Cathedral of Our Lady

Architectural lighting reveals beauty and splendour of this iconic landmark after dark while saving energy

The Cathedral of Our Lady in Tournai is a major Walloon cultural heritage building and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. This majestic Romanesque-late Gothic building with its 5 towers at 83m high dominates the skyline and is the symbol of the city. 

The floodlights with traditional discharge lamps, which were installed over 20 years ago, were no longer showcasing the beauty of this exceptional monument. At the request of the Mayor, the city with the Province of Hainaut, decided to replace the lighting to restore the splendour of this historical landmark after dark.

Highlighting heritage with challenges

The new lighting design scheme presented a few challenges as it had to taken into account several factors including: 

  • the environmental impact, especially the preservation of the local biodiversity;
  • energy savings;
  • the integration of the lighting due to the monument’s heritage status;
  • comfort of local residents;
  • safety. 

The energy supplier Ores was commissioned by the city to project manage the new illumination scheme. 

Place de l'Evêché 1


Tournai Council – Hainaut Province


Project management: Ores
Engineering office and installation contractor: Ores


This project was carried out as part of a master lighting plan drawn up with the city of Tournai in 2019. Our goal is to deliver innovative solutions that enhance the local heritage with energy savings to our municipal partners.

Nicolas Favresse - ORES
Nicolas Favresse
Manager - ORES Wallonie Picarde

Thanks to our specialised expertise in illumination, Schréder was chosen to take up the challenge of lighting this iconic jewel.

After a careful analysis and several studies, we delivered 47 OMNIBLAST floodlights managed by the Pharos control system to replace the 53 previously in place. Thanks to state-of-the-art LED technology, the new architectural lighting reduces energy consumption by 60%, representing annual savings of €30,000.

These high-power floodlights fitted with neutral white LEDs bathe the façades while magnifying the intricate architectural details and beauty of the building’s stone.

In addition to a long lifespan, LED technology also provides a more precise illumination. The photometry has been carefully targeted so that the light does not disturb the local fauna and flora, especially the falcons nesting in one of the 5 towers.

Dynamic LED lighting to adapt light

The new sustainable lighting is dynamic and can be managed remotely with the Pharos control system. The city can therefore adapt the light for events or celebrations. Installed at the local tourist office, the system can be controlled with a touch screen or remotely via a web platform.

A project like this, which showcases heritage through light, is above all a very rewarding experience! Behind the scenes, it is constant teamwork, collaborating, coordinating and nourishing interactions on the ground. Only an excellent team spirit could accomplish such a perfect result.

Christophe Borgniet - Schréder BE
Christophe Borgniet
Area Sales Manager - Schréder BE

A multidisciplinary team to support the customer at every stage

Our role was not to simply deliver the floodlights. Thanks to our multidisciplinary teams, we accompanied the customer from A to Z with a very tight deadline. We delivered a turnkey solution which included:

  • defining the system architecture;
  • providing support for the wiring and control box;
  • configuring the system;
  • programming the scenarios;
  • performing on-site tests;
  • training the users of the new system.

The new architectural lighting of this monument, which is the pride of the residents, has created an inviting outdoor space and a more attractive landmark for tourists.

The new illumination enhances this iconic Walloon landmark, which is cherished by the people of Tournai, whatever their religious and philosophical convictions. Once again, we can admire the Cathedral of Our Lady at night, even when driving on the motorway which is just a few kilometers away. It is a major tourist attraction.

Paul-Olivier Delannois - Bourgmestre de Tournai
Paul-Olivier Delannois
Mayor of Tournai