Tournai Travel Guide

Browse 1 travel reviews, 2 travel blogs and 64 travel photos from real travelers to Tournai.

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Tournai Overview

One the more spectacular items that strike straight when you get into Tournai is the Belfry Tower. The Belfry of Tournai is the oldest in Belgium and in Northern Europe. It is built on the site of a tower of the first surrounding wall, the Belfry is divided into three distinct parts. Its square tower is strengthened at the corners by four buttresses above which 4 round turrets with pyramidal bell-turrets rise. A gallery with a balustrade separates the tower from the slender and light campanile flanked by 4 small towers decorated with gilded banners and topped by a copper dragon.

It symbolises the right of self-administration and was erected when Philippe Auguste, King of France, gave Tournai its freedom charter in 1188. He granted to Tournai the 'Right of Bell' and especially a large bell called 'Bancloque', used to summon the population in case of danger.

Until 1827, the cold rooms of the Belfry were used as prisons. The present momuments is 72 meter high. 256 spiral stairs lead the visitor to the top and a wonderful view on the surrounding countryside is offered to the courageous. The Belfry has been totally restored and is equipped with a modern multimedia system giving a good idea of its history.

The cathedral is home to an exceptional heritage, including wall-paintings in the transept ( XIIth century), stained-glass windows dating from the Middle Age, which represent the separation of the dioceses of Tournai and Noyon in 1146.

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