Places of interest

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The statue of Ambiorix

 

 

Ambiorix was the king of the Eburones, who inflicted the largest defeat upon the legions of Julius Caesar conducted by Cotta in 54-53 BC. It was the largest defeat they had known during the conquest of Gaul. In 1866, a statue was established for Ambiorix and was created by the sculptor Jules Bertin.

 

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Town hall

 

 

Before the “Great Fire” of 1677, the old town hall was situated on the corner of the market (Grote Markt) and the St-Truiderstraat. At the beginning of the 18th century, the decision was made to build the present town hall on the site of the destroyed clothmakers’ hall.  It was constructed between 1737 and 1759 according to the designs of Pascal Barbier, an architect from Liège. The classicistic style of the building is a fine example of the 18th century architectural style of the Maasland region. Furniture from Liège, paintings and plasterwork in the style of Louis XV determine the interior (not open to the public).









 

 

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War Memorial

 

 

The War Memorial was unveiled on 28 August 1926 in the presence of H. M. King Albert I. It commemorates the fallen of Tongeren from both World Wars. The monument is made of bluestone and has four gargoyles in the form of lion’s head. The original fountain bowl was made of mosaic.

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The Basilica of Our Lady

 

The Gothic tower of the Basilica of Our Lady dominates over the town and the surrounding area. It is undeniably one of the finest religious edifices of our country. Over 300 years were necessary to complete this magnificent monument. The interior is full of art treasures, of which the most famous one is without a doubt the walnut statue of Our Lady of Tongeren Cause of Our Joy, which dates from approximately 1479. The Romanesque cloister of the 12th century can be considered as a rare evidence of the Romanesque architecture in Belgium.

 

Opening hours: every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.– free entrance

























 

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Teseum - rediscover church treasures

 

Tongeren is one of the most ancient religious sites in the Low Countries with a major church treasure of the Basilica of Our Lady. In June 2016, the completely revamped treasury will open its doors. It comprises numerous valuable pieces of religious art such as reliquaries, reliquary pouches, gold and silverwork, medieval choir books, and rare textiles.

 

The new museum is located in the historical setting of the unique Romanesque tower and chapter house of Our Lady’s Basilica. In addition to a reconstruction of the historical church treasury, topics such as liturgy, saints, relics, and the chapter house are also included. With a walk-through “music box,” visitors may view and even listen to centuries-old scores. The museum story ends with the coronation festivities, the link to today and the current tradition.

 

And there’s more! You’re invited to an exclusive tour of the adjacent Romanesque cloister and lovely monastic garden, one of the city centre’s hidden treasures.

 

 

 

TESEUMMuseumkwartier, 3700 Tongeren
http://www.teseum.be/

erfgoedcel@stadtongeren.be, T +32 (0)12 80 00 88

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Statue of the Virgin Mary “Cause of Our Joy”

The statue of Our Lady goes back to 1479 and originates from an atelier from Antwerp. It is also the basis for the seven-yearly coronation celebrations. Since 1890, when the statue was crowned, the internationally known coronation celebrations have been organised every seven years. During the procession of relics, the treasures of the church are shown and the crowned statue of the Virgin Mary “Cause of Our Joy” is carried in this procession of more than 3,000 participants.

 

 

 

 

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Gallo-Roman museum

 

 

Do you feel like experiencing an exciting journey through time? Attractive displays, magnificent objects and multimedia presentations bring the story of the people who lived in our region. The world of the Neanderthals, the Gauls and the Romans come to life again.

The Gallo-Roman museum regularly organises exciting events, exclusive exhibitions and fascinating workshops. The programmes for schools enthral young people in an interactive way.

 

Information

Gallo-Roman Museum

Kielenstraat 15

3700 Tongeren

tel: 012 67 03 55

http://www.gallo-romeinsmusem.be/ 

e-mail: grm@limburg.be 

 

 

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Medieval walls

 

 

As a result of the town destruction in 1213 by the troops of Duke Hendrik I of Brabant, the construction of the medieval walls began in 1241. This wall surrounded the town centre at that time, which is now defined by the present ring road. Several parts of this 13th century wall still partly determine the pattern of the former medieval town. The best preserved parts are situated along the Leopoldwal and the Elfde-Novemberwal, but the Cloth Maker’s Tower and the Velinx Tower also belonged to this 13th century wall. In the 15 century, the town walls were partly demolished and in the 17th century the French destroyed various town gates. The defensive walls were restored in the 18th century, but eventually they had to give way to modernisation in the 19th century.

 

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Monument T-2000

 

 

This monument was designed and created by sculptor Raf Verjans in 1985 as a result of the celebration of the bimillennium of Tongeren. It was also put up in the Roman twin towns Rome, Arlon, Tournai, Bavay, Metz, Maastricht, Nijmegem, Cologne and Trier.

 

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Moeren Gate (Moerenpoort)

 

 

Brave knights and dutiful burghers, rich landlords and industrious vassals, Tongeren had it all. The rich Roman town made way for a medieval town. No less than three successive walls enclosed medieval Tongeren and little by little urban life with trades arose. However, dark times scourged Tongeren when the French count de Calvo appeared in 1677. He reduced the town centre to ashes in only one night. This disaster was a black page in the history of Tongeren. Not only a large number of houses had gone up in flames, but also a part of the art patrimony was forever lost.

 

Fortunately, count de Calvo could not destroy everything. Nowadays, Tongeren still looks a bit like a fortified town. Parts of the medieval wall are still standing and in places you can still see medieval towers. The Velinx tower is a good example of this. Tongeren once owned six medieval town gates, but only the Moeren Gate (Moerenpoort) from 1379 remained intact. On this solid tower you can calmly enjoy a panoramic view of the beguinage and the town centre.

 

Information : Free entrance - get your code at the tourist office

Tourist office Tongeren: 012 / 80 00 70

 

 

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Beguinage

 

Dream away for a moment between the picturesque small houses and the plazas with a feeling of going back in time. That is the experience you get when you visit one of the oldest beguinages of Flanders. In the middle of the 13th century the beguinage of Tongeren, right by the Jeker, was founded as a miniature town within the town. The narrow alleys, beautifully restored premises, ... a little different and self-willed, a dreamed location for artists and ... since 1998 world heritage site of UNESCO. We are glad to invite you to this 750 year old part of town.



 

Beghina 

Beghina museum

Who were they... these beguines? These women left their door the world open. Neither nun, nor layperson. Did they hedge their bets or were they the forerunners of the feminists? Find an answer to these questions and visit the new Beghina museum in an authentic beguine’s house from 1660.

During a visit to the museum, you will discover the theme exhibition “Treasures of the beguines” (Schatten van de begijnen), a film showing “Beguines in the Low Countries” (Begijnen in de Lage Landen), a visit to the residential basement with a beguine beer, a museum shop and an herb garden.

 

Information

Beghina Museum

Onder de Linde 12

3700 Tongeren

tel:  0475 71 89 22

http://www.begijnhofmuseumtongeren.be/ 

e-mail: info@begijnhofmuseumtongeren.be 

 

 

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Beguinage church

The St. Catherine church, better known as the beguinage church or friars’ church, is one of the oldest churches of the town. This early Gothic church from 1294 has been restored and adjusted several times through the centuries. The current baroque arch and the spirelet were placed on the church in the 18th century. After the French Revolution, the church came into the possession of the Church Commission of Tongeren. In 1899 they let the church (for 99 years) to the Franciscan friars, which eventually explains the origin of the name friars’ church. The attractive St. Catherina-church contains a rich collection of works of art, among which especially the woodcarving and the paintings catch the eye. Among the most important objects of interest are the pulpit by Robrecht Verburgh from 1711 in Louis the XIV-style, the painting above the high altar by Gaspar de Crayer from the 17th century and the statue of the Suffering Christ, donated by beguine Anna de Floz.

 

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St. Ursula Chapel

 

 

Shortly after 1262, an infirmary was built where elderly and ill beguines were taken care of. Next to this building, a chapel was dedicated to the Saint Ursula in 1294. The current building of the infirmary dates from 1659. At the end of the 17th century, the chapel was ruinous and it was replaced by a small baroque hall church from 1701 with a unique Dutch gable. The restored St. Ursula chapel is being used as a polyvalent space for chamber concerts, theme exhibitions, lectures and other cultural events.

 

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Cloth Maker’s Tower

 

 

This picturesque turret, built against the back of the beguinage, was part of medieval defensive wall along the Jeker.  The half-round construction from the 13th century is mainly made of flint, originating from the Roman wall. Every medieval tower was protected by one of the town guilds, which explains the name “Cloth Maker’s Tower”.

 

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St. Agnes convent

 

 

The St. Agnes convent already existed in 1418 and was enlarged after the donation of Joanna Van Repen in 1421. After the French Revolution, the convent was sold and the canon Vandermaesen became the new owner. He had the church demolished and equipped it as a mansion.  Recently, the building was restored and painted by the technique of badgeon painting with the exception of the former summer refectory and the church ruins. At the moment, the St. Agnes convent is in use by the service of the Flemish Community (Jongerenwelzijn).

 

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Saint John church

 

 

This church was probably founded by the tanners, who made sure that the church was dedicated to their patron St. John. The original church already existed in 1205. Between the 17th and the 19th century a new church was built. The church contains numerous valuable artefacts and became the third parish church of Tongeren, after the Basilica of Our Lady and the disappeared St. Nicolas church.

 

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Munthuis

 

 

The name of this late Gothic town house is actually based on a misconception. The medieval mint atelier was moved to this street in the 14th century.  The current Mint house is actually across the mint atelier. Nevertheless, this name will forever be linked to this building.

The restored Mint house accommodates National Heritage Unit and also the service Education and Archaeology and Monument Preservation.









 

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Velinx tower



 

 

The Velinx Tower is a round corner tower and was part of the medieval wall from the 13th century. It is composed of flint and marlstone, in which Roman building materials were reused. The tower was connected to a small filled-in bridge across the Jeker. During World War I, the small bridge was blown up.

 

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Roman wall



 

 

On the outskirts of the old town centre, especially from the north to the west, there still are impressive remains of the 4,544 meter long town wall from the 2nd century. This wall was formerly about 6 meters high and fortified at regular intervals with round towers. On the outside it was protected by a few deep defensive moats. Monumental gates were situated where access roads entered the town. From the Middle Ages onwards, the Roman town wall was demolished for the most part for its reusable building materials. Therefore only the core of the former impressive wall, consisting of two rough blocks of fling, remains. A walkway was laid along this wall, from the Bilzen road to the Liège road.

 

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Beukenberg

 

 

Because of the growing need for water in the Roman city Tongeren, it was necessary to solve the water supply problems in the course of the 1st century. Therefore an aqueduct was built which connected Tongeren to the source of the Mombeek. It was an artificial earthen embankment with a wooden construction for the supply of water. Beukenberg has developed into a beautiful walking area close by the town centre and recently it is recognised as a protected archaeological monument.

 

 

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Betho Castle



 

 

Just outside the town you will find the impressive Betho castle. The castle was first mentioned in 1267 and originally was a moated castle. The current pond refers to the moat which once enclosed the entire building. The residential castle is built symmetrically and consists of the castle, the square farmstead, a pond and a park. The present buildings mainly date from the 17th and 18th century with a tower in the southwest from 1478.

This castle is not accessible for the public.









 

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Chapel of St. Giles

 

 

Already in the 11th century, there should have been a chapel in Mulken. At the end of the 17th century the present chapel was added to the tower from the 13th century. Beautiful wall paintings from the 14th and 15th century were discovered in this tower. The chapel is an important place of pilgrimage dedicated to St. Giles, one of the saints for persons in distress. The pilgrimage takes place during the first nine days of September and still attracts large numbers of pilgrims.

 

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Templars Tower



 

 

The first record of this castle dates from 1340, although it must be older, as the Knights of Mulken are already known since 1195. They lived on their fief in a fortified tower with a house and a farmstead beside it, whether it was surrounded by a wall or not.  The decagonal castle tower, with the original entrance on the first floor, is built on a hillock.

This tower is not accessible for the public. 

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St. Lutgardischurch

 

 

This parish church was built in 1949 after the example of an early Christian basilica with a freestanding tower. In the fronton above the entrance, you can find the representation of the Saint Lutgardis embracing the cross. Saint Lutgardis was born in Tongeren in 1182 and is the patroness of Flanders, the blind, writers and the Flemish youth. The most important objects of interest are a beautiful series of stained-glass windows, a Way of the Cross by brother Max and the statue of St. Lutgardis by Esbroek.

 

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Nature reserve De kevie

The “park of the eastern Jeker”, which covers 200 ha, is situated to the South-east of Tongeren. Because of its favourable location and exceptional flora and fauna, the nature park belongs to the most valuable nature reserves in South Limburg. In short, a rare piece of nature in Hesbaye that should be cherished.

Through four signposted walk routes, fanciers can meet with all the aspects of this landscape. Organised walks for schools and associations are possible by appointment: de.kevie@skynet.be – tel: 012 23 53 60 – 0472 37 80 80

Site: http://www.kevie.be/ 

 

 

 

 

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Praetorium

 

 

The Praetorium is the post-modern administrative centre of Tongeren since 2000. The name of this building has its origins in the Roman Praetorium, which was situated in the same place in the ancient Atuatuca Tungrorum. It was also the administrative centre of the town at that time.

 

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