The City of the 5 bell towers has always been at the heart of history, besieged so many times over the centuries. Its name is closely linked to that of great men like Childéric and Clovis, who made it the first capital of their kingdom. Tournai, cradle of France, invites you to discover its fascinating secrets, its captivating history and its rich past...
Tournai, 2000 years of history !
Its origins date back to the 1st century BC! In the 5th century, it was in Tournai itself that the first Merovingian dynasty was born, which ruled France for nearly three centuries. Childéric, son of Mérovée, is the famous founder and reigns since 458 on the territory which does not stop growing.
Tournai, episcopal seat under Clovis
When Childéric died in 481, it was Clovis I, his son and King of the Franks, who regained power over the Royal City, which extended from the current Tournaisis to Boulogne, Amiens and Reims. But too busy with the extension of his kingdom, he entrusted the government of Tournai to Bishop Eleuthère. The city then became an episcopal seat for several centuries, and was managed by the Church, which held civil and religious powers.
Cradle of France
In history, Tournai was several times French : under Philippe-Auguste (he granted the Belfry to the City), under Louis XIV (he had a citadel built and had the Scheldt canalized there), during the Revolution and during the Empire. But Tournai stirs up the envy of the other great european powers: passages to Spain, Holland, Austria or the United Kingdom will leave other traces, sometimes still visible today....