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The Perron, symbol of Liège
Municipal flag
Coat of arms
Coat of arms
The municipality of Liège in the province of Liège
The municipality of Liège in the province of Liège
Liège is located in Belgium
Location in Belgium
Sovereign state Belgium Belgium
Region  Wallonia
Community Wallonia French Community
Province  Liège
Arrondissement Liège
Coordinates 50°38′0″N 05°34′0″E / 50.633333°N 5.566667°E / 50.633333; 5.566667Coordinates: 50°38′0″N 05°34′0″E / 50.633333°N 5.566667°E / 50.633333; 5.566667
Area 69.39 km²
– Males
– Females
187,086 (2006-01-01)
2696 inhab./km²
Age distribution
0–19 years
20–64 years
65+ years
Foreigners 16.05% (01/07/2005)
Unemployment rate 31.38% (1 January 2006)
Mean annual income €10,350/pers. (2003)
Mayor Willy Demeyer (PS)
Governing parties PS - cdH
Postal codes 4000-4032
Area codes 04

Liège (French pronunciation: [ljɛːʒ]; Dutch: Luik (older spelling: Luick), [lœyk]  ( listen); Walloon: Lidje; German: Lüttich; Latin: Leodium; until 1949, the city's name was written Liége, with the acute accent instead of a grave accent) is a major city and municipality of Belgium located in the province of Liège, of which it is the administrative capital, in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium.

The city is situated in the valley of the Meuse River, near Belgium's eastern borders with the Netherlands and Germany, where the Meuse meets the Ourthe. It is in the former sillon industriel, the industrial backbone of Wallonia. The Liège municipality includes the former communes of Angleur, Bressoux, Chênée, Glain, Grivegnée, Jupille-sur-Meuse, Rocourt, and Wandre.

The city is the principal economic and cultural centre of Wallonia. Liège is, with 194,054 inhabitants as of 1 May 2009, the second most populous city in Wallonia after Charleroi.[1] The metropolitan area, including the outer commuter zone, covers an area of 1,879 km2 and has a total population of 749,110 as of 1 January 2008.[1][2] This includes a total of 52 municipalities, a.o. Herstal and Seraing, and ranks as the third most populous in Belgium, after Brussels and Antwerp.[2]



The name in Latin 'Leodium' points clearly to the Germanic word 'leod' = people. Compare with the (old fashioned) Dutch words 'lui', 'luiden', 'lieden' (people), Old English léod. The modern German cognate is 'Leute'.


Liège in 1650

Early Middle Ages

Although settlements already existed in Roman times, the first references to Liège date to 558, with the name Vicus Leudicus. Around 705, Saint Lambert of Maastricht is credited with completing the Christianization of the region, indicating that up to the early 8th-century, the religious practices of antiquity had survived in some form. Christian conversion may still not have been quite universal, since Lambert was murdered in Liège and thereafter regarded as a martyr for his faith. To enshrine St. Lambert's relics, his successor, Hubertus (later to become St. Hubert), built a basilica near the bishop's residence which became the true nucleus of the city. A couple of centuries later, the city became the capital of a prince-bishopric, which lasted from 985 till 1794. The first prince-bishop, Notger, transformed the city into a major intellectual and ecclesiastical centre, which maintained its cultural importance during the Middle Ages. Pope Clement VI recruited several musicians from Liège to perform in the Papal court at Avignon, whereby sanctioning the practice of polyphony in the religious realm. The city was renowned for its many churches, the oldest of which, St Martin's, dates from 682. Although nominally part of the Holy Roman Empire, in practice it possessed a large degree of independence.

Late Middle Ages and Renaissance

The strategic position of Liège has made it a frequent target of armies and insurgencies over the centuries. It was fortified early on with a castle on the steep hill that overlooks the city's western side. In 1345, the citizens of Liège rebelled against Prince-Bishop Engelbert III de la Marck, their ruler at the time, and defeated him in battle near the city. After a rebellion against rule from Burgundy, King Louis XI of France and Duke Charles the Bold of Burgundy captured and largely destroyed the city in 1468, after a bitter siege which was ended with a successful surprise attack. Liège was technically still part of the Holy Roman Empire. After 1477, the city came under the rule of the Habsburgs and, after 1555, under Spanish sovereignty, although its immediate rule remained in the hands of its prince-bishops. The reign of Erard de la Marck (1506–1538) coincides with the Renaissance Liégeoise. During the Counter-Reformation, the diocese of Liège was split and progressively lost its role as a regional power. In the 17th century the prince-bishops came from the Bavarian family Wittelsbach. They ruled over Cologne and other bishoprics in the northwest of the Holy Roman Empire as well.

18th century to World War I

Liège in 1649

The Duke of Marlborough captured the city from the Bavarian prince-bishop and his French allies in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. In the middle of the eighteenth century the ideas of the French encyclopedists began to be received at Liège; Bishop de Velbruck (1772–84), encouraged their propagation and thus prepared the way for the Revolution Liégeoise, which burst upon the episcopal city on 18 August 1789. In the course of the 1794 campaigns of the French Revolution, the French army took the city and imposed a harsh and strongly anticlerical regime, destroying the great cathedral of Saint Lambert. The overthrow of the prince-bishopric was confirmed in 1801 by the Concordat co-signed by Napoléon Bonaparte and Pope Pius VII. France lost the city in 1815 when the Congress of Vienna awarded it to the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. Dutch rule lasted only until 1830, when the Belgian Revolution led to the establishment of an independent, Catholic and neutral Belgium which incorporated Liège. After this, Liège developed rapidly into a major industrial city which became one of continental Europe's first large-scale steel making centres.

Centre of Liège in 1770

Liège's fortifications were redesigned by Henri Alexis Brialmont in the 1880s and a chain of twelve forts was constructed around the city to provide defence in depth. This presented a major obstacle to Germany's army in 1914, whose Schlieffen Plan relied on being able to quickly pass through the Meuse valley and the Ardennes en route to France. The German invasion on August 5, 1914 soon reached Liège, which was defended by 30,000 troops under General Gérard Leman (see Battle of Liège). The forts initially held off an attacking force of about 100,000 men but were pulverised into submission by a five-day bombardment by the Germans' 42 cm Big Bertha howitzers. Due to faulty planning of the ventilation of the underground defense tunnels beneath the main citadel, one direct artillery hit caused a huge explosion, which eventually led to the surrender of the Belgian forces. The Belgian resistance was shorter than had been intended, but the twelve days of delay caused by the siege nonetheless contributed to the eventual failure of the German invasion of France. The city was subsequently occupied by the Germans until the end of the war. Liège received the Légion d'Honneur for its resistance in 1914.

World War II to the present

The Germans returned in 1940, this time taking the forts in only three days. Most Jews were saved, with the help of the sympathising population, as many Jewish children and refugees were hidden in the numerous monasteries. The German occupiers were expelled by the United States Army in September 1944 but Liège was subsequently subjected to intense aerial bombardment, with more than 1,500 V1 and V2 missiles landing in the city between its liberation and the end of the war.

After the war, Liège suffered from the collapse of its steel industry, which produced high levels of unemployment and stoked social tension. In January 1961, disgruntled workers went on a rampage and severely damaged the central railway station Guillemins. Liège is also known as a traditionally socialist city. In 1991, powerful Socialist André Cools, a former Deputy Prime Minister, was gunned down in front of his girlfriend's apartment. Many suspected that the assassination was related to a corruption scandal which swept the Socialist Party, and the national government in general, after Cools' death. Two men were sentenced to twenty years in jail in 2004, for involvement in Cools' murder.

Liège has shown some signs of economic recovery in recent years with the opening up of borders within the European Union, surging steel prices, and improved administration. Several new shopping centres have been built, and numerous repairs carried out.


As of January 1, 2008, the municipality of Liège has a total population of 190,102.[1] The metropolitan area has about 750,000 inhabitants. Its inhabitants are predominantly French-speaking.

The city is a major educational hub in Belgium. There are 42,000 students attending more than 24 schools. The University of Liège, founded in 1817, has 17,000 students.


The stairway of the Montagne de Bueren
  • The 16th century palace of the Prince-Bishops of Liège is built on the Place St Lambert, where the old St. Lambert's Cathedral used to stand before the French Revolution. An archeological display, the Archeoforum, can be visited under the Place St Lambert.
  • The perron on the nearby Place du Marché was once the symbol of justice in the Prince-Bishopric and is now the symbol of the city. It stands in front of the 17th century city hall.
  • The present Liège Cathedral, dedicated to Saint Paul, contains a treasury and Saint Lambert’s tomb. It is one of the original seven collegiate churches, which include the German-Romanesque St Bartholomew's Church (Saint Barthélémy) and the church of St Martin.
  • The church of Saint-James (Saint-Jacques) is probably the most beautiful medieval church in Liège. It is built in the so-called Flamboyant-Gothic style, while the porch is early Renaissance. The statues are by Liège sculptor Jean DelCour. Saint-Jacques also contains 29 spectacular 14th century misericords.
  • The main museums in Liège are: MAMAC (Museum of Modern & Contemporary Art), Museum of Walloon Life, and Museum of Walloon Art & Religious Art (Mosan art). The Curtius Museum is an elegantly furnished mansion from the 17th century along the Meuse River, due to reopen in March 2009 as the expanded Grand Curtius museum housing the collections of the archaeology, decorative arts, religious art and Mosan art museums.
  • Other sites of interest include the historical city centre (the Carré), the Hors-Château area, the Outremeuse area, the parks and boulevards along the Meuse river, the Citadel, the 400 steps stairway "Montagne de Bueren", leading from Hors-Château to the Citadel, and the Liège-Guillemins train station designed by Santiago Calatrava.


Traditional Liégeois puppets

"Le Quinze Août" celebration takes place annually on August 15 in Outremeuse and celebrates the Virgin Mary. It is one of the biggest folkloric displays in the city, with a religious procession, a flea market, dances, concerts, and a series of popular games. Nowadays these celebrations start a few days earlier and last until the 16th. Some citizens open their doors to party goers, and serve "peket", the traditional local alcohol. This tradition is linked to the important folkloric character Tchantchès (Walloon for François), a hard-headed but resourceful Walloon boy who lived during Charlemagne's times. Tchantchès is remembered with a statue, a museum, and a number of puppets found all over the city.

Liège hosts one of the oldest Christmas Markets in Belgium.


Liège, the Sunday "Batte" market

The city is well-known for its very crowded folk festivals. The 15 August festival ("Le 15 août") is maybe the best known. The population gathers in a quarter named Outre-Meuse with plenty of tiny pedestrian streets and old yards. Many people come to see the procession but also to drink alcohol and beer, eat cabbage, sausages or pancakes or simply enjoy the atmosphere until the early hours. The Saint Nicholas festival around the 6 December is organized by and for the students of the University; for 24 hours, the students (wearing very dirty lab-coats) are allowed to beg for money for drinking.

Liège is renowned for its significant nightlife. Within the pedestrian zone, there is an area (a 100 m × 100 m (328.08 ft × 328.08 ft) square called Le Carré) with many lively pubs which are reputed to remain open until the last customer leaves (typically around 6 am). Another active area is the Place du Marché.

The "Batte" market is where most locals visit on Sundays. The outdoor market goes along the Meuse River and also attracts many visitors to Liège. The market typically runs from early morning to 2 o'clock in the afternoon every weekend year long. Produce, clothing, and snack vendors are the main concentration of the market.

The city annually hosts a significant jazz festival Jazz à Liège.

In Spring Liège also hosts the Liège-Bastogne-Liège cycle race, the oldest of the classic cycle races. The circuit starts from the city of Liège, goes to the city of Bastogne and returns to finish in the Liège suburb of Ans. The second half contains most of the climbs in the race, such as the Stockeu, Haute-Levée, La Redoute, Saint-Nicolas and the Col de Forges. With the 2009 Vuelta a España visiting Liège after four stages in the Netherlands, Liège is the only city that can boast having hosted stages of all three cycling Grand Tours.[3]

Liège has active alternative cinemas, Le Churchill, Le Parc and Le Sauvenière. There are also 2 mainstream cinemas, the Kinepolis multiplexes.

Liège also has a particular Walloon dialect, sometimes said to be one of Belgium's most distinctive. There is a large Italian community, and Italian can be heard in many places. Knowledge of other 'local' languages (German and Dutch) is usually rather poor, while English is not widely spoken compared to other European cities.


In the past, Liège was one of the most important steel-making centres in Europe. Starting in 1817, John Cockerill extensively developed the iron and steel industry. The industrial complex of Seraing was the largest in the world. It once boasted numerous blast furnaces and mills. Although now a mere shadow of its former self, steel production and the manufacture of steel goods remain important.

Liège has also been an important centre for gunsmithing since the Middle ages and the arms industry is still strong with the headquarters of FN Herstal. The economy of the region is now diversified, the most important centres are: Mechanical industries (Aircraft engine and Spacecraft propulsion), space technology, information technology, biotechnology and also production of water, beer or chocolate. A science park south east of the city, near the University of Liège campus, houses spin-offs and high technology businesses.


Liège is also a very important transport and logistics centre:[4]

Famous inhabitants

Statue of Charlemagne in the centre of Liège

See also: Notable people from Liège

International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Liège is twinned with:

See also

The new Liège-Guillemins railway station


  1. ^ a b c Statistics Belgium; Population de droit par commune au 1 janvier 2008 (excel-file) Population of all municipalities in Belgium, as of 1 January 2008. Retrieved on 2008-10-19.
  2. ^ a b Statistics Belgium; De Belgische Stadsgewesten 2001 (pdf-file) Definitions of metropolitan areas in Belgium. The metropolitan area of Liège is divided into three levels. First, the central agglomeration (agglomeratie) with 480,513 inhabitants (2008-01-01). Adding the closest surroundings (banlieue) gives a total of 641,591. And, including the outer commuter zone (forensenwoonzone) the population is 749,110. Retrieved on 2008-10-19.
  3. ^ "Web Oficial de la Vuelta a Espańa 2009 - Official Web Site Vuelta a Espańa 2009". Retrieved 2009-05-05. 
  4. ^ Liège, the place to build:
  5. ^ "Liège, a brief summary". 
  6. ^ "Lile Facts & Figures". Retrieved 2007-12-17. 
  7. ^ "International Relations of the City of Porto". © 2006-2009 Municipal Directorateofthe PresidencyServices InternationalRelationsOffice. Retrieved 2009-07-10. 
  8. ^ Turin City Hall - International Affairs (English) Retrieved on 2008-01-26.

External links



The term Liege may refer to:

  • Feudalism, where a liege is a party in the vassalic oath of allegiance
  • Liège Island, in the Antarctic
  • Liège (Paris Metro), a subway station in Paris

In Belgium (German: Lüttich, Dutch: Luik)

  • Liège (province), a province of Belgium
  • Liège (city), a municipality and a city of Belgium
  • Battle of Liège, the first battle of World War I
  • Bishopric of Liège, a former state in the Low Countries
  • University of Liège, a major public university
  • Liège-Bastogne-Liège, a famous one-day road cycling race in Belgium
  • Liège-Guillemins, the main train station of the city of Liège
  • Liège airport, the airport of the city of Liège
  • Liège (car), inspired by the 1950's classic sporting car era

The term Liégeoise means of or related to Liège. Note the reversed accent.

  • Revolution Liégeoise, the 1789-1794 revolution that ousted the Liège prince bishops
  • Café liégeois, a coffee based cold dessert
  • Salade Liégeoise, a warm salad incorporating potato, green beans and fried bacon
  • Liégeoise, an eastern form of the Walloon language

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Montagne de Bueren
Montagne de Bueren

Liège [1] is the main regional city in the province of Liège. It is also Belgium's fourth largest city, after Brussels, Antwerp, and Charleroi. It is the largest centre in Wallonia and is mostly an industrial city. It is near the German and Dutch border, and is about half an hour away from each border city; Aachen (Germany) and Maastricht (The Netherlands).

Industry in Liège
Industry in Liège

The population of Liège City is close to 200,000, and the metropolitan area has about 750,000 inhabitants. The city is the capital of Liège Province. The language spoken is French. The general understanding of English by the people in the city, like most of the French speaking regions, is poor. Picking up a few basic French phrases can be very helpful.

Liège has been an important city since the early Middle Ages. It was the capital of the Principality (prince-bishopric) of Liège, which remained an independent state until the French Revolution. In the 19th century it became an early centre of industrialism. The central area of Liège presents itself as a rather interesting mix of a historic town centre (dotted with a few extremely brutalist buildings from the 1960s and 70s), a rather elegant new town with wide boulevards, tall apartment buildings (some Art Deco) and a few pretty parks. The outskirts of Liège consist mainly of large industrial complexes and working-class areas, sprawling over the hills that surround the city.

  • Brussels National is your most likely point of entry into Belgium. To reach Liège, take the train to Louvain/Leuven, or Brussels-Nord and change for Liège.
  • Charleroi Airport, sometimes referred to as 'Brussels South', is an alternative for low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and WizzAir. From the airport, take the city bus Line A (stop is outside of the departure hall), which costs €2.50 one way to Charleroi-Sud (south) train station, then the train to Liège-Guillemins. Train departs once every hour from 5AM. Last train leaves at 23:00. The trip takes approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes.
  • Maastricht Airport is also close to the city. Ryanair has constant service from the city.

By train

Liège-Guillemins is the main station, located on the southwest part of the city. A Thalys [3] line serves Brussels, Leuven, Paris, Aachen and Cologne and Frankfurt. Beware that unlike most train stations in Belgium, Liège-Guillemins is not a walking distance away from the city centre. You can take a bus which cost €1.30 one way, or taxi which cost around 8-10 euros. The cheapest alternative being changing to another train that's heading to the station called "Liège-Palais". The fare of this trip is included in your ticket to Liège-Guillemins. The trip takes around 6 mins.

From Brussels, intercity service runs at least hourly and takes about 60 minutes from Brussels Nord. From Brussels Airport, take the airport shuttle to Leuven and take intercity service from there. From the north, connect in Maastricht. Trains run at least hourly and take about 30 minutes.

Once you're at Liège-Guillemins station, you can get to city centre by changing to a train heading for Gare du Palais, or by taking the number 1 or number 4 bus just outside the station to Place St. Lambert. Another alternative is route 48 which takes you to the Opera. Note that all routes run both ways at the stop of Liège-Guillemins station, make sure to take the buses that have either "Pl. St. Lambert" or "Opera" on their destination sign. Like aforementioned, change train to Liège-Palais station also takes you directly to centre.

By car

Liège is the crossroads for several major motorways. Its "ring" has 6 branches. In clockwise order:

Being a fairly large city, many motorway exits are signposted for "Liège". When coming from Germany or Netherlands, it's best to follow the E25 to its end, then follow the road signs to the center. Coming from Luxembourg, it's best to exit at "Angleur" and follow signs to the center, or to continue on to the exit marked "Liège-centre". Finally, coming from Paris, Lille, Brussels, or Antwerp, follow signs to Luxembourg until you reach the exit marked "Liège-centre".

By bus

Liège is well-connected by bus, notably in the Eurolines [4] network. Eurolines arrivals/departures are on rue des Guillemins, near the train station.

By boat

Individuals arriving with their own boat are welcome at the port des Yachts.

Many organised cruises departing from Maastricht stop in the center of Liège, on the right bank (quai Marcatchou to quai Van Beneden).

Get around

By car

Unlike most Belgian cities, Liège doesn't have an inner ring built along the path of the old city walls. Instead, the main streets were laid out along the old branches of the river, which makes their organisation a bit obscure for a non-native.

It's best to leave your car in one of the city-center parking garages, especially if you don't have a map of where exactly you're trying to get to.

The main routes for cars are:

  • the motorway E40-E25 that crosses parts of the city
  • the Boulevards "d'Avroy" and "de la Sauvenière", the main route between the center and the train station
  • the Quais "de la Meuse" and "de la Dérivation", which link to/from the two branches of the E25

By bus

TEC [5] is the main bus company. Most lines converge towards one of the city-center bus "terminals". These terminals are located at Place Léopold, Place Saint Lambert, Place République Française, and around the Opéra/Theater (all four very close to each other), plus at Place de la Cathédrale (about 5 minutes' walk away). The names of these 5 sites are used to indicate the direction of the bus, according to the line taken.

Several other lines leave from the train station Liège-Guillemins. Among them, two lines link the station with city center: the #4, a circular line (direction "Bavière" to go from the station to the center, direction "d'Harscamp" for the reverse trip), and the #1 which runs train station to city center and on to Coronmeuse.

More and more bus stops now show the waiting time for the next bus on each line, and many busses are equipped to display the next stop and adapted for people with reduced mobility.

Unfortunately, however, most lines don't run after midnight.

By bike

Travelling by bike in the city center is easy, but the hillsides can be a bit steep (between 5 and 15%). Reaching the higher neighborhoods will require a bit of training and a multi-speed bike!

Cycling paths are regularly added and improved, though the main roads remain a bit dangerous. Most one-way streets can be travelled in the opposite direction by cyclists. A map of cycling paths is available at the tourist information office. In addition, there's a "Ravel" (a path for walkers and cyclists) along the right bank of the river Meuse.

  • La Masion des Cyclistes [6]

By foot

Most of the areas in city center are easily accessible on foot, and walking provides an interesting perspective on the city itself. The trip from the train station at Guillemins to the city center requires a bit more time - about 30 minutes.

St Paul's Cathedral
St Paul's Cathedral
  • Place St. Lambert (Saint Lambert's square)
  • The Outremeuse district, notably the Rue Roture.
  • The Palace of the Prince-Bishops - Composed of the Palace of Justice (classic façade at Place Saint Lambert 18) and the Provincial Palace (lateral neo-gothic façade at place Notger 2). This palace is the heart of the city, and represents the political power of the old Prince-Bishops of Liège.
  • The representation of their religious power was the large Gothic Cathedral of Notre Dame and Saint Lambert, torn down at the start of the 19th century after the revolution of Liège and today memorialized by metal columns and a design traced on the ground.
  • There's also an underground archéoforum [7], an archeological site with the remains of the three (successive) cathedrals on the site, as well as a building from Roman times. (Open 10AM-6PM from Tuesday to Saturday, 11AM-6PM on Sunday, closed on Monday, 5.50€, +32 (0)4 250 93 70.)
  • At Place Saint Lambert 9-17, you can admire the neo-classic façades, dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • The Town Hall, Perron, and houses along the market square. The town hall (place du Marché, 2), also called "La Violette", is an elegant classic building. It was built in 1714, during reconstruction after the French attacks in 1691. It can be visited on rare occasions only, except for the "salle des pas perdus" - "room of lost steps" which is freely accessible. The houses on the square, with their charming blue stone and brick faces, date from the same period. The Perron, symbol of the city's freedom, is at the center of the square above the fountain that acts as its support. The perron is one of the symbols of the city and was used to render justice.
  • The streets Hors Château and En Feronstrée are worth a visit for the architecture of the large villas and more modest houses, most dating to the 18th century. In particular, the Hôtel d’Ansembourg at Feronstrée 114, now a museum, is worth visiting for the well-preserved original interior (1-6PM except Mondays, 3,80€, +32 (0)4 221 9402).
  • The Museum of Walloon Art (en Féronstrée 86), a bit further along in a modern building, has a panorama of works by regional painters since the Roman times. (Open 1-6PM Tu-Sa, 11AM-4:30PM Su, closed Mo, 3,80€, +32 (0)4 221 9231).
  • The Curtius Palace, quai de Maestricht 13. This imposing 8-story building from the start of the 17th century was the store of a rich arms merchant. The nearby Hôtel de Hayme de Bomal (quai de Maestricht 8 and rue Feronstrée 122) was an official building under French rule and twice welcomed Napoleon. These two buildings and several other historic buildings provide the backdrop for the Museum Grand Curtius with its art and history collections.
  • Saint Barthélémy Church (rue Saint Barthélémy 2) was the last of 7 "collégiales liégeoises" to be built, near the end of the 11th century. Recently renovated, it is home to the masterwork of the Liège goldsmiths from the Middle Ages: the baptismal fonts from the old parish church of the cathedral. (Open 10-12AM and 2-5PM from Monday to Saturday, 2-5PM Sundays, 1,25€, +32 (0)4 223 4998).
  • The Museum of Wallonian Life is an ethnological mueseum hosted in an old convent. (Cour des Mineurs, closed for renovation until spring 2008, +32 (0)4 237 9040).
  • The Museum of Religious Art (rue Mère Dieu 1) will be integrated into the future Museum Grand Curtius, but can now be visited separately. (Open 11AM-6PM Tu-Sa, 11AM-4PM Su, closed Mo, 3,80€, +32 (0)4 221 4225).
  • The Mountain of Bueren and the slopes of the Citadel. Climb the imposing staircase of 373 steps, or opt for the smaller streets and stairways leading up to the Citadel's slopes. From the top, you'll have a lovely view of the city, from the Palace rooves to the ancient watchtower.
  • The streets Fond Saint Servais, Pierreuse and du Péry are typically quaint and lead up to the remains of the old citadel, with an ancient well, a monument commemorating the Second World War, and in particular a superb view over the city.


On the opposite bank of the river, the Outremeuse district has few memorable buildings, but a welcoming atmosphere.

  • The Feast of the Assumption (15 August) is celebrated here by the entire city and countless visitors.
  • A circuit is dedicated to Simenon (author of the Maigret stories), and a museum will be opening shortly.
  • The main buildings of interest in the district are:
    • Convent "des Récollets" (rue Georges Simenon 2, 4, 9-13)
    • Saint Nicolas Church (rue Fosse-aux-raines 7, open everyday 8AM to 12AM)
    • "Sainte Barbe" hospice (place Ste Barbe)
    • The stable of the Fonck barracks and Bavière hospital (boulevard de la Constitution)
    • Destenay school (boulevard Saucy 16)
    • The Physiology Institute (place Delcourt 17).
  • Two interesting museums: Grétry Museum (Rue des Récollets 34, 2PM-4PM Tu&Fr, 10AM-12PM Su, +32 (0)4 343 1610) and the Museum of Tchantchès, dedicated to the city mascot who is also the main character for the local marrionnette theaters (rue Surlet 56, 2-4 PM Su except July, Tu&Th, +32 (0)4 342 7575).
  • The most-visited museum complex in Liège and Wallonia is here, comprised of the Aquarium, the House of Science, and the Zoology Museum, all housed in a neo-classic University building, quai Van Beneden (aquarium and museum : 9AM-5PM Mo-Fr, 10AM - 6PM during school vacations, 1030AM-6PM on holidays, €5, +32 (0)4 366 5021 ; House of Science: restricted hours, €3 ; +32 (0)4 366 5015).
  • Departing from the amphitheater along the quay, a bateau-mouche (covered boat) offers river tours, from 1 Apr to 30 Oct (11AM, 1PM, 3PM and 5PM, €6, +32 (0)4 221 9221 et +32 (0)4 366 5021).
  • The market "Marché de la Batte" is where most locals visit on Sundays. The one of the longest markets in Europe stretches along the Meuse River by the Université de Liège and attracts many visitors to Liège. The market typically runs from early morning to 2 o'clock in the afternoon every weekend year long. Produce, clothing, and snack vendors are the main concentration of the market.
  • Flea Markets at Saint Gilles (every Saturday morning on Boulevard Louis Hillier) and Saint Pholien (every Friday morning on Boulevard de la Constitution) also attract many visitors.
  • The celebrations of 15 August in Outremeuse welcome more than 300,000 people each year.
  • The fair, held since the city was established, has become a fun-fair. It takes place from the first weekend in October to the second weekend in November (6 weeks).
  • The Christmas Village, one of the biggest and oldest in the country, has more than one million visitors each year.
  • The Celebrations of Wallonia (2nd weekend in September), the nuit des Coteaux (night events in the historic center), the Secret Gardens and Corners Day (la journée Jardins et Coins secrets - 3rd Sunday in June), and the heritage days (les journées du patrimoine - end September) are other key dates in Liège.
  • Visit the Carré District, where you can celebrate or party on any day, at any time. It's the preferred district of students, alternating shops and cafés, many of which allow dancing (sometimes on the tables!).
  • The Festival of Walking, in the second half of August, offers urban walks.
  • The Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Opera, and Theater de la Place head up the cultural life in Liège.
  • Liège is the European city with the most theaters per person. Liège has an international reputation especially for its marionnette theaters, whose performances often involve the traditionnal folklore character Tchantchès in an unbelievably wide range of situations. The most-known marionnette theaters can be found at:
    • Museum of Wallonian Life (Wednesdays and school holidays at 1430 and Sundays at 1030, Cour des Mineurs, +32 (0)4 237 9040, open even when the museum is closed.)
    • Museum of Tchantchès (Oct to end Apr, Sundays at 1030 and Wednesdays at 1430, rue Surlet 56, +32 (0)4 342 7575)
    • Theater Al Botroule - literally, "in the belly-button" - (Rue Hocheporte 3, +32 (0)4 223 0576)
    • Theater Denis (Rue Sainte Marguerite 302, +32 (0)4 224 3154)
    • Theater Mabotte (Rue Mabotte 125, Seraing +32 (0)4 233 8861)
  • Movie theaters include Le Parc and Le Churchill for European films; Le Palace and Kinepolis for big-name blockbusters; and soon UGC Longdoz in the future "media city".
  • Le Forum (rue Pont d’Avroy 45), a small but exceptionally-decorated venue, offers concerts, comedy performances, etc. Country Hall (in the outskirts) is a relatively new venue for huge shows and sporting events.
  • Le Trocadéro is the most Liégeois of Parisian cabarets, or the most Parisian of Liège cabarets, depending on how you look at it, while two other venues (La Bouch’rit and le Comiqu'Art) offer dinner-show combinations.
  • La Zone is the place in Liège for alternative and underground music and arts. Opens only on events, check their program on the web before going there. Non expensive bar with plenty of soft drinks, beers and wine.* La Zone (Music club), Quai de l'Ourthe, 42 - 4020 Liège, 043410727 (), [8].  edit
  • There are numerous sports clubs including, oddly enough, three different rowing clubs. RCAE, a university club but open to everyone, offers a range of sports from parachuting to spelunking. The sports fields at Xhovémont, Cointe or Sart Tilman are ideal for practice, while the soccer stadium of Standard (the Liège team) is the place to show your enthusiasm as a fan. The ice rink, dating from the water exposition of 1939, is in its last seasons before being moved, while a new swimming pool with modern facilities including a diving tower will soon be constructed in the center. (The previous one is being converted to a museum.) Other pools are spread throughout the city, notably in Outremeuse.
  • For those who prefer a calmer sport, cycling or jogging is perfect along the quays of the Meuse. The woods at Coteaux de la Citadelle, Chartreuse, and Sart Tilman are all close, as are the magnificent countrysides of the Ardennes (with Condroz, Hesbaye, and Herve lending themselves particularly well to hiking and mountain-biking).


A university city with some 80,000 students, Liège has plenty of educational possibilities.

  • University of Liège (L'Université de Liège) [9]. With 17,000 students and links to numerous foreign universities.
  • Le pôle mosan [10] is a platform regrouping more and more of the écoles supérieures of the region.
  • Le FOREM (FORmation et EMploi - training and employment) [11]
  • L'Union des Classes Moyennes also offers classes for adults
  • Le Centre J has lots of useful information for young students
  • Sunday morning market at la rive gauche
  • Val Saint Lambert crystal, now sold throughout the world, makes an exceptionnal gift in the "splurge" category.
  • The tourist information office sells local artists' products including scarfs with medieval motifs and ties with contemporary artistic designs.
  • Marionnettes of "Tchantchès", a character from local folklore embodying the Liégeois attitude, are available in the 6 marionette theaters in the city.

Other typical purchases are food and drink products:

  • As elsewhere in Belgium, pralines (filled chocolates) and the numerous cheeses and beers are a must.
  • Local products include "Herve" cheese (with a strong smell!), "Sirop de Liège" (made from a mix of apples and pears and typically used for cooking/baking), and cider (the alcoholic kind).
  • "Péquet" (genièvre) is an alcoholic beverage available in countless varieties.
  • For sweets, you can't go far without encountering the famous Liège waffles, smelling of cinnamon and sugar. They're best when freshly-cooked, though the pre-packaged variety also exists and has spread to many other countries.
  • Other sweets are available depending on the season: bouquètes (dark crêpes with raisins, eaten with brown sugar) are mainly available for 15 August and at Christmas, while lacquemants/lackmans (dry waffles filled with a mix of sugar and other sweets) are found at the fairs.
  • If you find them, try "cutè peures", a sort of cooked pear which unfortunately seems to have disappeared from the street vendors.
  • Liège coffee (café liégeois) is originally from Vienna but was rebaptised by the Parisiens to show their support for the heroic resistance in Liège at the start of the first world war.

Shopping in city center

The best options for shopping are around Place Cathédrale and Place Saint Lambert, and in particular at Vinâve d'Ile (Celio...), Saint-Michel (Van den Borre, Delhaize, C&A), the Opera Galleries (Zara, Springfield) and the Saint Lambert Galleries (FNAC, Média Markt, Inno, Champion), as well as along the roads towards the center (rues Féronstrée, Saint-Gilles, Puits-en-Sock in Outremeuse, Grétry in Longdoz...)

Shopping outside city center

Several large commercial centers are located on the outskirts of the city: Belle-Ile (North-American style shopping mall with Carrefour on site, take bus 377 from the Opera) (Angleur), Rocourt, Boncelles, Herstal...


In addition to the local foods mentioned above, regional specialities include:

  • boulets sauce-lapin, meatballs in a sauce made from dark beer, Sirop de Liège, and prunes, accompanied of course by frites - french fries. The boulet even has its own critics and reviews - see the "Guide du Boulet frites sauce liègoise" [12] (in French).
  • la potée liégeoise, a country dish made from beans, potatoes, and bacon bits cooked together and drenched in vinegar.
  • les bouquètes, dark crêpes served at New Years' Eve or other festive occasions
  • le matoufait, a cross between a crêpe and an omelette, made from flour, eggs, milk and bacon bits, and served either salty or sweet.
  • la tarte au riz, originally from the neighboring city of Verviers or the area of Tancrémont

Other local recipes are available online here [13].

Prices unfortunately are fairly high, as in most other Belgian cities. Budget restaurants will cost about €12-€15 per person, drinks included, mid-range restaurants between €25 and €50, and splurge restaurants well over that!

For budget solutions, snack shops like any of the sanwicheries or kebab shops offer cheap yet tasty food. A Döner kebab typically costs 3-5 euro, and a sandwich is around 2-4. Note that in Liège all snack shops charge 50 cents for sauce, and usually another 50 cents for vegetables. For example you can see a meatball sandwich for 2 euro on the price list, however; after the sauce and the vegetables it will be 3 euro in total. It is recommended to look for convenient stores for soft drinks as they're over-priced in snack bars.

There are Northern American fastfood chain in the city: A McDonald's is located near the Opera, a BigMac meal is about €6, A Subway can be found behind the city hall, and a pizza hut can be found near the Opera.

  • Deli France, Sandwicherie, two stores in the city centre, first one in Gallerie St. Lambert and the second one is near Pont d'Avory. €5-€6 can cover a sandwich and a drink.
  • Au Tchantchès, Restaurant/Brasserie with traditional decor, located on rue Grande Bèche in the Outremeuse district.
  • Café Lequet, 17 Quai sur Meuse. Local cuisine and ambiance. Try the boulet-frites.
  • Le Venetto, rue de la Madeleine. One of the best Italian restaurants in Liège, limited menu but great atmosphere and unbeatable prices.
  • Touch and Go, rue des Carmes. Specialising in pitas and do-it-yourself salads. Especially popular with students.
  • Aux pâtes fraîches, 17 rue Saint-Gilles
  • L'Amarante, rue des Carmes
  • La Cigalière, 29 rue de la Régence. Sandwiches, salads, breakfasts, and crêpes - all top quality.
  • Amour, Maracas et Salami (français), 78 rue Sur-la-Fontaine
  • Amon Nanesse, behind the town hall
  • As Ouhès (aux oiseaux - for the birds), place du Marché.
  • Le Sway, "fusion" restaurant linked to the concert hall Soundstation (rue Pouplin)
  • L'industrie, rue Saint Gilles (at the start, on the right), nice brasserie specialising in mussels
  • The Kitchen, 139 bd de la Sauvenière, concept restaurant but friendly and warm
  • Table à Thé, 15 rue des Carmes, at the magnificent urban terrace
  • Les Saintes Chéries, place Lambert-le-Bègue, a small place that's particularly nice in summer.
  • La Parmentière, 10 place Cockerill. French cuisine for €40.
  • Le Vaudrée, 109 rue Val Benoit 4031 Angleur: 40 Beers on tap and 1200 Bottles, Fantastic food as well.
  • L'Héliport, with a Michelin star. Boulevard Frère Orban, on the lawn facing the Palais des Congrès, between the Meuse and the fast lanes/tracks (access in the direction outskirts -> center)


The area known as "Le Carré" offers numerous options to drink and party 365 days per year, with a young, vibrant, student atmosphere. Also worth a visit: the Place du Marché, more "connected", and the area around Place Cathédrale, to see and be seen.

  • Le Vaudrée 2, in Rue Saint-Gilles, where you can taste a good thousand or so Belgian and foreign beers. Santé!
  • La Maison du Péquet, behind the town hall, mainly serves fruit-flavored versions of genièvre, known locally as péquet.
  • The Pot au Lait [14], rue Soeurs de Hasque, is a café popular with exchange students living in the region.
  • Les Olivettes, rue Pied du Pont des Arches, offers an ambience from an entirely different time.
  • Millennium, about 10km outside the center in the commercial area "Boncelles", is a recently constructed nightclub.
  • La Zone, Quai de l'Ourthe, 42, in Outremeuse, is a club for alternative and underground music and culture with a non expensive bar [15].
  • Le Sabor Latino is a club opening onto the boulevard de la Sauvenière.

In addition, many of the cafés in the Le Carré area are a good alternative, with plenty of dancing and typically no entrance fee.

  • Youth Hostel Georges Simenon. Located in the middle of the Outremeuse neighborhood, in a superbly renovated old building.  edit



  • L'Embrun, Port des yachts 16, +32 (0)4 221 1120. A floating hotel that can also be rented out for trips  edit
  • Les Acteurs, rue des Urbanistes 10, +32 (0)4 223 0080. Two-star hotel  edit
  • Le Cygne d'Argent, rue Beeckman, +32 (0)4 223 7001. Three-star family hotel near the botanic garden  edit
  • Le Petit Cygne, Rue des Augustins 42, +32 (0)4 222 4759. Two-star hotel  edit
  • La Passerelle, Chaussée des Prés 24 (on the island Outremeuse), +32 (0)4 341 20 20. Three-star hotel  edit
  • Hotel Mercure, 100, boulevard de la Sauvenière, +32 (0)4 221 7711. Four-star hotel in the center, near Le Carré  edit
  • Ibis Hotel, 41 place de la République Française, +32 (0)4 230 3333. Near the Opera  edit

Near Palais des Congrès

  • Eurotel, Rue Léon Frédéricq 29, +32 (0)4 341 1627. Two-star hotel  edit

Near Guillemins train station

  • Métropole, Rue des Guillemins 141, +32 (0)4 252 4293. Two-star hotel  edit
  • Les Nations, +32 (0)4 252 4414. One-star hotel  edit
  • Hotel Husa De La Couronne. Three-star hotel  edit
  • Le Hors Château. A charming hotel in the historic center  edit
  • Ramada Plaza (Former Bedford Hotel). Built in a former convent, which was also a "linerie" (translation required - sorry!)  edit

Stay safe

Liege is generally a safe city during daytime. However, be cautious at night especially for single females. It is not recommended for women to walk alone in the evenings as many foreign female students have experienced being followed late at night. Robbery is rare but harassment to single females occurs often, mostly verbal but some travelers have experienced assaults in off-downtown area. If where you're staying is more than a 5-min walk off the centre, it is suggested to take a cab (they have a line-ups around The Opera and Pont d'Avory bus terminal) after 10PM.

  • World War II Ardennes American Cemetery and Memorial [16] - Highway N-63 from Liege to Marche passes the entrance to the Memorial about 19 kilometers (12 miles) southwest of Liege. Open daily except December 25 and January 1; 9:00AM to 5:00PM. This memorial commemorates the American soldiers who died in Northern Europe during WWII. The chapel contains maps and relief scupltures depicting the campaigns in the region. Free.
  • World War II Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial[17]: 29 kilometers (18 miles) from the city near Henri-Chapelle, Belgium. From Liege, take N3 northeast toward Aachen, Germany. Turn left onto Rue du Mémorial Améreicain. Open daily except for December 25 and January 1; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The cemetery is the final resting place for 7,992 American military dead lost during the drive into Germany the Battle of the Bulge. A monument is inscribed with the names of 450 Americans whose remains were never found or identified. A museum and a chapel are located on the grounds. Free.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

LIEGE, an adjective implying the mutual relationship of a feudal superior and his vassal; the word is used as a substantive of the feudal superior, more usually in this sense, however, in the form "liege lord," and also of the vassals, his "lieges." Hence the word is often used of the loyal subjects of a sovereign, with no reference to feudal ties. It appears that ligeitas or ligentia, the medieval Latin term for this relationship, was restricted to a particular form of homage. According to N. Broussel (Nouvel examen de l'usage general des fiefs en France, 17 2 7.) the homage of a "liege" was a stronger form of the ordinary homage, the especial distinction being that while the ordinary vassal only undertook forty days' military service, the liege promised to serve as long as the war might last, in which his superior was engaged (cf. Ducange, Glossarium, s.v. "Ligius"). The etymology of the word has been much discussed. It comes into English through the O. Fr. lige or liege, Med. Lat. ligius. This was early connected with the Lat. ligatus, bound, ligare, to bind, from the sense of the obligation of the vassal to his lord, but this has been generally abandoned. Broussel takes the Med. Lat. liga, i.e., foedus, confederatio, the English "league," as the origin. Ducange connects it with the word lities, which appears in a gloss of the Salic law, and is defined as a scriptitius, servus glebae. The more usually accepted derivation is now from the Old High Ger. ledic, or ledig, meaning "free" (Mod. Ger. ledig means unoccupied, vacuus). This is confirmed by the occurrence in a charter of Otto of Benthem, 1253, of a word "ledigh-man" (quoted in Ducange, Glossarium, s.v.), Proinde affecti sumus ligius homo, quod Teutonice dictur Ledighman. Skeat, in explaining the application of "free" to such a relationship as that subsisting between a feudal superior and his vassal, says "a liege lord' seems to have been the lord of a free band; and his lieges, though serving under him, were privileged men, free from all other obligations; their name being due to their freedom, not to their service" (Etym. Diet., ed. 1898). A. Luchaire (Manuel des institutions frangaises, 1892, p. 189, n. 1) considers it difficult to call a man "free" who is under a strict obligation to another; further that the "liege" was not free from all obligation to a third party, for the charters prove without doubt that the "liege men" owed duty to more than one lord.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Liege f. (genitive Liege, plural Liegen)

  1. daybed
  2. couch

Related terms

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