Tournai: a journey through time in the heart of Wallonia
Located in the heart of Wallonia, the city of Tournai is a real journey back in time. With its rich historical and cultural heritage, it offers visitors a unique immersion in the history of the region.
Tournai, also known as Tournai-la-Grande, is the oldest city in Belgium. Founded by the Romans more than 2000 years ago, it has had a tumultuous history marked by invasions, wars and successive reconstructions.
The city center of Tournai is a true architectural treasure. Notre-Dame Cathedral, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, is one of the city’s jewels. Built between the 12th and 13th centuries, it is considered one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in Belgium. With its five naves and its 83 meter high tower, it proudly dominates the city and offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding area.
Not far from the cathedral is the Belfry, another symbol of Tournai. Built in the 12th century, it is the oldest belfry in Belgium and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From its height of 72 meters, it offers a panoramic view of the city and its surroundings. The Belfry also houses the History and Archeology Museum, which traces the history of Tournai through an impressive collection of objects and documents.
Strolling through the cobbled streets of the city, you discover many other architectural treasures. The Renaissance and Baroque style houses bear witness to the city’s past wealth. Among the most remarkable, we can cite the Maison de la Louve, the Maison de Lalaing and the Maison du Roi.
Tournai is also known for its museums. The Museum of Fine Arts houses an important collection of paintings, sculptures and art objects, ranging from the Middle Ages to the 20th century. The Tapestry Museum is dedicated to the art of tapestry, a tradition that dates back to medieval times. Finally, the Natural History Museum offers an immersion in the world of the region’s fauna and flora.
But Tournai is not limited to its architectural and cultural heritage. The city is also famous for its gastronomy. Local specialties, such as waffles, Liégeoise dumplings and Flemish stews, will delight visitors’ taste buds. The city’s many restaurants and brasseries offer tasty and authentic cuisine.
Tournai is also a lively city, where many events and festivals take place throughout the year. The Tournai Carnival, one of the oldest in Belgium, attracts thousands of visitors each year. The Pentecost festivals, with their folk processions and traditional dances, are also very popular.
Finally, the surroundings of Tournai offer numerous opportunities for walks and discoveries. The hilly landscapes of Wallonia, crossed by numerous hiking trails, invite visitors to recharge their batteries in the great outdoors. History buffs can also visit the region’s many castles and archaeological sites.
In conclusion, Tournai is a true pearl of Wallonia. With its rich historical and cultural heritage, its museums, its gastronomy and its numerous events, it offers visitors a journey back in time to the heart of the region. Whether you are a lover of art, history or nature, Tournai will seduce the curious in search of authenticity and discoveries.
Originally published at Almouwatin.com