Advertise Now
Europe Attractions
Travel Companies
  Home > Travel Europe > Europe Destinations > Tournai


Europe is one of the five inhabited traditional continents of the Earth. Physically and geologically, Europe is the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, west of Asia. Europe is bounded to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the west by the Atlantic Ocean, to the south by the Mediterranean Sea, and to the southeast by the waterways adjoining the Mediterranean to and including the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains. On the east, Europe is divided from Asia by the water divide of the Ural Mountains and by the Caspian Sea. Europe is the world's second-smallest continent in terms of area and third-largest continent after Asia and Africa in population.
Tournai is a municipality located 85 kilometres southwest of Brussels, on the river Scheldt, in the Belgian province of Hainaut. It is the second oldest city in Belgium and has played an important role in the country's cultural history.
The Tournai municipality includes the old communes of Barry, Beclers, Blandain, Chercq, Ere, Esplechin, Froidmont, Froyennes, Gaurain-Ramecroix, Havinnes, Hertain, Kain, Lamain, Marquain, Maulde, Melles, Mont-Saint-Aubert, Mourcourt, Orcq, Quartes, Ramegnies-Chin, Rumillies, Saint-Maur, Templeuve, Thimougies, Vaulx-lez-Tournai, Vezon, Warchin, and Willemeau.
Tournai existed already in Roman times and came into the possession of the Salian Franks in 432. Under kings Childeric and Clovis, Tournai was the capital of the Frankish empire. In the year 486, Clovis moved the center of power to Paris, but in turn Tournai was made siege of a bishopric that extended over the entire region of Flanders. Its first bishop was Eleutherius, himself a native son of Tournai.
After the partition of the Frankish empire during the early 9th century, Tournai remained in the western part, which would later become France. First being part of the County of Flanders, the city soon became attractive for wealthy merchants. Its drive for independence from the local rulers succeeded in 1187, and the city was henceforth directly subordinated to the French Crown.

Tournai is considered to be one of the most important cultural sites in Belgium. The mixed Romanesque and Gothic-style cathedral of Notre Dame de Tournai and the belfry, the oldest in Belgium, have been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Inside the cathedral, the Chasse de Notre-Dame, a beautifully ornated 12th-century reliquary, gives witness of Tournai's wealth in the Middle Ages. Other places of interest are the 13th-century Scheldt Bridge and the Great Market, as well as several old city gates, historic warehouses, and a variety of museums.

Everything you need to know about Traveling Europe is here at

Permission is granted to reproduce this article as long as the above resource paragraph is left intact with active links.

Back to Europe Destinations

Europe Destinations
Europe News