The Bridge Holes, once again, is a new skin. Built in the Thirteenth century at Tournai in Wallonia (Belgium), the bridge had suffered a first amendment in 1948, after having been in part destroyed by the English during the Second world war. Only the towers of the Bourdiel (left bank) and the Thieulerie (right bank) date back to the Middle Ages. This time, it is in the soul and consciousness that the change of the arches is going to take place, in order to allow boats the most important sail on the river Scheldt.

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The work will begin Friday, August 2, through the dismantling of the arches, before being able to connect the two towers the end of 2020. Towers will also be restored as part of the project.
If in June 2016 the municipal Council had decided unanimously for a modern structure, the so-called “Bastin”, the decision has been widely contested. In march, Carlo Di Antonio, walloon minister of territorial Development and public Works decides to discontinue the proceedings in focusing on a new project.

Image of synthesis of the former project “Bastin”, and finally aborted. © JL DERU /© JL DERU /

A new planning permission for the reconfiguration of the arches of the Bridge Holes was issued on 27 June. It respects in particular the following principles: constraints-heritage and the ternary rhythm of the arches, the preservation of the medieval character of the architecture, the layout of the vicinity of the bridge to make it a place to walk. In detail, the two arches of the side will be reduced in width, the center will be both wide and high to allow the passage of boats. Without rebuilding the monument at the same, the authorities have chosen a project that retains the spirit of the Bridge Holes. “The goal is to recover the majority of the stones and reuse them in the context of the reconstruction of the work,” explained the inspector-general Christophe Vanmuysen, relayed by the RTBF. The dismantling is expected to last until Tuesday, all of which allow among others to improve the flow of traffic between the port of le Havre and the Benelux countries.

Sketch of the future project of reconfiguration of the Bridge Holes. Scaldistournai

In tribute to the Bridge Holes, the string Notélé has devoted a short story audio telling the story of the legend of the book. At the beginning of the Hundred years war, in July 1340, the army of the king of England Edward III besieges Tournay with the aid of the Flemings. The 15,000 defenders of the city do not allow themselves to do, but the siege lasts three months. It is said that during a battle that lasted an entire day, the soldiers are going to see a lady with a flaming sword at the top of the bridge, accompanied by a young winged soldiers. Frightened Flamingos take flight. Legend has it that the woman in question is the Lady answering the prayers of Tournay. A niche is created on one of the towers to accommodate his statue, missing since the restoration of the bridge in 1844.