Before visiting Tournai, discover its history. The city of the five spires, taking its name from the cathedral’s five towers, is the only Belgian city to have been under English control for several years. Henry VIII ordered the construction of a citadel, of which certain pieces are still visible today.
Tournai is one of the oldest towns in Belgium, and includes many traces of its multimillennial history. During your visit, be sure to admire the oldest belfry in Belgium as well as Notre-Dame Cathedral, both of which are UNESCO-listed. Don't miss the Drapery Hall and, more recently, the many Art Nouveau buildings that punctuate the streets. Among them, the Museum of Fine Arts, which was designed by Victor Horta.
Tournai is also an ideal place for a stroll, depending on your whim and the weather. Our suggestion? Get yourself a ‘game bag’ on sale at the Tourist Office and the youth hostel. This lays out a circuit of the town, with your mission: to spare Tournai from a terrible fate! The bag contains various tools you’ll need to complete this adventure.
Another appealing aspect of Tournai is its folklore and traditions that are faithfully preserved by its inhabitants. Among these, ‘Lost Monday’ or ‘Perjured Monday’, which is one of the highlights of Tournaisien life. On that day, tradition dictates that ‘Rabbit of Lost Monday’ is served. If you enjoy festivals, don’t miss the carnaval and its giants, the grand procession and the two amusement fairs.