Tournai Cathedral, Belgium

Notre Dame Cathedral of Tournai, Belgium got the UNESCO heritage tag because it is: distinguished by a Romanesque nave of extraordinary dimensions, a wealth of sculpture on its capitals and a transept topped by five towers, all precursors of the Gothic style.

The cathedral has a turbulent history. The first church built here was in 761 AD, which was replaced in 850 AD, this was burnt down by Viking traders in 881 AD. Another church was built at the same site; this too got destroyed in fire in 1060. A Romanesque cathedral was then built here, which exists even today. In 13th century, the church was given a facelift in Gothic architectural patterns, as that was the popular style of architecture in Europe those days. The square towers that flank the transept arms reach a height of 83 meters (272 ft). The church has a unique combination of both styles of architecture.

 Though sober in looks, the cathedral of Tournai is one of the finest in Belgium. The picture below is the undamaged western facade of the cathedral.

Pitcher Plant Rice
Notre Dame Cathedral, Tournai, Belgium

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