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National Museum of the Playing Card

In 1826 Philip Jacobus Brepols granted Turnhout its place on the map of the world. He printed the first playing-cards and unsuspecting he set up a complete industry. Since then, Turnhout has ever been one of the most important producers of playing-cards in the world. That’s why in 1969 the National Museum of the Playing-card was established.

Nationaal Museum van de Speelkaart

What preceded…

One uttered the idea to do “something” about playing-cards. But could one really expect any public interest for a museum? An exhibition in the portal of the city hall became the test. The result was an abashing number of visitors. On the 24th of October 1965 the former Minister of Culture, Frans Van Mechelen, opened the National Museum of the Playing-card.

Mapping out the development

The number of visitors gradually increased; that’s why the city board decided to enlarge the successful museum step by step. One can discover the history and the use of playing-cards. In the machinery the fabrication of cards is being demonstrated on authentic printing presses. The eye-catcher is a huge steam-engine from the 19th century. Especially for you, the National Museum of the Playing-card plays its master card!

Visiting the museum

One can visit the National Museum of the Playing-card individually. You can find the rates on the website of the museum. For only 7,5 euros there’s a combiticket with which you can visit the three municipal museums (the National Museum of the Playing-card, the Taxandria museum and the Museum of the Beguinage).

If you prefer a full-experience, please reserve a visit in group  and discover the museum with a guide.