The Belfry of Tournai, Tournai

4.3
The belfry of Tournai, Belgium, is a freestanding bell tower of medieval origin, 72 metres in height with a 256-step stairway. This landmark building is one of a set of belfries of Belgium and France registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List.Construction of the belfry began around 1188 when King Philip Augustus of France granted Tournai its town charter, conferring among other privileges the right to mount a communal bell to ring out signals to the townsfolk.The tower in its original form was evocative of the feudal keep, with a square cross section and crenelated parapet. It served in part as a watchtower for spotting fires and enemies. The growing city saw fit to expand the belfry in 1294, raising it by an additional stage, and buttressing its corners with four polygonal towerlets. A soldier statue was placed atop each towerlet, and a dragon icon surmounted the entire structure. The dragon, symbol of power and vigilance, also adorns other old tower tops in Belgium, including those of the Cloth Hall of Ypres and the belfry of Ghent.A fire damaged the building in 1391. In the following years, the city obtained new bells to replace the ruined ones, and affixed gilded decorations to the newly restored top part of the tower: mermen, banners, and a new dragon. The largest bell of this period, called Bancloque, and the fire bell or Timbre, have been preserved to this day. A carillon was added in 1535.
For The Belfry of Tournai and beyond, use our Tournai trip itinerary maker website to get the most from your Tournai vacation.
Source
Create an itinerary including The Belfry of Tournai
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors

The Belfry of Tournai Reviews

Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
245 reviews
Google
4.0
TripAdvisor
  • Only 2 euro 10 cents to ascend around 250 stairs to get to the top with a very nice view of the whole town. Definitely worth it and highly recommended.  more »
  • Just slightly over-shadowed by the Notre Dame Cathedral, this historical landmark is beautifully maintained and striking. Well worth the time spent and please pause to listen to the bells every half.....  more »
Google
  • Bellow average steak "du chef" at an average price tag. Decent but would not come back. The beers and the atmosphere are nice, but they are the same as any brasserie around.
  • Still under going a lot of work . Still stunning building
  • Build a plan

    Tell us where and when you
    want to go, we will build
    the best sightseeing itinerary
  • Refine it

    You have complete flexibility on your destinations and itinerary
  • Book as a package

    Use our travel agents to get
    package savings and hassle free booking
  • Enjoy your trip!

    Enjoy our 24x7
    on-trip assistance

Popular things to do in Tournai

3.8
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.0
Duration: 2h 30 min
4.6
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.5
Duration: 1h 30 min

Side trips from Tournai

4.5
Duration: 4 hours
4.6
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.2
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.9
Duration: 1h 30 min

Hidden gems in Tournai

5.0
Duration: 1h 30 min
5.0
Duration: 1h 30 min
2.8
Duration: 1h 30 min
5.0
Duration: 1h 30 min

Museums in Tournai

4.8
Duration: 1h 30 min
3.6
Duration: 1h 30 min

Nearby attractions in Tournai

2.7
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.6
Duration: 2h 30 min
4.1
Duration: 1h 30 min
4.8
Duration: 4 hours

Kid-friendly things to do in Tournai

3.4
Duration: 4 hours
4.3
Duration: 8 hours