Tournai Things to Do

  • Pont Des Trous
    Pont Des Trous
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  • Cloth Hall
    Cloth Hall
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  • Notre Dame Cathedral
    Notre Dame Cathedral
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Most Recent Things to Do in Tournai

  • Djinn76's Profile Photo

    The Notre-Dame Cathedral

    by Djinn76 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    The Cathedral

    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.

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    • Religious Travel
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    • Architecture

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    The Belfry

    by Djinn76 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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.

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    The Museum of Fine Arts

    by Djinn76 Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    A building from Victor Horta...

    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…

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  • Visit to a Belgian Brewery: Brasserie de Brunehaut

    by midknightoyl Updated Jun 8, 2009
    Brewing at Brasserie de Brunehaut, near Tournai
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    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 (info@brunehaut.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.

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    • Beer Tasting
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  • hikerroeland's Profile Photo

    TOURNAI

    by hikerroeland Written Mar 3, 2009
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    TOURNAI
    or DOORNIK
    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.

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  • floche2001's Profile Photo

    The Belfry

    by floche2001 Written Dec 21, 2008

    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

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  • Luchonda's Profile Photo

    Princess d'Epinoy

    by Luchonda Updated May 15, 2008

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    Princess d'Epinoy
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    On the Grand Place you will find the statue of Christine de Lalaing, princess d'Epinoy, who defended Tournai against Parma in 1581. Strolling around the market place you will find some other statues or let's say "Pieces of Art" giving a added value to the charm of this city.
    - The statue of Van der Weyden - a flemish artist, 15th century( near the Cathedral)
    - The dragon statue on the market place itself

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  • Luchonda's Profile Photo

    The Belfry- UNESCO World Heritage

    by Luchonda Updated May 14, 2008

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    The Belfry (UNESCO World Heritage)
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    Must be the oldest Belfry in Belgium and was till 1827 a prison.
    The Belfry (70 metres high. 257 steps the top) has been totally restored and is equipped with a modern multimedia system giving a good idea of its history.

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  • Luchonda's Profile Photo

    The Market Place

    by Luchonda Updated May 14, 2008

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    Nice medieavel houses fully decorated
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    Entering the market square is a joy for the eye. Highlights like the main Cathedral Notre Dame, the restored cloth hall, the Belfry are really impressing, clean, a lot of gothic and roman houses. A pitty that cars and motorcycles can cross around

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  • Luchonda's Profile Photo

    The church of St-Quentin

    by Luchonda Updated May 14, 2008

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    The little Cathedral
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    The church of St-Quentin in the same square as the belfry is almost as ancient as the Notre Dame, the people of Tournai call it the "little cathedral."
    Eyecatcher without doubt is a flag showing a Cross, decorated with many precious stones, and stolen on the 18th of february this year

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  • Luchonda's Profile Photo

    The cloth hall

    by Luchonda Updated May 14, 2008

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    Cloth hall

    Next to Cathedral, the cloth hall is the second highlight on the marketplace. It was built in Renaissance style in 1610-1612, and restored in 1998. Remarkable are the ornaments, decorated by gold leafs.
    The house on the left is the house of the hall-porter

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  • Luchonda's Profile Photo

    Cathedral Notre Dame

    by Luchonda Updated May 14, 2008

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    Unique 5 towers
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    Tournai cathedral is one of the religious monuments in Belgium. The unique 5-towered Romanesque and early Gothic masterpiece shows that this area was rich, built during the 12th & 13th centuries. Its treasury contains the silver and copper Shrine of Our Lady, completed in the early 13th century. The Cathedral also houses works by Rubens and his contemporary Jordaens.

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Museum of Tapestry and Textiles

    by angiebabe Written Jan 7, 2008

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    medieval tapestry from Tournai
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    Not overly much on exhibit but an interesting collection of old tapestries made in Tournai in the 15th and 16th centuries and contemporary art by local artists on display but I love looking at this type of art and did enjoy the museum (plus free loos in the building - something to take note of when travelling around!)

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo

    Folklore in Tournai

    by angiebabe Written Jan 7, 2008

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    traditions still being celebrated thru the year
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    There are numerous signs around the streets, and in particular a series of statues personalities from the folklore stories from the area, giving information on the folklore festivals and of the museum to visit.

    Here you will see at least 3 festivals still celebrated in Tournai through the year and the basis of the Folklore Museum - which itself is in an interesting medieval old building in a street behind the Town Hall.

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  • bjankovic's Profile Photo

    Grand' Place

    by bjankovic Written Feb 23, 2007

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    The main square of Tournai is the focal point of the city. From one of its many cafes and restaurants you can have an unobstructed view of the Belfry, the Cloth Hall and many of the other beautiful buildings surrounding the square. The spires of Our Lady's Cathedral also peak from behind the square's buildings.

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