May 19, 2022

Tongeren (Dutch, French: Tongres, German: Tongern) is a city in Limburg, Flanders, Belgium. One of the oldest settlements in present-day Belgium, it was known in Roman times as the Atuatuca Tungrorum and was the seat of the Tungri district of the province of Gallia Belgica.


Atuatuca Tungrorum

Prior to the Roman conquest, the area around Tongeren was the site of one of the Belgian tribes, the Eburones. After the Roman occupation, the leader of the tribe, Ambiorix, revolted his people and attacked the troops of Julius Caesar. After the initial success of the uprising (Ambiorix managed to destroy an entire Roman legion near Atuatuca by trick), Caesar himself marched against the insurgents and exterminated almost the entire tribe. Ambiorix himself escaped because he had fled to Germany through the frozen Rhine, and the Eburones tribe was replaced by the Tungri tribe, which had surrendered to Rome. The camp of the Roman legions stationed in the area soon developed into a major settlement called Atuatuca Tungrorum, due in part to its fortunate location: it lay next to the road connecting Bagacum (Bavay) with Colonia Agrippina (Cologne) and was surrounded by fertile land in the Hesbaye region. The city soon became part of the 1st century AD. developed into one of the largest Gallo-Romanian provincial and military centers. I. sz. It suffered significant damage in 70 when the Batavians tribe besieged the city. The walls protecting the city were built in the 2nd century, the remains of which can still be seen today. The city has adopted the Roman architectural style typical of the age and its villages have been built by wealthy citizens.

Early Middle Ages

One of the first Dutch dioceses around Tongeren was founded in the 4th century, before the area was ruled by the diocese of Trier and later by the diocese of Cologne. The first bishop of Tongeren was St. Servatius, who took office in 344 or 345. The boundaries of the bishopric were fixed by the "Civitas Tungrorum" and remained unchanged until 1559. In the 5th century the area became one of the targets of the Germanic peoples' attacks: i. s. In 406, the Vandals, Alans, and Sves crossed the Rhine and invaded and temporarily occupied the Roman provinces of Gaul. Although Rome still managed to repel the attack at this time, the diocese could not be reorganized for a long time. After the disintegration of the Roman Empire, the city and its environs came under the rule of the Franks, who were conquered in the 6th century AD. in the first half Falco converted (partly) to the Christian faith. The later bishops fought a lot against the remaining local Gentiles, and in desperation of St. Amandus (647-50) he resigned from the episcopate, as did his successor, St. Remaculus (650-60). The next bishop, St. Theodard (660-69), died a martyr's death. The conversion of the Gentiles could only be completed by Bishop St. Lambert (669-705?). His successor, St. Hubertus, moved the seat of the bishopric to Liège, although the bishops still officially held the title of bishop of Tongres or the dioceses of Tongres and Liège. Little information has survived from the age of the Merovingian rulers (5-8) regarding the history of Tongeren. During the Carolingian dynasty, a new church was built and a convent was established. These were built on the site of the old episcopal residence, where the basilica building still stands today. The construction of the basilica began in the 13th century, in the Gothic style typical of the age, at the same time other secular buildings appeared in the church center of the city: markets and merchants, hospitals, and the residences of artists. Also at this time was the medieval city wall, several new churches, the abbey and the begina house. The beautifully developed city belongs to the Bishop of Liège