The Belfry of Tournai is the oldest one in Belgium. The original building was ordered in 1188 by the French King Philip Augustus and was 30 meters high. In 1294 the tower was significantly increased, it also got side towers and a spire with the gilded dragons. Today the Belfry dominates the 'Grand Place' (grand square) of the city. The tower is now 72 meters high and to get to the top you have to climb 257 steps.
|Picture by Jean-Pol GRANDMONT
On your way up you can discover some rooms and halls filled with information panels and didactic exhibitions about the history of one of Tournai's proudest buildings, the dungeon, the chamber of the carillonneur, and the carillon are all open to the public. The carillon tinkles throughout the city every Sunday during the summer holidays.
At first, the carillon had eleven bells, in 1747 they were extended up to 43 bells, having a weight of 13,100 kg. Nowadays, the chimes consist of 56 bells.