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Battle of Turnhout (1597)

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Title: Battle of Turnhout (1597)  
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Subject: Battle of Kollum, Capture of Valkenburg (1574), Siege of Leiden, Siege of Haarlem, Battle of Zutphen
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Battle of Turnhout (1597)

The Battle of Turnhout, 1597 occurred during the Eighty Years' War where Turnhout was in the border area between the Northern and Southern Netherlands. Though the town had not been walled, Turnhout was an important strategic town. On 24 January 1597 on the Tielenheide (this battle is also called 'The battle on Tielenheide') in a neighbouring village (Tielen), Dutch cavalry under command of Prince Maurice met and defeated a Spanish cavalry detachment under Varax. The Spanish cavalry was driven off, after which the Dutch troops burnt parts of the local castle. The ever prudent Maurice failed to follow up and turn the tactical victory into a strategic one.


Music composer Kevin Houben commemorated the battle in his concert work, Thyellene, battle on the heath. In September 2008, Brassband Kempenzonen Tielen played this work on the site where once the battle took place.

The defeat of Varax inspired the writing of the hymn We Gather Together.



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