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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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!)
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.
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.
The Pont des Trous bridge is said to be one of the most typical monuments of medieval architecture preserved in the Western world. The bridge was restored after World War II to meet the needs of modern navigation.
Designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the Belfry of Tournai is the landmark of the city and is the oldest belfry in Belgium and in Northern Europe. It has been totally restored and is has a modern multimedia system giving visitors an idea of its long history.
The façade on Episcopal Square dates back to the XIV century. The portal is covered by a porche and ornated with sculptures from the XIV to XVII centuries depicting apostles and saints as well as a superb image of Our Lady of the Unhealthy, patroness of the church.
Episcopal Square is overwhelmingly presided by the main façade of the Cathedral Church, but there are also some other buildings of interest which include the House of the Old Priests and the Episcopal Palace.
Lost in the middle of the old town, the so-called Red Fort (it is rather a small tower) is one of the few remaining parts of the first city fortifications. It was being renovated at the time of my visit.
The South flank of the square was not so severely affected by the war bombings and it is there where some of the former guild houses have been preserved. Among them, the famous Cloth Hall stands out as one of Tournai's most beautiful buildings. But even this one is a replica, as the original building collapsed in the XIX century and was subsequently meticulously rebuilt.