A Glimpse of Belfry Of Tournai, Belgium
Attractive imposing Belfry of Tournai!
Belfry of Tournai is the oldest of all belfry of Belgium. It forms a part of 56 historical buildings of Belgium and France which are recognised by the Unesco as World Heritage Site. Belfry of Tournai was built in 1188AD. Centuries back these belfry in cities of Belgium and northern France served different purposes. Belfry are considered as an emblem of municipal freedoms. They were used as a lookout tower to see approaching enemy. And also as a fire lookout tower.
Belfry of Tournai, History
Wiki mentions: Construction of Tournai belfry began in 1188 when King Philip Augustus of France granted the town its town charter. The King also conferred among other privileges the right to mount a communal bell to ring out signals to the townsfolk. In 1924, it got a face lift, additional It stands tall at mighty impressive height of 72m.
Tour of Tournai in Belgium
Tournai has lots to offer in terms of monuments. A popular adage is: Tournai – Belgium’s best-kept secret. If Bruges is the Venice of “le plat pays (my flat country- a French-language song”, then Tournai is its Siena. This city had to figure in my itinerary as it has 2 monuments in World Heritage Sites’ list. One is the Cathedral and other this Belfry.
We did a self guided walking tour of Tournai. Of course! I must mention DK Eyewitness Travel guide book I referred to! The town seemed to be dotted with several monuments with architectural styles of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque. These were signatures left by Romans, Franks, Spanish, Austrians and French. Germans too left their signature in this town of Tournai by bombing it in World War II 1940. Interesting how different nations had a hand in shaping up this little town of Belgium!
Opening Hours of Belfry of Tournai Belgium
Belfry façade is dull grey in color and fairly unadorned. Best part is that all rooms along the 257 steps to top are open to public, and that tempted us to visit the interiors of Belfry of Tournai. However, the sad part is we didn’t go to top to get the fantastic deadly views of Tournai from there. Due to lack of time we had to skip this.
Entrance tickets to Belfry of Tournai cost 2Euros (this was in 2012).
It is open from 10am to 1pm and 2pm to 6.30pm from March to October, and 10am to noon and 2pm to 5pm the rest of the year.
Belfry entry is closed on Mondays, Sunday mornings, on 15 August, 25 December and 31December to 3 January.