in the table...

) in Turnhout and Ravago
Ravago
Ravago is a Belgian plastic producing company with its headquarters located in Arendonk, Belgium. The company is active in the distribution, resale, compounding and recycling service for plastic and elastomeric raw materials...

 (plastics) in Arendonk
Arendonk
Arendonk is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises only the town of Arendonk proper. On January 1, 2006 Arendonk had a total population of 12,215. The total area is 55.38 km² which gives a population density of 221 inhabitants per...

 became leading companies in their markets. Wide open spaces with scarce population also lead to the establishment of several military bases, such as the base of Leopoldsburg
Leopoldsburg
Leopoldsburg is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Limburg. On January 1, 2006 Leopoldsburg had a total population of 14,403. The total area is 22.49 km² which gives a population density of 640 inhabitants per km².-External links:*...

, the airport of Kleine Brogel
Kleine Brogel Air Base
Kleine Brogel Air Base is a Belgian Air Component military airfield located in Kleine Brogel, a municipality of Belgium. It is home to the 10th Tactical Wing, operating F-16 Fighting Falcons.It has been subject to much political controversy because of U.S...

, Oostmalle
Zoersel-Oostmalle Airfield
Zoersel-Oostmalle Airfield is an airport in the Antwerp province of the Flemish Region of Belgium. It is located east of the municipality of Zoersel and south of the town Oostmalle.-External links:* * *...

 and Weelde
Weelde Air Base
Weelde Air Base is a NATO reserve airfield located in Weelde, a village in the Ravels municipality in Belgium. It is operated by the Belgian Air Component that has no military flight operations at that location, besides aircraft arriving to be stored or leaving storage, for example retired F-16...

 and the former shooting range of Brasschaat
Brasschaat
Brasschaat is a municipality located in Flanders, one of the three regions of Belgium, and in the Flemish province of Antwerp. The municipality only comprises the town of Brasschaat proper. In November 2006, Brasschaat won the LivCom-Award 2006 for the most liveable municipality in the world....

.

Due to the exploitation of the Campine coal
Coal
Coal is a combustible black or brownish-black sedimentary rock usually occurring in rock strata in layers or veins called coal beds or coal seams. The harder forms, such as anthracite coal, can be regarded as metamorphic rock because of later exposure to elevated temperature and pressure...

 basin, especially after World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, new industrial activity was established, such as in Geel
Geel
Geel is a city located in the Belgian province of Antwerp which acquired the status of a city in the 1980s.It comprises Central-Geel which is constituted of 4 old parishes a/o towns : Sint-Amand, Sint-Dimpna, Holven and Elsum...

, Beringen and Genk
Genk
Genk is a city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Limburg near Hasselt. The municipality only comprises the city of Genk itself...

. The Belgian village of Malle
Malle
Malle is a municipality located in the Campine region of the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises the towns of Oostmalle and Westmalle. On 1 January 2006 Malle had a total population of 14,083...

 is called Heart of the Campine, while Westerlo
Westerlo
Westerlo is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises seven towns:- Westerlo centrum - Oevel - Tongerlo - Heultje...

 and Kasterlee
Kasterlee
Kasterlee is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises the towns of Kasterlee proper, Lichtaart and Tielen. On January 1, 2006 Kasterlee had a total population of 17,908. The total area is 71.56 km² which gives a population density of 250 inhabitants per...

 are called Pearl of the Campine. The most picturesque villages in the Dutch, Northern-Brabant Campine are Oirschot
Oirschot
Oirschot is a municipality and a town in the southern Netherlands. It is situated 12 km from the city of Eindhoven and 20 km from the city of Tilburg in the province Noord-Brabant...

, Eersel
Eersel
Eersel is a municipality and a town in southern Netherlands in the province of North Brabant. Eersel is situated in the Campine area....

 and Hilvarenbeek
Hilvarenbeek
Hilvarenbeek is a municipality and a town in the south of the Netherlands, along the border with Belgium.- Population centres :The municipality of Hilvarenbeek also includes the following villages with their own churches: Baarschot, Biest-Houtakker, Diessen, Esbeek and Haghorst.In addition, the...

. The other villages have lost much of their historical elements in their course towards industrialisation. In the Dutch Campine eight villages are located which are known under the name acht zaligheden (E: eight blessed ones). The denomination zaligheden has been borrowed from the sel, which is at the end of the name of seven of these eight villages selligheden).
In the Campine there are still a number of bunches, marsh
Marsh
In geography, a marsh, or morass, is a type of wetland that is subject to frequent or continuous flood. Typically the water is shallow and features grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, other herbaceous plants, and moss....

es, heathlands and pasture
Pasture
Pasture is land used for grazing. Pasture lands in the narrow sense are enclosed tracts of farmland, grazed by domesticated livestock, such as horses, cattle, sheep or swine. The vegetation of tended pasture, forage, consists mainly of grasses, with an interspersion of legumes and other forbs...

s. Large areas of the region were also covered with pine
Pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

 which was used in the coalmines
Coal mining
The goal of coal mining is to obtain coal from the ground. Coal is valued for its energy content, and since the 1880s has been widely used to generate electricity. Steel and cement industries use coal as a fuel for extraction of iron from iron ore and for cement production. In the United States,...

 of Wallonia and Limburg
Limburg (Belgium)
Limburg is the easternmost province of modern Flanders, which is one of the three main political and cultural sub-divisions of modern Belgium. It is located west of the river Meuse . It borders on the Dutch provinces of North Brabant and Limburg and the Belgian provinces of Liège, Flemish Brabant...

. The first pine in the Campine was sown in the Gierlebos in Vosselaar
Vosselaar
Vosselaar is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality only comprises the town of Vosselaar proper. On January 1, 2006 Vosselaar had a total population of 10,142. The total area is 11.85 km² which gives a population density of 856 inhabitants per km².There are 3...

 by Adriaan Ghys for Amalia van Solms
Amalia of Solms-Braunfels
Amalia of Solms-Braunfels , was a regent of Orange. She was the wife of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange. She was the daughter of John Albert I of Solms-Braunfels and Agnes of Sayn-Wittgenstein.-Childhood:...

 in 1667. Where the Campine, up to around 1960 includes mainly heathland, oak
Oak
An oak is a tree or shrub in the genus Quercus , of which about 600 species exist. "Oak" may also appear in the names of species in related genera, notably Lithocarpus...

 grove and marsh, these were modified by heavy fertilisation and building activities and were gradually changed into a rather small-scale landscape. Here and there still up to several dozens acres of large heathland - and forests, such as the Kalmthoutse Heide (E: Kalmthout heathland) at Kalmthout
Kalmthout
Kalmthout is a municipality in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises only the village of Kalmthout. On January 1, 2007 Kalmthout had a population of 17,508. The total area is...

, Belgium, the De Maten in Genk
Genk
Genk is a city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Limburg near Hasselt. The municipality only comprises the city of Genk itself...

, De Zegge (Geel
Geel
Geel is a city located in the Belgian province of Antwerp which acquired the status of a city in the 1980s.It comprises Central-Geel which is constituted of 4 old parishes a/o towns : Sint-Amand, Sint-Dimpna, Holven and Elsum...

), Zwart Water (Lichtaart
Kasterlee
Kasterlee is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality comprises the towns of Kasterlee proper, Lichtaart and Tielen. On January 1, 2006 Kasterlee had a total population of 17,908. The total area is 71.56 km² which gives a population density of 250 inhabitants per...

), the Zwart Water moor
Moorland
Moorland or moor is a type of habitat, in the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome, found in upland areas, characterised by low-growing vegetation on acidic soils and heavy fog...

s (Turnhout), the Liereman (Oud-Turnhout
Oud-Turnhout
Oud-Turnhout is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality only comprises the town of Oud-Turnhout proper. On January 1, 2006 Oud-Turnhout had a total population of 12,653. The total area is 38.80 km² which gives a population density of 326 inhabitants per...

) and the Prinsenpark (Retie
Retie
Retie is a municipality located in the Campine region of the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality only comprises the town of Retie proper. On 1 January 2006 Retie had a total population of 10,321...

). The natural reserves
Nature reserve
A nature reserve is a protected area of importance for wildlife, flora, fauna or features of geological or other special interest, which is reserved and managed for conservation and to provide special opportunities for study or research...

 De Teut in Zonhoven
Zonhoven
Zonhoven is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Limburg near Hasselt. On January 1, 2007 Zonhoven had a total population of 20,060...

 and Ter Haagdoornheide in Houthalen-Helchteren
Houthalen-Helchteren
Houthalen-Helchteren is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Limburg. Houthalen-Helchteren consists of: Houthalen-centrum, Houthalen-Oost, Laak, Meulenberg and Lillo. On January 1, 2006 Houthalen-Helchteren had a total population of 29,945...

 and the Nationaal Park Hoge Kempen. To the North, the area between Boxtel
Boxtel
Boxtel is a municipality and a town in the southern Netherlands.This is the origin of the van Boxtel family, which has numerous descendants in North Brabant....

 and Oisterwijk
Oisterwijk
- The city of Oisterwijk :Oisterwijk received city rights in 1230. Part of the municipality of Oisterwijk includes the 'Oisterwijkse bossen en vennen' and the 'Kampina'. Both are nature reserves of outstanding natural beauty. The reserves are owned and kept by the 'Vereniging Natuurmonumenten'...

 is called Kampina. In a number of villages one can still see the typical Campine langgevelboerderijen (E: long facade farms).

SS La Campine

SS. La Campine (2,595 GRT
Gross Register Tonnage
Gross register tonnage a ship's total internal volume expressed in "register tons", one of which equals to a volume of . It is calculated from the total permanently enclosed capacity of the vessel. The ship's net register tonnage is obtained by reducing the volume of non-revenue-earning spaces i.e...

), was built by Palmers' SB. & Iron Co., Ltd., Newcastle
Newcastle upon Tyne
Newcastle upon Tyne is a city and metropolitan borough of Tyne and Wear, in North East England. Historically a part of Northumberland, it is situated on the north bank of the River Tyne...

 for F. Speth & Co., Antwerp and sailing for the American Petroleum Company. It was a steamship with auxiliary sails, an early oil tanker that was launched in 1892, and was sunk by U-boat
U-boat
U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word U-Boot , itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot , and refers to military submarines operated by Germany, particularly in World War I and World War II...

 UC 50 in North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 waters (Doggersbank, 56.00 North - 04.57 East) on March 13, 1917, on its way from Rotterdam
Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

 to New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

.

External links

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