Historical and Commemorative Medals
Collection of Benjamin Weiss

NOTRE DAME AT TONGEREN

WIENER, Jacques and Leopold: Belgium, 1846, Bronze, 50 mm
Obv: View of exterior    FONDEE PAR ST MATERNE, AGRANDIE PAR ST SERVAIS, DEVASTEE PAR LE HUNS, RETABLIE PAR LE DUC OGER SOUS CHARLEMAGNE 799, CONSACREE PAR LEON III LE 9 MAI 804, RECONSTRUITE 1240, RESTAUREE 1846.
Exergue: EGLISE NOTRE DAME A TONGRES
Rev: View of interior
Signed: J. ET L. WIENER FEC. 1846
Ref: Van Hoydonck 16;  Reinecke 14; Weiss BW235

Tongeren (Tongres, in French) is the oldest  town in Belgium, situated about 50 miles east of Brussels.  In Roman times, it bore the name of Atuatuca Tungrorum and was the chief town of Civitas Tungrorum, an administrative subdivision of the province of Germanie Inférieure.  Under the threat of the franques and Germanic invasions,  the city was strengthened, and in the 4th century it was chosen by Saint Servais as the seat of a diocese. In Carolingian times, a monastery was set up there, and in 980 the emperor gave it to the bishop of Liege. An early  chapter of Notre Dame appears at the end of the 11th century when it replaced the carolingian monastery.  In the 13th century new ramparts were constructed and the church of Notre Dame at Tongeren was rebuilt in the Gothic style.

The Notre Dame (Our-Lady) at Tongeren, built from 1240 to 1541 is known for its 12th century statue of Christ.  It also has a Roman cloister dating from the middle of the 12th century and contains some of the richest collections of treasures in Belgium.

Now, Tongeren is a small quiet city, which is a far cry from the metropolis the Romans wanted it to be. This ancient  city has escaped from the modern ravages of the 20th century  and  still has a historical and architectural inheritance of  incomparable richness and  value.

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