A different point of view
Tournai is not only the oldest town in Belgium. Through Childéric and Clovis, it is also the origin of France. Rich from a 2000 years past history, Tournai get its origins from Roman antiquity. From this long past, Tournai kept prestigious vestiges, restorated with high attention; classified frontages, historical districts, quaint picturesque streets, two outstanding buildings inscribed at the UNESCO world heritage, the oldest belfry of the country and the magnificent and impressive five bell towers cathedral.
Undeniably called an historical city, Tournai has several museums showing its cultural wealth: the Fine Art Museum, build by the famed Art Nouveau architect Victor Horta, hosting the two only Manet’s paintings exhibited in Belgium; the Tapestry and Textiles Arts museum exhibiting prestigious antique tapestries from the 15th and 16th Centuries; the Natural History Museum and Vivarium, inaugurated before birth of Belgium, along with a typical curiosity cabinet from the 19th century.
Around the splendid triangular Grand-Place, soothed by the fountain’s sounds, bars and restaurants are bringing a lively and unique conviviality.
About sightseeing, the city is perfect for an outing between friends or family: puppets or exotic butterflies, quirky or gourmand walks, imaginary adventures in town and treasure hunting. There is something for every taste!
Capital of the Picardic Wallonia, WAPI for the expert, the city of the five bell towers is considered as a green town: filled with green spaces, parks, gardens, all kind of squares. Countryside and villages are located very close by the city center. You can reach there going along the Escaut on the green ways, perfect scenery for great rides by bike or walking.