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Vous êtes ici : Guided Tours
Package 8: Nivelles - Tournai Imprimer


The Collégiale Saint-Gertrude of Nivelles and the Cathedral of Our Lady, Tournai


The Collégiale Saint-Gertrude of Nivelles


The Collégiale Saint-Gertrude.


La collégiale

The town sprang up around the noble abbey founded at the dawn of Christian evangelisation in this country, and, a rare thing in Europe, consisting of a double community, ruled by women.


Le cloître

The exceptional architectural record includes the romanesque church of the 11th century, an archaeological basement, crypt, cloister, westwork and treasures from the 7th to the 18th centuries. Under the Carolingians, it became an imperial abbey, and later, part of the pilgrim route to Compostella. The St Jacques district, at the feet of the church, is a witness to this pilgrimage.


From 646 and the first Merovingian church, to the present, 1350 years of architectural history can be traced. The church is built in the Ottonian style of the great monuments of the Holy Roman Empire : Early Romanesque for the 11th century construction, and Late Romanesque for the exceptional westwork of the late 12th, which is complete and very rare. The ground-plan with a choir at each end is in the Carolingian tradition. The westwork features no less than 8 cupolas : this is unique in Belgium and emphasises the imperial nature of the foundation.


Cathedral of Our Lady, Tournai


Cathedral of Our Lady, Tournai

(classified UNESCO World Heritage Site)


Cathédrale ND de Tournai

The Cathedral of Our Lady in Tournai is one of the great masterpieces of western mediaeval architecture. It was constructed in the 12th century on the site of several more ancient churches, a project enabled by the surge in ecomomic growth of the town at that time.
The Romanesque-style structure is surmounted by no less than five towers, stabilising this enormous block of masonry which has both Norman and Rhenish stylistic influences. Less than a century later, the cathedral was modified when a Gothic-style choir was added . As well as fine architecture, there is much to be seen in the way of decorative objects and furnishings: the side entrances are embellished with Romanesque carvings and a rood-screen by Corneille Devriendt (1572) is preserved.
Musée Collégiale ND de Tournai


The museum in the Treasure Room is of exceptional interest, housing as it does such pieces of major importance as the two great shrines of Our Lady and St Eleuthere, precious objects of ivory, of gold and an Arras tapestry dating from the 14th century....


Since 1999, major restoration and stabilisation works have been underway which have enabled archaeological investigations to take place, revealing burials from the 11th century .


Cathedral of Our Lady, Tournai website

Cathédrale ND de Tournai Cathédrale ND de Tournai



Itinéraire Nivelles - Tournai


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