Time for a break, and where best to go, but the Town Square.
Here we found many empty Cafes and Restaurants, and all of them had plenty of outdoor seating, so we chose a table, ordered, and were served quickly.
This is a wonderful area for people watching, and for viewing the architecture of the surrounding building's. Most of the facades were different, the buildings were mostly built in patterned red brick and were decorated with scrolls and other embelishments.
The city adopted a Louis 14th style of architecture, a compromise between the French style and the local traditions.
Also located in the town square, is the different styled church of St Quentin’s.
It's located one end of the Grand-Place, and is believed to be related to the vast Gallo-Roman cemetery that extended over the site of the Grand-Place and a neighbouring district.
Its nave dates from the end of the 12th century, and there are two round chapels, one of which houses the tomb of Jacques Castaigne (1327),
The central tower dates from the 13th century.
The interior was quite plain.
Located quite close to the Market Square, I found the Folklore Museum. The Museum was located in building's from the 17th century, and in here were display's of daily life from birth to death in the Tournai area.
I entered, paid the small admission fee, then went wandering, seeing all the 23 exhibition halls. It was an interesting collection, including,china, different tool's, clothing, a workshop of the 'Balotil' (craftsman who used to work at home and make knitted goods), a cobbler's kitchen, games, a farm interior, workshop of the wet cooper, of the weaver, of the farrier, old tin's and different clothing, and probably much more.
I did enjoy seeing what people dress in for their festival's.
ADMISSION IN 2011....Adults 2.00 euro's
OPEN.... Tuesday 1 November 2011 to Saturday 31 March 2012 (except on: Tuesday)
Monday : 10:00-12:00 & 2-5PM
Wednesday-Saturday : 10:00-12:00 & 2 - 5PM
The Cathedral is another UNESCO heritage listed building in Tournai. Called a 'architectural masterpiece of the medieval west," it is easy to see why when I saw it for the first time!
Another massive Church, it has five massive towers! The nave and the transept, going back to the 12th century, are in the Romance style with Norman and Rhenish influences, while the choir, completed in 1254, is Gothic.
The Treasury can be seen for 2 euros.
Notre Dame Cathedral is recognised as one of the most beautiful religious monuments anywhere in the western world.
Located in the Grand 'Place [market square] is the beautifully decorated Cloth Hall.
The Cloth Hall is one of the more elegant and recognisable buildings as it has gold on the outside, and you will see the flag's flying above the entrance.
Built over two years between 1610 and 1612, the centre square was the place where the merchants used to bring their products and sell them to those waiting in the surrounding galleries.
I really liked the sight of this attractive Belfry, but I didn't climb the 257 step's up a spiral staircase to the top. At the top, is where the room's were used as a Prison, and the view's are good!
I didn't realize a Belfry in cities of Belgium and the North of France are an emblem of municipal freedoms.
This Belfry, the oldest in Belgium and northern Europe, was built in 1188 and has been restored so that you can enter the Belfry rooms.
Used as a lookout tower to see an approaching enemy, and as a Fire lookout Tower, just like we have similar today.
The belfry watched over the safety of the citizens and symbolizing this, is a dragon, deemed always to be awake, symbolizing both protection and vigilance.
The bell-ringing right was a privilege granted to a city by its lord who happened to be the King of France, Philippe Auguste.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
ADMISSION TO CLIMB THE TOWER IS ....Adults ...2 euro
OPEN.....9.30am-12.30pm & 2-5.30pm Wed-Mon
Tournai has a mix of Art Deco and other style's of architecture.
I walked around and saw plenty of "different" decoration's and expression's of art work.
One I particularly liked, was near the Grand Place, where I saw a building with a bronze door adorned with antique- masks.
Now, this was very different, maybe even scary for very young children!
Whilst driving along a riverside road, I suddenly saw a beautiful Bridge. It was the 13th century Pont des Trous, a Bridge from Medieval military times.
It has two Towers, one known as The Bourdiel (1281) on left bank, and on the right bank is The Thieulerie, (1302-1304).
What is known as the "Curtain wall," is the part that is across the River, and that had the narrow Arrow slit's.
The Bridge was damaged in 1340, when King Edward III of England damaged its pillars during an attack, then in 1940, the English blew it up.
In 1947, the towers and pillars were raised to allow Ship's to pass underneath.
A really lovely Bridge.
Tournai is so old that each time we have to dig into its ground to build something new, chances are pretty high that we find some remaining from the past. It sounds natural to have a museum of archeology to show all these findings.
I've recently visited this museum and if it is true that the collections are very rich, they could be much better exploited. The building itself is worth the visit (the previous Mont-de-Piété built in 1622). I was expecting some explanations about the history of Tournai during the covered period (pre-historic till Frankish) or at least some more details about the different searches and where we found the different objects. Unfortunately most of the objects are just presented from a (very) scientific point of view! For example in the Frankish room, I haven't found any mention about the fact Tournai has been the capital of the kingdom, there was only a very light explanation about Childeric's tomb found in St Piat. It could however be going in the right direction, there was a model of the church that has recently been found under the St Pierre square.
Now that you are warned, this is quite a boring museum, for 2E (Jan 2004), this is still worth a visit: the different objects are awesome. Simply get an idea about their context from another source before the visit!
The masterpiece of the museum is a "sarcophagi" made of plumb.
If only one thing, this is the one you have to see in Tournai!!
Several churches have been built on this site but the actual cathedral has been started in the 12th century in the romanesque style. It has later been modified in gothic style. Both style are however merging in harmony.
It has survived the heavy bombing of WW2 but has recently been damaged by a tornado in 1999. That's why you could still see scaffolding or work in progress...
The five clock towers are luckily unaffected and are still standing, a typical landmark in Tournai's landscape.
At least as old as 1287, this is the oldest belfry in Belgium.
The belfry was the symbol of the town liberties in the middle age. This is where the document about the town's privileges (charter) were kept safe! At the same time, it was also used as a watch tower and a jailhouse!
It has been modified in 1294 to increase its height, in fact with the many towers growing in the city, it was not high enough to be an effective watchtower! It is now 72m high!!
Recently renovated, you can again climb its 257 steps for a wonderful view of the surrounding countryside.
Intrance fee is 2E, opening time are variable but as a rule of thumb, be there before 5pm.
Tournai has a museum of fine arts for quite some time. In 18-something, it was located in the actual Cloth Hall/Halle aux Draps on the Grand Place. The pretty bad state of this building at that time pushed the museum out and it was temporarily relocated into the Town Hall.
That’s only until Victor Horta, the famous Art Nouveau architect, designed a brand new building for the museum. The inauguration took place in 1928.
I would say the masterpiece of the museum is ‘Argenteuil’ painted in 1874 by Edouard Manet. You can also find other impressionist painting from Seurat, Monet, Van Gogh,…
Older style such as Bruegel, Rubens or Jordaens are also shown and since Tournai was a recognized painting center in the middle age, our local artists also have a good place in the museum: Roger de la Pasture / Van der Weyden or Louis Gallait to name a couple of them…
Just south of Tournai, is Brasserie de Brunehaut, the trade name for Brunehaut Brewery, located in Rongy-Brunehaut (Hainaut). On a slightly larger scale, the brewery is located 80km south/southwest of Brussels, Belgium (Wallonia), near the French border. This is a beautiful village/semi-rural setting and a nice experience for many groups or couples, but probably not singles or children.
Brasserie de Brunehaut is a member of The Union of Belgian Brewers. The brewery dates back to the Middle Ages. There is a nice (english) Wikipedia description of the history. The brewery maintains a limited, ongoing schedule of private and open events, including local seasonal celebrations, plus bicycle and motor coach tours. Featured among these is a brewery open house, Fêtes de la Brasserie held annually, on the third weekend in September.
Each Brunehaut Organic (Bio) label has earned organic certification. The company grows their own barley and wheat locally, within the brewery's terroir. They offer at least ten artisanal Belgian beers which are all presented for tasting during their tours. Several other unique souvenirs are also available. You must e-mail (email@example.com), or call in advance. Although several english-speaking staff work there, I recommend sending them an e-mail, well in advance, as an inquiry.
one of the oldest cities in Belgium has a beautiful Cathedral Notre-Dame (UNESCO World Heritage) there are also several Museums. Museum of Fine Arts , Museum of Natural History and Vivarium , Museum of Tapestry and Textile Art , The Folklore Museum , Museum of History and Decorative Art , Museum of Weapons and Military History , Museum of Archaeology .And then you can enjoy a good BUSH BEER 12° around the market.
Located between the "Grand Place" and the cathedral, the beautiful belfry of Tournai is the oldest in Belgium. It's history starts in 1188 ! But it's current shape is from the 13th century. It's role was a symbl of the liberties given to the cities. It was also used as an observation point.
Through this, the belfry is also the symbol of power rivality between the chuch and the public authorithies. In the beginning it was not higher than 30 meters but when the second part of the cathedral was build in gothic style, the view was limited and there was a necessity to see further than the cathedral. The solution was found by increasing the size of the belfry.
Through the years it was also used a municipal prison. The view form it's top is simply wonderful. Dont miss it ! The renovation works of the belfry were finished in 2002 and belongs now the the World Heritage list of the Unesco