Heritage in festival

Admire UNESCO-recognised heritage in a new light.

The Notre-Dame Cathedral, the Tournai Belfry and the Ducasse d’Ath have been classified as World Heritage Sites by Unesco since the 2000s. The Notre-Dame à la Rose Hospital at Lessines, one of the last complete vestiges of self-sufficiency in Belgium, could soon join the prestigious ranks of these classified monuments. These places have not, however, remained frozen in time. They have evolved and continue to evolve. They also provide unique places to host exceptional events. A good opportunity to see them—or see them again—in a new light.

The Procession of Black Penitents- April

Every year, Lessines welcomes visitors to a day full of mystery. In the afternoon, Notre-Dame à la Rose opens its doors to reveal the secrets of this ancient Hôtel-Dieu Hospital which has survived many centuries and wars. The guides share a host of amusing, and terrifying, anecdotes. Then, in the evening, Lessines becomes the scene of a funeral-like procession. The procession of black penitents crosses the city at night. These hooded men, with their crosses and torches, pass in absolute silence, interspersed with the muffled sound of rattles and surrounded by a spellbound audience of young and old. More typical of the Mediterranean countries, the Lessines penitents' procession is the only similar event in northern Europe.

Carillon concerts - May

From May on, carillon concerts are hosted by the City of Tournai’s three official carillonists. Attend an hour-long, open-air concert on Sundays, from the oldest belfry in Belgium, while relaxing on a nearby café terrace!

Unexpected Encounters - August/September

The Unexpected Encounters take place in the last weekend of August and mingle music and philosophy. A diverse audience enjoys both classical concerts and philosophical games. The festival also incorporates entertainment for children.

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MusiCA – August/September

The MusiCA Festival: in August and September, the Notre-Dame de Tournai Cathedral hosts the MusiCA music festival. This high-level programme gives pride of place to vocal and instrumental music without forgetting the organ or trumpet. Internationally renowned orchestras install themselves in numerous venues, offering audiences an edifying spectacle. And the bit we like best? Looking up to the columns and impressive Gothic ceilings against a background of passion-filled music.

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The Great Procession of Tournai - September

The Great Procession of Tournai: every second weekend of September, 700 volunteers parade through the streets of Tournai. Thousands of visitors come to admire the reliquaries, statues and period costumes. Starting from the Grand Place, this ancient procession, which has taken place for over nine centuries, ends its journey at the cathedral of Tournai with a high mass. An event not to be missed for both its centuries-old and popular qualities!

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Heritage Days - September

At the end of the 1980s, the introduction of a new concept revolutionised visits to prestigious sites for the general public: Wallonia’s Heritage Days. Every year, in September, the most beautiful monuments open their doors, free of charge to visitors, for an entire weekend. An occasion not to be missed on any account!

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The Giants’ Calendar

The Giants’ Calendar is the schedule of must-see, Giant-related events Indeed, the Giants come out all year round, right across Belgium and France. So, it’s almost impossible to miss them!

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