Natural History Museum and Vivarium

Founded in 1828 during the Dutch period, the country's first Natural History Museum opened its doors to the public in 1829.

In 1839, the museum set up home inside a gallery and square room designed by the architect Bruno Renard in its current location - the site of the ancient Saint Martin's Abbey brewery.

When it was extended and refurbished (it officially re-opened in June 2001) the layout was designed to showcase the cabinet of curiosities , plunging visitors into the world of 19th-century natural history cabinets, together with a rare and extraordinary gallery of stuffed animals, where you can admire the first elephant to arrive in Belgium, in 1839.

- A living museum -

The Natural History Museum is also home to a Vivarium featuring living fish, tarantulas, amphibians and reptiles in reconstructed natural habitats, where you will come face-to-face with fabulous species such as spectacled caimans, Amazonian poison frogs, rare Egyptian tortoises and Jamaican boas, now threatened with extinction.

- Part of a museum network -

The Tournai museum also takes part in endangered fauna protection and reproduction programmes.

The Tournai Natural History Museum is a member of the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA). The association brings together Europe's largest zoological parks; its main mission is to safeguard threatened animal species through coordinated reproduction programmes and citizen environmental awareness programmes.