Alone or in a group, choose the visit that suits you
At 134m long and boasting some slender shapes, Tournai’s Notre-Dame cathedral overlooks the city with its 5 bell imposing towers. Dating from the 12th century, the building is currently undergoing a facelift that will last a few years. In addition to its embellishment work, the cathedral has a priceless treasure trove of 13th century shrines, the oldest tapestry in Belgium and an impressive collection of goldsmiths, liturgical clothing and the cloak of Charles V. Alone, as a couple or with the family, discover all our visiting options and choose the one that best suits you:
If you like to visit at your own pace, the cathedral can be explored independently.
Several items are available to you:
The booklet Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Tournai (Tournai’s Notre-Dame Cathedral) gives you a detailed overview of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, its architecture, its history and its secrets. Available at the Cathedral's shop, at Tournai’s tourist office or at www.wapishop.be for €6. Access to the building is free (with the exception of the Treasury).
The tour of the historical centre of Tournai is a fun way of exploring the town, taking you on a journey of discovery around its heritage and history. The tour covers seven major monuments: the belfry, the Grand Place, the Saint-Georges tower, the red fort, the Notre-Dame cathedral, the Scheldt and Place Saint-Pierre.
- Easy and short, this trip lasts only one hour.
- The route is also accessible to families with pushchairs and people with reduced mobility.
- Free map available from the tourist information office.
The audioguided Eurometropolis tour will let you discover the historic heart of Tournai through a commented tour. You’ll have access to about twenty explanatory audio tracks. The tour takes you inside and around the cathedral, towards Mantille door, Place Paul-Emile Janson and Place de l'Evêché. You’ll then listen to anecdotes concerning the belfry and finish your walk at the Grand Place. Free audio files can be downloaded from visiturometropolis.eu.
Sign language tour
In 2018, 5 tours using sign language have been organised for the first time in Tournai. The tour (2hrs) focuses on the Cathedral and surrounding area. The guide, Sébastien Brusselmans, really loves the region. He is also the person we have to thank for the sign for “Picardy Wallonia”, which he introduced to sign language. Recognised by the General Commission for Tourism (CGT) in April 2018, the deaf guide also works with the Mouscron Folklore Museum, the Marcel Marlier Centre and the Omer Vander Ghinste brewery in Bellegem.
Organised tours on 3 June, 2 September, 7 October, 4 November and 2 December 2018. For details and booking, contact the Tournai Tourist Information Office.
Tour of the cathedral and the historic heart of Tournai
In July, August and September, the tourist information office organises guided tours of the historic centre. On Sundays and bank holidays at 4.30pm, the town’s guides will introduce you to the UNESCO heritage of the City of the Five Bell Towers.
€5/person. Free for accompanied children under 6. Tours in Dutch at 2.30pm and in English at 3.30pm.
The film De la pierre au ciel (from stone to heaven)
For 20 minutes you’ll discover Tournai’s cathedral. Its history, its birth and the current edifice.
The exhibition “Visible, invisible, the illustrated cathedral. 100 metres of history”
From original plans to current models, you’ll follow the restoration of the cathedral step by step. Free entry.
Highlights of Tournai’s cathedral
Unexpected encounters, the MusiCA festival and the Great Procession of Tournai: events that transform the cathedral as you’ve never seen it!