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Kessel ( pronunciation (help·info)) is a town in the Province of Antwerp in Belgium. In 2006, the town counted 7207 inhabitants. Although officially part of a larger town region, Nijlen, Kessel is very famous on itself for its many touristic attractions, such as "de Kesselse Heide" (a nature reserve) and "Fort Kessel" (a fortress built for World War I).
Kessel lies between two rivers: the Kleine Nete in the north and the Grote Nete in the south. It borders with Emblem, Nijlen, Bevel, Berlaar and Lier. Although Kessel is a fairly small town, it has 2 separate town centres, Kessel-Dorp, which is built up around the town square, and Kessel-station, which is built up around the train station.
The name Kessel comes from the Latin word Castellum (fortress), indicating that Kessel might have been the location for an old Roman camp. In 1912, another Fortress was built, in order to withstand a German invasion. During World War I, German artillery fire from Berlaar made the fort useless, though it still stands until this day and was given the status of Protected Monument by the Belgian government.
The Kessel-Fort is a September cyclo-cross competition.
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