Museum of Natural History and Vivarium
Cour d'honneur de l'Hôtel de Ville
tel.: + 32 69 33 23 43
fax : + 32 69 23 39 39
email : email@example.com
Founded in 1828 by sciences-lovers convinced of the interest of zoological collections, the museum was definitively brought to its present site - the Town Hall courtyard - in 1839. Its gallery and square room were designed by Bruno RENARD.
The sober and elegant inner architecture, which is the peculiarity of the museums built in the XIXth century, has been carefully preserved and plunges the visitor into the atmosphere of the natural history cabinets of the past century.
The display of the specimens has made room for a modern and didactic presentation. In the main gallery a retrospect of the animal world is presented. Among the rich collections gathered from all over the world, a large place is reserved to vertebrates, particularly to birds and mammals.
The Dioramas hall in the square room reconstitues four typical Tournai habitats : the Scheldt marshes, the calcareous quarries, the Hainaut fields and the forest of Bonsecours. Other biotopes refer to Belgium and Europe. Dioramas of the Antartic, of the Sahara desert, of the African savanna and equatorial forest illustrate the list of natural habitats threatened in the world. This hall also displays the first stuffed elephant to have been exhibited in Belgium, as long ago as 1839.
The Tournai museum also includes a tropical conservatory and a spacious vivarium cum aquarium with live alligators, boas, mygales, scorpions and various tortoises. The museum also offers temporary scientific or artistic exhibitions.