Medieval bridge shot down in Tournai – Belgium

Belgium demolishes a 13th century bridge

It is for them to navigate ships of up to 2,000 tons

The Hole Bridge is located in Tournai, a border town with France. Belgium intends to join the Seine-North canal project and have access to the port of Le Havre.  In the Belgian town of Tournai, with 70,000 inhabitants, a thirteenth-century bridge has begun to be demolished. This is to give free passage to ships of up to 2,000 tons. The Pont des Trous (Bridge of Holes), was built between 1281 and 1329.

Medieval bridge shot down in Tournai - Belgium
Medieval bridge shot down in Tournai – Belgium

This border city with France that aspires to be part of a canal project between the Benelux and the French port of Le Havre. Until now, along the Escalda River, which crossed this historic bridge, boats of a maximum of 1,500 tons were sailing. With the demolition, cruise ships and freighters of greater capacity will be able to transit the waters and eventually reach the river Seine. And then to the sea. It will be a 105-kilometer channel that will cost 4,000 million US Dollars

The project to demolish the bridge

The project to demolish the bridge began four years ago, but it was last January when the City Council of Tournai legally approved it
Despite the opposition of many neighbors, the work began last Friday. The signatures of 20,000 people who asked that the project be dismissed were of no avail. The bridge was until now one of Tournai’s tourist gems.

The local tourism website explains that its construction lasted about 50 years. Its central arch was dynamited during World War II. And the war left this border town with France reduced to rubble.

Medieval bridge shot down in Tournai - Belgium
Medieval bridge shot down in Tournai – Belgium

In 1948 it was rebuilt and was used to raise the bridge 2.40 meters and facilitate navigation and the development of the economy of the river

The official website calls to visit one of the most prestigious vestiges of medieval architecture in Belgium. Although it also reports the demolition, which qualifies as “a new chapter in its history.” A live link to the “dismantling of the central arches” works is also offered. Only the two towers on each shore are original, one from 1281 and the other from 1304.

The project to reconstruction the bridge

Although the authorities have promised their reconstruction with the original bricks, they have not seen any numbered stone. Really with the demolition many fell into the water.

The reconstruction of the bridge was announced by Wallonia’s public works minister Carlo Di Antonio and Belgian Minister of Energy Marie-Christine Marghem, present at the beginning of the demolition works

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