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Herentals

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Herentals (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɦeːrə(n)tɑls]) is a city in the 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. The total area is 48.56 km2 (18.75 sq mi) which gives a population density of 537 inhabitants per km2. Saint Waltrude is the patron saint of the city.

Herentals is often referred to as the capital of the Belgian Campine region. Herentals has some outstanding historical buildings, including the church, town hall, and the old city gates; Bovenpoort, the Northern gate, and Zandpoort, the Western gate. There used to be a Nederpoort and Koepoort as well, but those have been torn down a long time ago. The Hidrodoe science museum is located in Herentals. There is also a large chocolate factory located in Herentals.

Herentals is also the centre of commerce in the region, although the cities of Geel and Mol are quite popular as well.

Herentals is twinned with IJsselstein, Netherlands. The inhabitants of the Campine region have common sobriquets that are particular to their towns; people from Herentals are referred to by the colloquialisms "Klokkenververs" (meaning "bell painters") and "Peestekers", which comes from the old story about the farmers of the town using carrots (pekes, "pee"-stekers) as a lock on the "Zandpoort", one of the great city gates in that time.

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