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Tourist attractions Tournai

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  • 1 Notre Dame Cathedral of Tournai Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Religious buildings

    pl. de l'Évêché 1

    The cathedral influenced churches in Tournai and the Escaut Valley, giving birth to Scaldian art. Visitors are impressed by its huge size and the massive outlines of its towers. The nave and transept date from the 12C. The slender 13C Gothic chancel ..

  • 2 Beffroi Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts


    Belgium's oldest belfry has 12C foundations. The base was reinforced by polygonal turrets in 1294 and the upper sections were rebuilt after a fire, a century later. Until 1817, several of the rooms were used as jails. The first floor offers a fine vi..

  • 3 Pont des Trous Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    This bridge is a reminder of military architecture. It was part of the second set of ramparts built in the 13C to defend the town entrance from the River Escaut. The next bridge (boulevard Delwart) offers a fine view of the rounded sides of its tower..

  • 4 Main Square Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    This triangular square, with a statue of Christine de Lalaing in the middle, is overlooked by the cathedral towers, belfry and St Quentin church. Some of its finest houses were badly damaged in 1940 and have been rebuilt, such as the mixed Gothic to ..

  • 5 Tournai Museum of Fine Arts Interesting

    Museums and art

    Enclos-St-Martin 3

    This museum, built in 1928, was designed by the famous Art Nouveau architect Victor Horta whose star-shaped plan has radiating rooms converging on the Sculpture Hall. It houses works from the 15C to the present day, including old masters, 19C and 20C..

  • 6 Tournai Natural History Museum

    Museums and art

    Cour d'Honneur de l'Hôtel de Ville

    This museum overlooks the town hall's main courtyard. Its neo-Classical interior resembles 19C natural history laboratories. Collections are displayed in glass cabinets and supplemented by dioramas. Note the live lizards, snakes, fish or tortoises in..

  • 7 Tapestry Museum

    Museums and art

    Pl. Reine Astrid 9

    Tapestry-making flourished in Tournai from the 15C to 18C. Note the bright colours of tapestries from the peak period of the 15C and 16C, with elegant designs and lively compositions (Battle of Roncesvalles, Famine in Jerusalem). There are also moder..

  • 8 Folklore Museum

    Museums and art

    Réduit des Sions 33

    This museum occupies the Spanish-style "Tournai House" with façades from 1673. Its collections recall the arts, traditions and everyday life of Tournai and its area. Its reconstructed tavern, hosier's "balotil" workshop with its k..

  • 9 Decorative Arts Museum

    Museums and art

    R. St-Martin 50

    This museum has a large collection of porcelain from royal and imperial works established in Tournai in the 18C. Note the bird-motif service based on Buffon's work, ordered by the Duke of Orléans as well as the first-floor Tournai coin collection and..

  • 10 Tournai Archeology Museum

    Museums and art

    R. des Carmes 8

    This museum, housed in the former 17C pawnshop, has Gallo-Roman, Merovingian, Prehistoric and Protohistoric exhibits. The Gallo-Roman section features a rich pottery and glassware collection, a 3C-4C lead sarcophagus and a Roman well dug out of a hol..

  • 11 Romanesque houses of Tournai

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    r. Barre-St-Brice

    Near St Brice church, two houses have restored late-12C façades. They are rare examples of secular Scaldian Romanesque architecture, with windows divided by small central columns and aligned between two stone string courses. Further along, note the 1..

  • 12 St James Church of Tournai

    Religious buildings

    This Romanesque to Gothic transitional building has a porch topped by a thick, square, turreted tower. An arcaded gallery lines the outside of the nave. Inside, it forms a graceful traceried bridge over the transept crossing and extends into the nave..

  • 13 St Piat Church

    Religious buildings

    The 12C church was built on the site of a 6C Merovingian basilica. It is dedicated to St Piat, the first Christian missionary to come to Tournai. He founded the town's first and St Eleutherius was Tournai's first bishop.

  • 14 Town Hall

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    The Town Hall, facing the Fine Arts Museum, was built on the site of the former 11C St Martin's Abbey, whose Romanesque crypt still exists. The former abbot's palace (1763), designed by Laurent Dewez, has fine neo-Classical façades.

  • 15 St Quentin Church of Tournai

    Religious buildings

    Grand Place

    The north circular chapel of this fully-restored church houses a 14C recumbent figure adorned with weepers and topped by a silver statue of Notre-Dame-de-la-Treille, which is carried during Nativity Feast processions.

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