"Tongeren - Our home town" Top 5 Page for this destination Tongeren by jojes

Tongeren Travel Guide: 44 reviews and 94 photos

Welcome to Belgium's oldest town !

Tongeren is very different to other cities. It is over 2000 years old and those 20 centuries of history have really left an impressive mark on the town.
A visitor will not only be impressed by the huge treasure of cultural & historical heritance. Our town also has a very relaxing athmosphere, with cosy restaurants, a variety of shops and the large antique market every sunday.
Located in the area called "Haspengouw", Tongeren is also an ideal base to explore the beautiful nature and landscapes surrounding it. It is also ideally located to explore other cities as Hasselt, Liege and Maastricht (the Netherlands).

I'm sure that a visit to Tongeren will be an unforgettable one !

A very long history

Tongeren is over 2000 years old.

It used to be inhabited by the Eburons. It was located at the crossroads of some important Roman roads. In 54 BC, during Julius Caesar's campaigns to conquer Gaul, the Romans put up their winter camp in the relatively unknown "Atuatuca". The Eburons and their leader Ambiorix, along with some other local tribes, stood up to the Romans and killed about 7.200 Roman soldiers. For Caesar it was the greatest defeat in conquering Gaul. His revenge was to wipe out all the tribes in Belgica.
The Romans founded the settlement Atuatuca Tungrorum, which became one of the largest Gallo-Roman towns in the 1st century. It turned into a melting pot of different cultures already in the Roman times.
You can read more on the legend of Ambiorix on my profile page.

In the middle ages Tongeren attracted a lot of new kinds of trades. Local crafts areas and trade quarters developed.
In the 13th century, the town wall with town gates was built and the centre was expanded by monasteries, a beguinage and churches.
A lot of the medieval monuments are still very present in the city, as for example the Moerenpoort (marsh gate), remains of the medieval wall, ...

Nowadays Tongeren has about 30.000 inhabitants.
Recent excavations have unvailed some very important remains of the early times in our city. These gave historians a better view on the way of life and the habits of the people who lived here centuries before us. Especially findings of the Roman time are considered to be of great value.
A lot of these remains are on display in the recently re-opened Gallo-Roman museum.

More info : www.tongeren.be - http://www.toerismehaspengouw.be/citychapters.php?cityId=13

Something special in summer 2009 !!!

Tongeren was a cradle of christianity. It was known as the first sanctuary of the Holy Virgin.
Every 7 years there are coronation celebrations, the "Kroningsfeesten". These celebrations are in honour of the miraculous statue "Causa nostrae Laetitiae".
Along with this statue, a lot of other relics are carried out in the procession.

There are 4 processions followed by 4 evening performances.

Over 3.300 participants (a new record this year !) are already preparing for a long time to make this an unforgettable experience for the over 700.000 visitors that visit Tongeren especially for these celebrations every 7 years !

Be sure to have a look at www.kroningsfeesten.be

July 5 2009 : procession at 15.00 - evening performance at 22.30
July 7 2009 : procession at 19.00 - evening performance at 22.30
July 10 2009 : procession at 19.00 - evening performance at 22.30
July 12 2009 : procession at 15.00 - evening performance at 22.30

Come to see this spectacle in 2009 or you'll have to wait for 7 years !

The practical arrangements for the 2016 celebrations have already started! The diverse groups really start planning well in advance to make these celebrations special.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Not too big, but cosy town, with a lot of historical remains.
  • In a nutshell:A great visit to history !
  • Intro Updated Jul 2, 2013
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Reviews (15)

Comments (9)

  • Oleg_D.'s Profile Photo
    Feb 20, 2014 at 12:42 AM

    Basilica seems excellent! Are there any icons and statues of military Saints like George, Sebastian, Fabian and so on in this basilica?

    • jojes's Profile Photo
      Feb 20, 2014 at 1:11 AM

      Now that is somehing I don't have a clue about ... I'm not really familiar with saints ;-)

  • Ekaterinburg's Profile Photo
    Nov 6, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    Very informative tips and great to read about Tongeren which I will hopefully visit for Euromeet 2015. The Sunday morning market sounds great.

    • jojes's Profile Photo
      Nov 6, 2013 at 11:35 AM

      Thanks for your visit and ratings!
      This market attracts such a large crowd every week. Always visitors from all over Europe.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Oct 17, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Nice tips on your home town. I'm lookong forward to the VT meeting there in 2015.

    • jojes's Profile Photo
      Oct 17, 2013 at 3:05 AM

      Thanks fo you visit to my pages and your ratings! There's still so much more to see here ... I have to try to find some time to put more tips here ...

  • Greggor58's Profile Photo
    Jun 7, 2010 at 3:08 PM

    Thanks jojoe for the look at your city...Looks interesting for sure..Im always interested in places that have old history and Tongeren fits that bill...Id love to see more photos!Thanks for sharing here!

  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2010 at 3:55 AM

    Yes we did visit and the town is beautiful, but we were there in just AWFUL weather and could not find any PEOPLE ^O^ Martin

  • Turska's Profile Photo
    Sep 17, 2009 at 1:58 PM

    Thanks for your tips!I will read them beeter later,I should sleep now ;)

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    May 29, 2009 at 8:47 AM

    Thanx for your page! ><>< I would like to pay a visit some day......

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Apr 29, 2009 at 4:57 PM

    A 2000 year old town! That is really old...nice to live in a hometown rich in history. Maybe my family will visit you one of these days. The twins have only visited Brussels and they saw the little peeing boy...

  • LoriPori's Profile Photo
    Apr 15, 2009 at 2:43 PM

    Loved visiting your home town of Tongeren.

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