Tournai is known for its famous cathedral but we should not forget the town’s other notable religious edifices such as the ancient church of Saint Brice dating from the 12th century. Unfortunately it is just a few hundred metres from the railway station, so was heavily bombed between 1940 and 1945.
Its rebuilding was completed in 1954. It is basically a Romanesque building with some gothic features. It is on a small square amid gardens and roofed with old style flat red tiles. It has a square 15th century tower with nave and transepts topped by a second tower.
Inside, the quality of the light gives an impression of space and luminosity encouraging meditation. The choir is in the form of a triple hall and the ceiling is in wood. Among the ornaments are large candle holders, old statues of saints and more recent ones by the Tournai artist Nelly Mercier.The altar, the tabernacle and the surprising baptismal font on the sides of which are depicted a sensual Eve, Adam and the hand of God are the works of the sculptor, George Gerard. A painting of the Grand Duchess Isabelle giving her jewels to Notre Dame of Hal is by Gaspard de Crayer.
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