Natural History Museum and Vivarium

  • recognised tourist attraction
  • Railway station at 1400 m
  • Car park
  • Maestro
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.