The city of Liege in the southern French-speaking part of Belgium has a character of its own — la “cite Ardente”, the hot-blooded city. Whoever coined the words, no one passing through Liege can ever doubt the sheer perfection of the phrase.
The best of Liege is very easy to reach if you have reached the capital of Belgium already, so make sure that you do not miss the opportunity to visit this unique Belgian city.
For much of its history, Liege was a center of ecclesiastical power. The Prince-Bishops developed a rather democratic institution. They succeeded in keeping Liege removed from the fearful wars that swept over Belgium and Europe in the late 1500 ‘s and 1600’s preserving the economic base that was to make Liege an industrial pioneer in later times. Under their churchly administration, Liege developed Europe’s earliest and most advanced coal mining industry, metallurgy plants, glassworks and especially gun factories.
Testimony to this past glory is the Palace of the Prince-Bishops.
Of the two courtyards that abut the palace grounds, the second is the most beautiful. It is surrounded by the actual residence of the Prince-Bishops, one of the largest secular Gothic buildings of Europe. Presently it houses the courtrooms of Liege. Opposite this Palace is the ancient Market Place with its “Perron” column, symbol of the city’s liberties and the Town Hall of Liege. Many fine churches still grace the city. In the beautiful twin-towered Romanesque Saint Barthelemy Church you will find one of the most remarkable masterpieces of Liege, the “Baptismal font” by Renier de Huy, cast in the 12th century.
Other musts are the Curtius Museum, 17th century mansion of the patrician industrialist, Jean Curtius, in fine Mosan style; lovely Merovingian jewelry, Carolingian coins, Gallo -Roman stone objects and the famous “evangeliary” of Bishop Notger. The Arms Museum rivals similar museums in Dresden and Vienna, displaying weaponry, both exotic and refined, and spanning several centuries. Nightlife happens in “le Carre” in central Liege and on an island in the center of the river called “Outre Meuse.” There you will find piano bars, taverns and cafes packed with feisty Liegois. Liege is also famous for its adult puppet theater and is home to the legendary Tchantches.
Request GUIDED TOURS of Liege and anywhere in Benelux (in French, English, Hebrew, Italian, German, Spanish or Russian).