"Tournai, the merovingian capital !!" Top 5 Page for this destination Tournai by Djinn76

Tournai Travel Guide: 154 reviews and 371 photos

La cite des 5 clochers (aka Doornik)

I have finally started this page about the town where I grew up...It took a year to get it started and since there is a lot to say, I won't be able to do in one shot, check it regularly for potential updates...

Nowadays, Tournai is just a small provincial town and that's probably why too many people are overlooking it. However, this is the oldest town in Belgium with Tongeren and its past is extremely glorious!!

Known as Fundus Turnacus during the roman times, it later becomes the capital of the Frankish Kingdom, Childeric was one of the famous kings. Clovis, his son, later left Tournai for Paris once he conquered further territories.

Why merovingian? Well, simply because Merovee, the father of Childeric, was the King of Tournai. Since these kings were the root of the french kingdom, many legends exist about their origins. That's probably why we found a mysterious Merovingian in the Wachowski brothers' film (I have always been wondering!!)

In the Middle Age, Tournai was one of the biggest city of France. Closely attached to the french king, the History also saw it English, Spanish, Austrian, Dutch and finally Belgian.
It has been a famous center of painting and tapestry. More recently, in the 18th century, its porcelain was world wide famous.
Today and even if it has been heavily bombed during WW2, what is left from this past glory are the numerous churches and the beautiful buildings. The Cathedral and the Belfry are both on the World Heritage list.

Take some time to discover this city, it's definitely worth it, I'll now try to explain what you can do and see...

* 3-4 January : snowy WE, I took a few pictures of the classical must-see
* 10 January :
Aqua-tournai and visit to the Archeology museum
* 5 february : Casterman, CCB, ...
* 15 february : small walk : Fort Rouge, a couple of churches and houses
* 27-28 march : the sun is back (at least for a WE) - many new pictures (must see and travelogue)
* 10 april : grey and rainy WE, few nightlife tips and begining of the bronze statues hunting...
* may: few improvements - new pictures - 4 corteges, more to come
* 27 june: VT meeting
* 3d july Completed the bronze statues travelogue - Lan party - Arche de Noe
* 19th August: Couple of new tips/pictures - biking around.
* 28th August: New beer/brewerie

  • Last visit to Tournai: Jul 2004
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (72)

Comments (42)

  • KiKitC's Profile Photo
    Sep 17, 2009 at 2:53 AM

    Fabulous tips. I wish I could buy one of those old churches and live there for a while exploring. Hope you have a magical birthday.

  • Martin_S.'s Profile Photo
    Sep 16, 2009 at 11:50 PM

    We visited Tongeren, but seemed to have missed Tournai...oh well, a good reason to come back for another visit ^O^ Thanks for sharing. Martin

  • omidamini's Profile Photo
    Jul 9, 2009 at 7:05 PM

    Hi , You have very nice Tournai Page, I hope see you here in my country.

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jul 18, 2008 at 1:37 PM

    Jean-Francois, excellent page with brilliant photos of your hometown. Keep up the good work.

  • RhineRoll's Profile Photo
    Jun 17, 2008 at 7:10 AM

    damn! I missed the Moine Austere!!!

  • wandeljp's Profile Photo
    Mar 23, 2008 at 12:43 PM

    J'ai beaucoup aimé. Très complet, on a que l'embarras du choix. Il est urgent que je (re) visite cette ville magnifique!

  • breughel's Profile Photo
    Mar 3, 2007 at 5:17 AM

    Très belles pages sur Tournai. Ville trop peu connue!

  • mollymoo0oo0's Profile Photo
    Jan 2, 2007 at 7:53 AM

    I have to say, I really miss the days when there was a 10 min break during a film at the cinema!! When I was little I'd love it the big queues for the 'ice-cream lady' during the scramble to get one before the film re-started!!

  • JLBG's Profile Photo
    May 5, 2006 at 10:44 PM

    Je sais qu'il est difficile de construire un page sur sa ville! Tes photos de Tournai me font beaucoup penser à Corbie, ma ville natale. Il est vrai que Tournai n'est pas très loin de la Picardie. J'ignorai que Casterman était une imprimerie Tornaisienne!

  • PhillyJohn's Profile Photo
    Dec 18, 2005 at 5:44 PM

    What is the 'cult' you refer to?

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