The bell foundry and the michiels

Thanks to the Michiels family, originally from Mechelen, the tradition of bell casting was maintained in Tournai during a good part of the 20th century. This tradition undoubtedly dates back to the 9th century, with the Paterne bell foundry. In 1953, the Michiels delivered 53 bells for the carillon installed in the Tournai belfry, a magnificent support of Belgian bell art. This art is recognised as a “best practice in safeguarding intangible cultural heritage” by UNESCO. The Art Deco metal entrance door was that of the Michiels' home on Boulevard Eisenhower, behind the station. A wooden structure supports the bell of the Jesuit novitiate, which was later granted the premises to found a still active Atheneum (school). The bell was cast by the Barbieux workshops in 1779.