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Tournai

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Cathedral at sunset

Tournai (Dutch: Doornik) is a city in Wallonia. It is famed for its impressive Romanesque Cathedral. It was also the only Belgian city to ever be controlled by the English Throne.

Understand[edit]

  • 1 Tourist Office (Office du Tourisme), Place Paul-Emile Janson 1, +32 69 22 20 45. The one and only tourist office in the city.

Get in[edit]

By train[edit]

The 1 Tournai Railway Station is located on the northern edge of the city centre. It is approximately 1 kilometer of walking to reach the square in front of the cathedral.

Tournai is served by regular trains from all over Belgium by the national railway company NMBS. From Brussels direct trains run every hour and take just under an hour. Direct trains take 30-60 minutes to run to Lille just across the border in France, which has a Eurostar Station. Paris is accessible with a change in just under two hours with a change in Lille.

By bus[edit]

Coaches from Brussels take around 1h 45m and require 2 changes See here for timtables

By plane[edit]

The nearest Airport is Lille Lesquin (LIL IATA) which is served by a few airlines with various European destinations. The Belgian airports of Brussels (BRU IATA) and Brussels South in the city of Charleroi (CRL IATA) are a bit further away but are a lot bigger and serve a lot more flights than Lille.

Get around[edit]

Map of Tournai

Tournai is fairly compact and can be easily covered on foot. There is a local bus service.

See[edit]

Bells in the Belfry
  • Grand-Place, the main square in town.
  • 1 Cathedral, Place de l'Evêché 1. 9:00 - 12:00 and 14:00 - 17:00 (18:00 in summer). The cathedral is on the WV-Unesco-icon-small.svg UNESCO World Heritage site List as one of the best preserved Cathedrals in Northern Europe. It is renowned for having one of the most impressive Romanesque naves in Europe and has a remarkable array of statues. The Gothic choir was a later addition. there is also a Treasury Museum attached. Services 11:00 on weekdays and 10:00 in weekends. Tournai Cathedral on Wikipedia
  • 2 Belfry, Grand Place. 9:00 - 12:00 and 14:00 - 17:00 (18:00 in summer). Mo closed. The belfry offers great views across the city, especially over the nearby Cathedral. It is the oldest in Belgium and stands at 72 metres high. It offers very informative multilingual displays on the role of Belfries in the history of the region. The Belfry is included on the WV-Unesco-icon-small.svg UNESCO World Heritage site List as part of the Belfries of Belgium and France. Belfry of Tournai on Wikipedia
The issue of souls in purgatory by Rubens in the Cathedral Saint-Louis Chapel
  • 3 Museum of Fine Arts (Musée des Beaux-Arts), Rue de l'Enclos Saint-Martin 3, +32 69 33 24 31. Displays paintings by Rubens, Van Gogh, Monet, Seurat and Watteau among others. They are displayed in a fine building designed by renowned architect Victor Horta in the Beaux-Arts style.
  • 4 Pont des Trous. A vestige of medieval, military architecture on the river Scheldt (Escaut) with motorized freight barges passing tightly through the narrow central arch.
  • 5 Folklore Museum (Musée de Folklore/Maison Tournaisienne), Réduit des Sions 36, +32 69 22 40 69. Boasts many exhibits on local folklore including several, full-scale dioramas of urban and rural scenes from the bygone era.
  • The Scheldt (Dutch: Schelde, French: Escaut) is a canal-like river passing through the city with active motorized barge traffic. Rue Royale has a lift bridge over the river. Watching barge traffic may be of interest to visitors.

Do[edit]

Events[edit]

  • International Folklore Festival: 28 September – 3 October 2018. The Festival International de Folklore Tournai takes place in late September/early October every year and attracts large crowds.

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

The Tournai tourist office has created a gourmet walking tour leading visitors along the best gastronomic places in the city such as breweries and shops with local products. Ask the people in the tourist office about it if you are interested.

  • 1 Sakura, Rue du Bourdon Saint-Jacques 12, +32 69 22 99 17. Japanese restaurant.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

  • Lille is only 30km away and a worthy excursion
  • Spiennes is reasonably close and is home to Neolithic Flint Mines inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List
  • Kortrijk (French: Courtrai) is 30-35 minutes away by train in Dutch-speaking Flanders.
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