The Quays and the Scheldt

The quays of the Scheldt : the ideal place to go on a wander beside the water…



Throughout history, the Scheldt has played – like rivers in other towns – a key role. The location of Tournai, where a river and road routes meet, contributed to the rise and to the development of the town – the river provided water supplies, it was a source of energy, it was a means of transport, it constituted a military defence system and it was…a large natural sewer!

The current shape of the River Scheldt, straight with sheer quays and metal bridges, only dates back to the 18th Century. Before the work which was undertaken during the reign of Louis XIV, from 1684, the Escaut was wide and houses were built right next to it.

These days, the quays of the Scheldt have been redeveloped and are now a pleasant place to go walking and cycling. Right along the river, you can admire listed facades, remarkable trees, the bridges there and also, of course, the river itself… But you can also stop, rest on a bench, in an alcove at Quai des Salines or sit on a terrace at one of the many cafés on Quai Marché-aux-Poissons. The quays are an excellent place to meet people and many festivities take place there. The ideal place to go for a wander around the water…