Main Market Square

Even in the distant past, Tongeren’s Main Market was a hive of activity. The Romans may be long gone, but the atmosphere remains. Pubs, brassieres, restaurants and terraces are buzzing with life and activity. And then, there’s the view! Come see for yourself!

The statue of Ambiorix

Tongerens’ most famous (or should that be notorious?) inhabitant also occupies the most prominent place in the city. The imposing bronze statue of Ambiorix, King of the Eburones, dating from 1866 is a tribute to his memorable victory over the Romans in 54 BCE. It prompted Julius Caesar to call the Belgians the bravest of all the Gauls. Ambiorix is posing in Germanic attire and a dragon helmet, his hatchet as his weapon of choice. His feet are trampling the weapons of the defeated Roman foe. The fence around the statue is made of spears, wild boar heads and arrows, entirely in line with Celtic tradition.

Tongeren City Hall

The original city hall was located on the corner of the Main Market Square and Sint-Truiderstraat (currently Huis Boulet) until the Great Fire of 1677, which reduced Tongeren to ashes. Building did not commence on the new city hall until 1737 on the site where the cloth hall and tailors chamber had stood. The building is a fine example of the Maasland style. Don’t miss the various commemorative stones on the left wall.

Here’s an interesting fact - does Tongeren’s city hall look a bit familiar? Well, it may look familiar as it is a faithful copy of Liege’s city hall. Both buildings were designed by Pascal Barbier, an architect from Liege.

Basilica of Our Lady

Visitors approaching Tongeren can admire the Basilica of our Lady on the Main Market Square long before they actually reach the city. This basilica is one of the most beautiful Gothic religious buildings in Belgium. As such, it is well worth a visit.

Weekly Thursday market

Each Thursday, a market is held at the Main Market Square. From 8:00 until 13:00 you can stroll along the stalls while the vendors tempt you with artisanal and aromatic regional products.